Micah Part One Dive
FRUSTRATED & CONVICTED
As I read Micah, I am both frustrated and convicted. Frustrated to be so far removed from the writing and the time of the writing, and convicted that my passion certainly doesn’t match that of this prophet, Micah.
It is difficult to correctly interpret his writings, being on this side of history. So much took place in his time that it’s difficult to know exactly which parts of history these short prophetic messages are speaking into. Apart from the first chapter on the fall of Samaria, there is so much going on that historians can only guess at what Micah was addressing.
It’s also exasperating that we can only imagine exactly how these prophets felt as they were being given these messages from God. We know very little about most of these prophets, especially the minor ones. I would love for someone to have written their biography to go alongside these books so we get to see what frustrated Micah so much that he began to pray to God over the injustice. And then how did he feel when God gave him these prophetic messages? Was he confident in their accuracy or hesitant that he was wrong? I wish I could be right there with Micah in that time in history, but I love that I can glimpse the answers to all these questions as I read this book. You can hear his passion, you can hear his heartache, you can hear the frustration. He is so passionate about his cause!
M 1:8 Because of this I will weep and wail; I will go about barefoot and naked. I will howl like a jackal and moan like an owl.
Personally, I have never heard an owl moan, but I can imagine it would sound quite horrific!
So out of this frustration comes the motivation to read the book like a jigsaw puzzle, each piece slowly coming together. As you hear the prophet’s passion, the frustration, study the words, get the message so as you read the whole book, you can put the whole jigsaw together until the picture becomes clear.
Let me show you some of the reasons why this prophet is so frustrated...
M 6:12 Your rich people are violent; your inhabitants are liars and their tongues speak deceitfully.
M 7:2-3 The faithful have been swept from the land; not one upright person remains. Everyone lies in wait to shed blood; they hunt each other with nets. Both hands are skilled in doing evil; the ruler demands gift, the judge accepts bribes, the powerful dictate what they desire – they all conspire together.
Don’t you love that God is so impassioned by these things that he awakens this prophet to go and speak? Imagine Micah in his hometown, watching the injustice, hearing of the wealth and corruption and the passion of the Lord beginning to rise in him! These are God’s people and they are corrupt; the wealthy are treating others badly, and God gives him a message!
The second thing I feel as I read Micah is convicted. Am I as passionate about what I see today as Micah is? Have I lost my passion for injustice about sin and corruption? Or am I so used to it in today’s society that it no longer affects me, let alone motivates me to say something? Am I spiritually numb?
I am also convicted at the accuracy of Micah’s prophecy – this guy is prophesying Jesus’ birthplace hundreds of years before He came on the scene.
M 5:2 But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times. [see also Matthew 2:6]
And not just about Jesus, he prophesied beyond our time to the future of the Church:
M 4:1 In the last days the mountain of the LORD’s temple will be established as the highest of the mountains; it will be exalted above the hills, and peoples will stream to it. Many nations will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the temple of the God of Jacob.”
I love Micah’s confidence, his boldness to proclaim something that probably sounded so weird to him at the time. When I get to heaven, I can’t wait to ask him if he was sure of what he prophesied, or if he took the step of faith (like we all have!) and believed that God had given him a message that it was time to speak.
I love his boldness to go against and confront the false prophets. Check out what he says in Chapter 2:6, ‘Do not prophesy,’ their prophets say. ‘Do not prophesy about these things; disgrace will not overtake us’.
M 2:11 If a liar and deceiver come and says, “I will prophesy for you plenty of wine and beer; that would be just the prophet for this people!”
M 3:5 This is what the LORD says; “As for the prophets who lead my people astray, they proclaim peace.”
Where is this boldness and confidence to prophesy coming from in Micah? Where is the heart of passion to proclaim what God tells him to say? Just like a good jigsaw puzzle, the picture is revealed in Chapter 3:8.
M 3:8 But as for me, I am filled with power, with the Spirit of the LORD, and with justice and might, to declare to Jacob his transgression, to Israel his sin.
Where does Micah’s passion come from? The Holy Spirit! Now we know that in the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit didn’t ‘dwell in’ people as He does today. The Holy Spirit ‘came on’ certain people for the task God had for them. So, as the Holy Spirit came on Micah, so did this holy passion and incredible insight to see the state of what was happening, the truth about the hearts of the false prophets, the future hope of Jesus and the future hope of the Mountain of the LORD! The Holy Spirit gave him passion, wisdom and insight beyond himself.
How much more filled with this passion, as one’s filled with the Holy Spirit, should we be. We should be on-fire, assured of our future and led by the Spirit!
As you read Micah, let the same conviction fill you as it did as this prophet of God. Let it ‘fan into flame the gift within you’, as it says in 2 Timothy 1:6, to be as Micah was: impassioned, bold and confident in the message God had given him!