Micah Chapter Two


Read Micah 2:1-5 – The Injustice in Judah


v.1Woe to them that devise iniquity, and work evil upon their beds!  when the morning is light, they practice it, because it is in the power of their hand.”


            The prophet now turns from pronouncing judgments against Judah to describing why God is going to bring such harsh consequences.  They have ignored the wisdom given them by the Lord through Solomon:




They no longer heard the admonition given by God through King David when he described those that are wicked:




They had become vile in the sight of God just like those described by the prophet Isaiah in the vision that God gave him:


Isaiah 32:5-7The vile person shall be no more called liberal, nor the churl said to be bountiful. 6For the vile person will speak villany, and his heart will work iniquity, to practice hypocrisy, and to utter error against the LORD, to make empty the soul of the hungry, and he will cause the drink of the thirsty to fail. 7The instruments also of the churl are evil: he deviseth wicked devices to destroy the poor with lying words, even when the needy speaketh right.”


They had sunk so low that they literally laid awake nights dreaming up ways and schemes to cheat, steal, defraud, get gain by any and every means at their disposal, literally “BECAUSE IT IS IN THE POWER OF THEIR HAND.”
We see this all around us today.  Hardly a month goes by that we don’t see, even in our own newspaper, that someone has violated their trust and embezzled funds, abused their authority, or devised some way to cheat their employer.  Telephone and internet scams are the rule of the day.  Corruption has permeated our government and businesses from the lowest levels almost to the highest and all levels in between.  The world today is indeed as ripe for God’s wrath as
Israel ever was.


v.2And they covet fields, and take them by violence; and houses, and take them away: so they oppress a man and his house, even a man and his heritage.”


            When the Mosaic Covenant was given to Israel one of the prohibitions was this:


Deuteronomy 19:14Thou shalt not remove thy neighbour’s landmark, which they of old time have set in thine inheritance, which thou shalt inherit in the land that the LORD thy God giveth thee to possess it.”


All land was owned by God, allotted to the families of Israel for their use and benefit but was to remain in that family forever.  If it was sold for some reason, then in the year of Jubilee (every 50 years) it reverted to the original owners (Leviticus 25:27).  This was but another of God’s commandments that Israel disobeyed and the further they moved away from God the worse it became, even to the point of oppression and violence.  Who remembers the most graphic example in Israel’s history?  In I Kings 21; Ahab, king of Israel, wanted a vineyard owned by Naboth to use as an herb garden but Naboth refused to sell it to him.  It was his by inheritance and he intended to obey God’s commandment.  Ahab just moped about it but his wife Jezebel acted:


I Kings 21:13And there came in two men, children of Belial, and sat before him: and the men of Belial witnessed against him, even against Naboth, in the presence of the people, saying, Naboth did blaspheme God and the king. Then they carried him forth out of the city, and stoned him with stones, that he died.”


So Jezebel acquired Naboth’s land for her husband in way that the prophet Micah describes.


v.3Therefore thus saith the LORD; Behold, against this family do I devise an evil, from which ye shall not remove your necks; neither shall ye go haughtily: for this time is evil.”


            “THEREFORE THUS SAITH THE LORD”; therefore, God will bring the just punishment upon them that he promised them under their covenant:


Deuteronomy 28:48Therefore shalt thou serve thine enemies which the LORD shall send against thee, in hunger, and in thirst, and in nakedness, and in want of all things: and he shall put a yoke of iron upon thy neck, until he have destroyed thee.”


            They will serve their heathen neighbors under a yoke of iron that they are powerless to remove.  The northern kingdom will be physically destroyed, the southern kingdom captive until God in his mercy restores them for His own purposes.

            At this time they are proud and haughty, living in defiance of God and his commandments but that will end just as Isaiah also prophesied:


Isaiah 2:11-12The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day. 12For the day of the LORD of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low:”


v.44In that day shall one take up a parable against you, and lament with a doleful lamentation, and say, We be utterly spoiled: he hath changed the portion of my people: how hath he removed it from me! turning away he hath divided our fields.”


