Micah 2:1-5 (NIV) 1 Woe to those who plan iniquity, to those who plot evil on their beds! At morning’s light they carry it out because it is in their power to do it. 2 They covet fields and seize them, and houses, and take them. They defraud a man of his home, a fellowman of his inheritance. 3 Therefore, the LORD says: “I am planning disaster against this people, from which you cannot save yourselves. You will no longer walk proudly, for it will be a time of calamity. 4 In that day men will ridicule you; they will taunt you with this mournful song: ‘We are utterly ruined; my people’s possession is divided up. He takes it from me! He assigns our fields to traitors.'” 5 Therefore you will have no one in the assembly of the LORD to divide the land by lot.
On verses 1-5: God plans disaster (v3-5) for those who plan disaster against others (v1-2). Move over Captain America and Iron Man. The ultimate avenger is Yahweh who says, “It is mine to avenge. I will repay.” (Deuteronomy 32:35; Romans 12:19) So if you have been intentionally hurt by others and are tempted to get revenge, remember that you have the ultimate avenger on your side, who promises that justice will be served without you needing to get your hands dirty.
Micah 2:6-7 (NIV) 6 “Do not prophesy,” their prophets say. “Do not prophesy about these things; disgrace will not overtake us.” 7 Should it be said, O house of Jacob: “Is the Spirit of the LORD angry? Does he do such things?” “Do not my words do good to him whose ways are upright?
On verses 6-7: Throughout Israel’s history there were God’s prophets and false prophets. God’s prophets spoke a message imploring the people to return to God and to live justly before Him. In contrast, false prophets would only prophesy things that the people wanted to hear. Here in verse 6 apparently there were some false prophets who opposed Micah’s message, telling him not to prophesy about Israel’s coming destruction (v6) and questioning whether God would ever be angry with His people or discipline them (v7). Micah responds to this criticism by saying “Do not my words do good to him whose ways are upright” (v7b); to paraphrase Micah, “only those who are truly following the Lord would see the benefit of my message”.
What can we learn from this? Since there are true prophets and false prophets, be discerning about the kind of people you listen to. Remember the test given in 1 John 4:1-3 which says:
1 Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.
In other words, an important test is: does the person speaking acknowledge Jesus Christ as the Son of God appearing in the flesh, dying for our sins and rising again? Does the person speaking “do good to him who is upright” (v7), that is, does the person speaking honour Jesus Christ, the one true upright one, and do good to His name?
Micah 2:8-11 (NIV) 8 Lately my people have risen up like an enemy. You strip off the rich robe from those who pass by without a care, like men returning from battle. 9 You drive the women of my people from their pleasant homes. You take away my blessing from their children forever. 10 Get up, go away! For this is not your resting place, because it is defiled, it is ruined, beyond all remedy. 11 If a liar and deceiver comes and says, ‘I will prophesy for you plenty of wine and beer,’ he would be just the prophet for this people!
On verses 8-11: Here Micah rebukes the people of Israel for rising up “like an enemy” (v8). Just like our enemy Satan’s agenda is to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10), the people of Israel were abusing and stealing from passers by (v9), driving women out of their homes and taking blessings away from their children (v9).
So when Micah says “get up, go away! For this is not your resting place, because it is defiled, it is ruined, beyond all remedy” (v10), Micah is effectively saying to the Israelites, “You might as well leave this land now and go into exile, for your unjust actions have defiled this land that God has given you.” Micah affirms that the people of Israel only want to hear prophesies about their comfort, pleasure and prosperity, saying that a liar and deceiver (like Satan our enemy) who prophesies plenty of wine and beer for them would be the perfect prophet for them (v11).
What can we learn from this? How you live is very much determined by whom you choose to listen to. If you listen to the Lord and the people He sends to speak to you, your life will reflect God’s justice, peace and hope. If you listen not to the Lord but to someone who is an enemy of God, you’ll live like the enemy of God too. So much depends on who you listen to.
Micah 2:12-13 (NIV) 12 “I will surely gather all of you, O Jacob; I will surely bring together the remnant of Israel. I will bring them together like sheep in a pen, like a flock in its pasture; the place will throng with people. 13 One who breaks open the way will go up before them; they will break through the gate and go out. Their king will pass through before them, the LORD at their head.”
On verses 12-13: Here God in His mercy promises that after the Assyrians have invaded Israel, there will be a remnant of Israelites that God will preserve, bless and restore (v12). How will He accomplish this? In verse 13 we learn that leading the charge is “One who breaks open the way” and who “will go up before them” so that “they will break through the gate” of their captivity and go out. This “king” will “pass through before them”, with “the Lord at their head”. Who is Micah referring to in verse 13? He is talking about the Messiah, the Christ, whom God would send and who would make Israel’s salvation, restoration and rescue possible. Ultimately verse 13 is a powerful picture pointing to Jesus, who breaks open the way and goes up before us so that we can break through and be free. Jesus is our king who passes before us, leads us and makes our restoration possible.
Jesus, thank You for being my ultimate avenger, the One who breaks open the way, who goes before us, and who leads us to hope and restoration again. Since how I live is heavily dependent on whom I listen to, may I listen to those who love and honour You. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!