August 17

Micah 1-2

We are in the Exile Stream reading from the Tree of Life Version. | @7StreamsMethod | @serenatravis | #7Streams | Donate

Commentary by Dr. Drake Travis

Micah prophesied in Judah in the latter 700’s B.C. He was not far away when Sennacherib’s 185K-man  army was entirely struck dead by God’s angel, btw!  He lived SW of Jerusalem about 30 miles. He was writing when Isaiah and Hosea were writing. The Southern Kings that he saw rule were, in order,  Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah. Ahaz was a wretch, Jo- and Hez- were quite good.  So he witnessed the moral terrain rise/fall/&rise again.  He prophesies to the north and south kingdoms. Yet his focus is to the capitals; Samaria and Jerusalem.   He has three main thrusts in his book: 1] the sins of these two capital cities, 2] their due desolation, and 3] restoration. He fired clearly between these two themes of glory in the future /against/ desolation in the present. And as Micah goes back and forth between these two themes, he isn’t altogether concerned about making his transitions smooth. Just so you know.

1 –  He wastes no time getting to the core of his concern. Micah takes a hard swipe at both Samaria and Jerusalem right from the start.  He kind of says to Samaria, “Jacob once lived and walked and talked with God, right here!  Now, for the love of God, what have you done to this place? Do you think you will get away with your behavior and 100% irresponsible leadership?” Samaria had a powerful position as the leading cultural city of the north and they had completely led the northern kingdom into cultic ritualism and occultic worship. God was about to smash their idols, their vineyards, clean out their prostitutes right into bankruptcy.  Samaria had a habit of “digging through the religious dumpsters” of the ancient near east to find whatever false god to use for leading the Israelites astray. And It worked! ? God sent them the most salient prophets of all time. But Israel had stopped its ears; ‘they wouldn’t listen. Micah states it plainly, that Samaria’s wound is incurable. All they will hear in the near future is coyotes.  The people will be hauled away. Samaria will soon be stripped and made into rubble after this by the Assyrians.  AND 46 cities of Judah [in the south] would be overrun as well.  Exile and shame will be their lot. For your sins are aggressive, deliberate, and you are deeply committed to sin…far more than you are to God.
2 –  Not only were the Israelites idolatrous and spiritually dark as midnight in their souls, there were brutal to each other.  They would mercilessly strip widows of their possessions.  The Law forbid this and they could not care less than they did. Land, clothing taken as security and then they would financially break them so they could [in their minds] then keep the land and fabrics for ‘failure to pay.’ Soldiers lost in war would have their widows cleaned out. Children were left destitute, evicted with their desperate mothers.  The powerful would get more so and the poor… more so. The Israelites-turned-pagan were ignoring their God and devouring their neighbors.  Things were vicious in the northern kingdom / Samaria.  And midstream, between vv. 11 and 12, Micah abruptly changes his tone and goes from denouncing falsehood and drunkenness to declaring that the Lord is going to gather his people all together in a single place and them (again like He once did).  The sharp changes are almost jolting.  Could we call Micah, the “A.D.D. Prophet?  It’s not so strange though. Haven’t we all been so angry at our children [whom we love] we’ve had moments we were so angry we would like to sell them cheap at a fruit stand. Both sentiments going on simultaneously at our own flesh and blood because they play to dufus, play deaf, disobey and then they claim they don’t know why they disobeyed.  We are feeling what God is feeling about his “first born” So exasperation and hope and affection and subtle rage all for the same soul is not so strange.  God knows this and knows it most.

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