From Breakdown to Breakthrough, Part 1

In Chapter 2 of Micah, the nation is described as descending into difficulty and downturn because of selfishness and greed. Consequences are predicted to come, but at the same time a Messianic promise of great deliverance is given.

[Mic 2:1-13 KJV] 1 Woe to them that devise iniquity, and work evil upon their beds! when the morning is light, they practise it, because it is in the power of their hand. 2 And 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. 3 Therefore 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. 4 In 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. 5 Therefore thou shalt have none that shall cast a cord by lot in the congregation of the LORD. 6 Prophesy ye not, [say they to them that] prophesy: they shall not prophesy to them, [that] they shall not take shame.

Chapter 2 of Micah opens with a denunciation against those who take property and land through evil devices. They are described as lying awake nights thinking of new ways to get over on the poor simply because it is in their power to do so. Again, in Micah as in Amos the theme is one of class warfare, where the elite classes disparage and abuse those less fortunate. In verse 2 they are described as coveting fields and taking them by violence, if necessary. Where did this practice arise? Think about Ahab and Jezebel who conspired to kill a man named Naboth in 1 Kings 21:7 in order to take his vineyard. Once the leadership of a nation, or a group becomes diseased by sin, that sin will grip the nation. We have seen this in our own country as sexual impropriety was admittedly a component of the character of our elected president, and now at the time of this teaching the nation is awash in sex scandal in every sector of society. The connection could not be more clear. Ahab made a business model out of murder in the intrests of increasing his wealth, and now the entire northern kingdom is characterized by such behavior in Micah 2.

In light of what is taking place in the nation, God declares through Micah in v. 3 that He will restrain them in ways they will be unable to escape, because they would not restrain themselves. They will (v. 4) because a parable and a lamentation to all peoples for the reason of being utterly spoiled by the Assyrians and their possessions which they gathered by violence and murder will be divided among their conquerors. In times like these it was common for people to go to the temple to consult the Urim and the Thummim but v. 5 declares that in the day of difficulty ahead there will be no priest to cast the lot (the Urim and Thummim) to help them know what to do next, because they commanded the prophets to “prophesy not” because they didn’t like what the prophets were saying. This speaks to us of selective hearing. This was a people who only wanted to hear things from the priests that supported the choices they were making. The prophets including Micah are not endorsing public policy and therefore were commanded to be silent.

Part 2: To Be Continued Next Week
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