Micah – Walk Humbly with Your God


by John C. Westervelt


     Micah was called by God to preach to the common people of Judah.  Micah’s ministry was during the reigns of kings Jotham (750-732), Ahaz (735-715), and Hezekiah (715-686).  Isaiah, who was born into an influential, upper-class family, was prophesying to the court in Jerusalem at the same time that Micah was walking the dusty paths speaking to the peasants in the villages across the Southern Kingdom.  The prophet in Israel, the Northern Kingdom, during this same time was Hosea.

     Speaking for the Lord, Micah said, “Hear, O peoples, all of you; listen, O earth and all who are in it, and let the Lord God be a witness against you, the Lord from His holy temple.”

     Micah knew that he must tell the people about the impending destruction of the land because of their sinful ways.  Saddened by this, Micah said, “I must lament and wail, I must go barefoot and naked; I must make a lament like jackals and a mourning like the ostriches.”

     Micah said to the people, “You covet fields and then seize them, and houses, and take them away.  You rob a man and his house.  You strip the robe off a fellow Israelite, from unsuspecting passers-by, from those returned from war.  You hate good and love evil.”

     Next, Micah spoke about the judgment on the rulers, on the false prophets, and on Jerusalem.  After listing the shortcomings of the false prophets, Micah said, “On the other hand, I am filled with power, with the Spirit of the Lord, and with justice and courage to make known to Judah their rebellious acts and their sins.”

     A tough-minded Micah said, “The leaders pronounce judgment for a bribe, the priests instruct for a price, and the false prophets divine for money.  Therefore on account of you, Zion will be plowed as a field, Jerusalem will become a heap of ruins, and the mountain of the temple will become high places of a forest.”

     The people, now remorseful about their sin, asked, “With what shall I come to the Lord and bow myself before the God on high?  Shall I come to him with burnt offerings, with yearling calves?  Does the Lord take delight in thousands of rams, in ten thousand rivers of oil?  Shall I present my first-born for my rebellious acts, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?”

     Micah reminded the people, “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”

     Seven hundred and fifty years later, word spread throughout Judea that a baby, the Messiah, had been born.  Herod the king was troubled by this potential competitor.  He called together the chief priests and scribes and asked, “Where was the Christ to be born?”

     They answered, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for it has been written by the prophet Micah, ‘And you, Bethlehem, land of Judea, are by no means least among the leaders of Judah; for out of you shall come forth a ruler, who will shepherd My people Israel.’”


Micah  Matthew 2:3-6


Copyright 2004 by John C. Westervelt


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