Micah – The Judgment and Restoration of Judah


Micah emphasized the need for justice and peace. Like a lawyer, he set forth God’s case against Israel and Judah, their leaders, and their people. Throughout the book are prophecies about Jesus, the Messiah, who will gather the people into one nation. He will be their king and ruler, acting mercifully toward them. Micah makes it clear that God hates unkindness, idolatry, injustice, and empty ritual – and he still hates these today. But God is very willing to pardon the sins of any who repent.

The closing section of Micah describes a courtroom scene. God has a controversy against His people, and He calls the mountains and hills together to form the jury as He sets forth His case. There can only be one verdict: guilty.

Nevertheless, the book closes on a note of hope. The same God who executes judgment also delights to extend mercy.

Writer and Date

This book was written by the prophet Micah, a native of the village of Moresheth in southern Judah near the Philistine city of Gath. Since Micah championed the rights of the poor, he was probably a humble farmer or herdsman himself, although he shows a remarkable knowledge of Jerusalem and Samaria, the capital cities of the nations of Judah and Israel. Micah also tells us that he prophesied: “in the days of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah”. The reigns of these three kings stretched from about 750 B. C. to 687 B. C.; so his book was probably written sometime during this period.

Historical Setting of Micah

The book of Micah belongs to that turbulent period in which the Assyrians launched their drive for supremacy throughout the ancient world. Micah probably saw his prophecy of judgment against Israel fulfilled since Assyrians defeated this nation in 722 B. C.

Theological Contribution of Micah

The mixture of judgment and promise in the book is a striking characteristic of the Old Testament prophets. These contrasting passages give a real insight into the character of God. In His wrath He remembers mercy; He can not maintain His anger forever. God was determined to maintain His holiness, and so He acted in judgment on those who had broken His covenant. But He was just as determined to fulfill the promises He had made to Abraham centuries earlier.

Perhaps the greatest contribution of the book of Micah is its clear prediction of the ultimate fulfillment of the covenant: a coming Savior.

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