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Micah 1:19; 2:14comment (0)

May 7, 2009

By Dale Younce

Related Scripture: Micah 1:19; 2:14

Explore the Bible
Professor of Christian Studies, School of Christian Studies, University of Mobile

Rebellion: A Path to Ruin
Micah 1:1–9; 2:1–4

Many adults romanticize and sometimes emulate people who rebel against biblical standards and “do their own thing.” They consider them to be sophisticated, unbound by convention, courageous free spirits who dare to “push the envelope” in their search for a happier and more satisfying life. Ultimately, however, the presumed “better way of life” proves to be littered with disillusionment, heartaches and regrets. The Lord’s prescribed ways for humans correspond to their deepest needs and are designed for their temporal and eternal well-being. The Lord, therefore, wants people to trust Him and submit.

Revelation From the Lord (1:1)
The ministry of Micah, a Judean prophet from Moresheth — a little village in southwest Palestine, overlapped with the ministry of Isaiah. Both carried on their ministries about 750–700 B.C. The Lord gave Micah a message pertaining to both the northern kingdom of Israel (with its capital at Samaria) and the southern kingdom of Judah (with its capital at Jerusalem). From this ancient message of God’s Word, we can gather spiritual principles for godly living today.

Response to Rebellion (1:2–5)

These verses describe the Lord executing judgment against Israel and Judah because of their idolatry. These prophetic words became reality for Israel in 722 B.C. when the Assyrians overthrew Samaria. They became reality for Judah in 605 B.C. when the Babylonians laid siege to Jerusalem and again in 586 B.C. when they destroyed the city and its temple.

With courtroom phraseology, the prophet began his message in the manner of an accuser in a court of law. He opened his case by calling the heavens and the earth and all its inhabitants, as well as God Himself, to bear witness to the truth of the charges he brings. Then Micah immediately shifted to describing God descending from His celestial heaven as a powerful, gigantic conqueror under whose wrath the mountains melt like wax and rocks cascade down mountain slopes like water. It is a picture of inevitable, catastrophic judgment. The sins of the two nations are represented in the two capitals, which influenced national thought and action. The principal sin was the nation’s worship: idolatry. The treasured temple at Jerusalem was no better than a pagan hill-shrine, the prophet said. Through him, the Lord warned that He would respond to His people’s rebellion with devastating judgment.

Results of Rebellion (1:6–9)
Proud, unconquerable Samaria will become a heap of stones in a field. Its mighty walls will be destroyed, broken down and rolled into the surrounding valley. Its fortresses will be destroyed to their very foundations. Micah declared that idolatry is spiritual adultery and the money spent for idolatrous worship and its maintenance — its images, gifts, sacrifices, ornaments, utensils, garments — are regarded by the Lord as wages paid a prostitute. All will be utterly crushed. Micah lamented over the certainty of God’s judgment. He saw no hope for Israel, whose wound was incurable. Judah’s fate would be no better. Destruction was knocking at Jerusalem’s gates. Rebellion’s destructive results fall not only on those who rebel but also on those influenced by them.

Ruin of Rebellion (2:1–4)
Social injustice in Micah’s day was particularly widespread. The wealthy lay awake at night on their beds planning the wicked deeds, which they eagerly carried out at the earliest opportunity — as soon as day dawned. What was schemed in private was done in public, because the wealthy had the power to do it. No one could resist their reign of terror. Either under cover of laws made for the purpose or by open violence, the wealthy took whatever land they coveted — fields, homes, the inheritance of the poor — a grave matter in an agricultural society. While evil schemes seemed to prosper for a while, there was Another who also planned a just judgment from which evil men could not escape. Evil called forth God’s destructive judgment. From this, we learn the clear advantage of submitting to the Lord’s rule and avoiding the ruin brought on by rebellion against Him.

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