            God’s people in their sin and evil thought they were living life to the fullest.  They are like many today, merry, jovial, having a good time spending their time and God’s blessings on pleasure totally dedicated to self.  This will all be turned into the depth of sorrows and a lamentation of lamentations.  Their enemies will insult them, or use them as the example.  God’s parable against Judah is much like the parable Jesus used to describe the waste and wantonness of the prodigal son.  That parable had a happy ending; theirs would not until they are completely spoiled.  Isaiah asked God:


Then said I, Lord, how long? And he answered, Until the cities be wasted without inhabitant, and the houses without man, and the land be utterly desolate, 12And the LORD have removed men far away, and there be a great forsaking in the midst of the land.” Isaiah 6:11-12


v.5  Therefore thou shalt have none that shall cast a cord by lot in the congregation of the LORD.”


            What is the prophet telling Israel here?  They are to be disowned, they would no longer be allowed to cast their lot as part of the congregation of the Lord.  This refers back to the time of their inheritance:


Deuteronomy 32:8-9When the Most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel. 9For the LORD’S portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance.”


They would no longer be set aside as a separate people, a chosen people, an inheritance of the promises of God to Jacob.


Read Micah 2:6-11 – Their Refusal to Hear God


v.6Prophesy ye not, say they to them that prophesy: they shall not prophesy to them, that they shall not take shame.”


            Israel didn’t want to hear what God had to say to them.  Judah and mankind today have much in common as we can see all around us men who either do not want to hear the word of God at all, or if they do claim to follow God do not want to hear all that he has to say to them.  Isaiah describes them as:


Isaiah 30:9-10…a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the LORD: 10Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits:”


And, eventually, those that practice this same thing today will suffer the most horrible fate that man can imagine; they will find themselves in everlasting punishment, permanently separated from God.


v.7O thou that art named the house of Jacob, is the spirit of the LORD straitened? are these his doings? do not my words do good to him that walketh uprightly?”


            Oh, they wore the name of Jacob, of Israel.  They claimed to be God’s people; they reveled, much as the Pharisees did in Jesus day, in that special relationship that they thought they had with God.  Again, do you see any parallel in the prophet’s words of those in our world of today?  Of course you do; all those who claim to be Christians, those who claim to follow God but practice their religion as a convenience, when it’s convenient and ignore it when it isn’t.  Those who claim to follow the word of God but are ignorant of most of it, those who follow what they choose in God’s word or what someone has chosen for them and ignore the rest.  Jesus said:




Conversely, if we don’t keep his commandments, the fact is obvious that we don’t love him, regardless of what we may claim.

            Then the prophet asks a rhetorical question.  Is this God’s doing?  Doesn’t the word of God do good “TO HIM THAT WALKETH UPRIGHTLY?”  Is not it fact that God has:


According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.II Peter 1:3-4


v.8-9Even of late my people is risen up as an enemy: ye pull off the robe with the garment from them that pass by securely as men averse from war. 9The women of my people have ye cast out from their pleasant houses; from their children have ye taken away my glory for ever.”


            When Israel condemned God’s prophets and opposed what they taught they became God’s enemies.  Instead of defending their nation, its laws and precepts that God had given them; they are now concentrated on destroying it from within and consequently doing it more harm that any outside enemy could do.  They preyed upon people, stealing not only their outer garment, the robe, but the inner garment as well, taking whatever they could.


They preyed upon those that are frequently defenseless; women and children; or as Jesus characterized the scribes and Pharisees of his day:




v.10Arise ye, and depart; for this is not your rest: because it is polluted, it shall destroy you, even with a sore destruction.”


            When God gave Israel the land promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob he gave them law:


Deuteronomy 12:1These are the statutes and judgments, which ye shall observe to do in the land, which the LORD God of thy fathers giveth thee to possess it, all the days that ye live upon the earth.”


