Micah was the peasant prophet who lived almost 700 years before Christ. He was a contemporary of Isaiah of Jerusalem and just as Isaiah’s ministry was centred in the city, Micah lived in a village a thousand feet above sea level, 25 miles south west of Jerusalem, and so his ministry was centred on the rural area.
From his village vantage point he could look out to the fertile plain which stretched down to the sea and which supported a wealthy farming community and was the battle-ground of take-overs by wealthy landlords. From this vantage point he could see, like a T.V. commentator standing at the crossroads of history, the breath-taking events taking place as nations and armies moved against each other, but he, being a prophet, could not only see what was happening but could make sense of it and interpret it from God’s point of view.
Micah was one of these great Hebrew prophets, that breed of man the like of which the world had not seen before or since, men who saw through the eyes of God. They saw that God’s nature was justice or righteousness (it’s the same thing, justice being God’s love expressed inside a man.)
Micah lived the message of God’s justice for the poor. He stood up for the oppressed, because he could see that in the struggle of labourer against landlord, which we call a gregarian revolt, God was on the side of the oppressed and vulnerable poor. In one memorable passage he describes the skin game of big business as cannibalism, in which people were chopped up like meat and put into the pot, and their land and farms simply swallowed whole. In another place he talks about powerful men lying awake all night working out their evil schemes, then getting up early in the morn┬Čing to take over more land.

He not only lived through the fall of the great capital of the Northern Kingdom, Samaria, and like a war correspondent, described it, he also prophesied the same thing would happen to the Southern Kingdom based on Jerusalem, because, he could see why nations fall. They fall through moral rot when the one true living God is set on one side. No wonder he says that he is full of power with the Spirit of the Lord and of judgement and might to declare to the nation its sin.
There are 3 parts to the book:
1. (First 3 chapters) = The reasons why human
society is corrupt.
2. (Chapters 1; and 5) = A vision of God’s kind
of society.
3. (Chapters 6 and 7) = A vision of God’s kind
of spirituality.
The greatest passage in Micah is when he asks, “How can anyone come into the presence of God?” Can he come with all his success, masses of money, with sacrifices that would make the earth gasp? Will God accept him even if he gives his own children to be sacrificed that his own sins may be forgiven? Micah says, “No”. He has showed you what is good. What does God want of you but to do justly, to love mercy and walk humbly with your God?

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December 2010
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