Micah 1

Micah did his work about the middle of the 8th century B.C., just before the fall of the Northern Kingdom. His book describes the people of God in a most unflattering manner. They “lay awake at night plotting treachery against their neighbors.” They use their power to oppress people – just because they can. They “hate good and love evil.” They will do anything to make a dollar. Their lack of concern for others is vividly portrayed in these words addressed to the political leaders: “[Y]ou tear the skin from my people . . . break their bones in pieces . . . [and] chop them up like meat for the pan, like flesh for the pot.” Religious leaders led Israel astray, preaching an “I’m ok, you’re ok gospel,” and they did it because that was precisely what the people wanted to hear. In God’s mind, His Church had been ruined “beyond all remedy.”
The result? “Zion will be plowed like a field, Jerusalem will become a heap of rubble, the temple hill a mound overgrown with thickets.”
It didn’t happen immediately of course. Jeremiah was still talking about the coming calamity two hundred years after Micah. But the end did come.
What did God want from His people? Simply this: “to act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with God” (Micah 6:8). If she would but do that, God would pardon and forgive them, hurling their sins into “the depths of the sea” (Micah 7:19).
Micah stands as a lasting rebuke to the People of God in every age who, remembering who they are, forget what they are about; people who, because of their relationship with God, believe they can get away with being inattentive to His will. Micah also has a message for the world: God is sovereign over the nations. They may deny His existence and repudiate His will, but God remains sovereign, and ultimately he promises to “take vengeance in anger and wrath upon the nations that have not obeyed me” (Micah 5:14-15).
Micah affirms that God delights to show mercy (7:18), but is unafraid to discipline the wayward.