Along with His law, commandments and instructions for their service and worship he also promised them rest and safety:


Deuteronomy 12:10But when ye go over Jordan, and dwell in the land which the LORD your God giveth you to inherit, and when he giveth you rest from all your enemies round about, so that ye dwell in safety;”


But they broke his laws, they ignored his commandments, if they worshiped him at all the worship they offered was worship polluted by their sin, and then frequently served only as a habitual ritual.  Consequently he is telling them that their rest, or their place of rest, is polluted, fouled, made rotten and uninhabitable.  He’s telling them to leave because it will destroy them.  It will bring a destruction upon them that is described as “SORE”, severe, harsh; a punishment as terrible as they can imagine.  Just as Jeremiah would warn Judah again a little later:


Jeremiah 3:2Lift up thine eyes unto the high places, and see where thou hast not been lien with. In the ways hast thou sat for them, as the Arabian in the wilderness; and thou hast polluted the land with thy whoredoms and with thy wickedness.”


v.11If a man walking in the spirit and falsehood do lie, saying, I will prophesy unto thee of wine and of strong drink; he shall even be the prophet of this people.”


            After telling Israel in verse 6 what kind of prophets that they would not hear; the prophet now tells of the kind that they would accept and support.  “IF A MAN WALKING IN THE SPIRIT AND FALSEHOOD DO LIE”, telling them that their sin was acceptable, telling them that they could enjoy their excesses of strong drink and human pleasures; these are the prophets that would be accepted.  Their kings hired their own prophets to tell them what they wanted to hear:


I Kings 22:6-7Then the king of Israel gathered the prophets together, about four hundred men, and said unto them, Shall I go against Ramothgilead to battle, or shall I forbear? And they said, Go up; for the Lord shall deliver it into the hand of the king. 7And Jehoshaphat said, Is there not here a prophet of the LORD besides, that we might inquire of him?”


There was a prophet of the Lord available to Ahab, Micaiah the son of Imlah.  But Ahab knew the he wouldn’t tell him what he wanted to hear, so he refused to ask.  Do we have anything like today in the church?  Of course, we do; the Apostle Paul warned:


II Timothy 4:3-43For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.”


Read Micah 2:12-13 – A Promise of Restoration


v.12I will surely assemble, O Jacob, all of thee; I will surely gather the remnant of Israel; I will put them together as the sheep of Bozrah, as the flock in the midst of their fold: they shall make great noise by reason of the multitude of men.”


            As is frequently found in the prophets, Micah’s pronouncement of harsh judgment is tempered by promises of God’s mercy.  God will gather in and protect a remnant of his chosen people.  Two applications of this can be made: one to the remnant of Judah recovered out of Babylonian captivity:


Jeremiah 31:10Hear the word of the LORD, O ye nations, and declare it in the isles afar off, and say, He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, as a shepherd doth his flock.”


The other to the time of Christ and the ingathering of all men who will obey him:


Micah 4:6-76In that day, saith the LORD, will I assemble her that halteth, and I will gather her that is driven out, and her that I have afflicted; 7And I will make her that halted a remnant, and her that was cast far off a strong nation: and the LORD shall reign over them in mount Zion from henceforth, even for ever.”


Because of the next verse I’m inclined to apply this promise to the coming of Christ.


v.13The breaker is come up before them: they have broken up, and have passed through the gate, and are gone out by it: and their king shall pass before them, and the LORD on the head of them.”


            “THE BREAKER” the one who will break down all opposition, the one who will clear the way will come up before them, he will lead them.  Those who have been broken up, those who have “PASSED THROUGH THE GATE”, those who have survived destruction and captivity will be led out of their bondage.


Isaiah 52:12For ye shall not go out with haste, nor go by flight: for the LORD will go before you; and the God of Israel will be your rereward.”


He will stand as a king before them; and only Christ is King of Israel today:


Hosea 3:5Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the LORD their God, and David their king; and shall fear the LORD and his goodness in the latter days.”


The Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy using these words concerning the kingship of Jesus:


I Timothy 6:15Which in his times he shall show, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords;”


William L. Schwegler, Sunset church of Christ, Shreveport, LA; December 28, 2008