Micah’s Context: Micah’s preaching (prophetic ministry) overlapped with the reign of three kings, covering a period of roughly fifty-five years (1:1). As a contemporary of the prophets Hosea and Amos, Micah witnessed a nation that was simultaneously at its zenith economically and spiraling into spiritual darkness. However, the people were oblivious to their spiritual depravity and did not realize that their prosperity would soon give way to destitution and destruction.
Theological Theme(s): Micah’s preaching confronted a culture filled with apostasy and severe injustice. The worship was polluted by sinful practices and counterfeit theology (cf. 1:7, 3:5-7). Religious leaders were willing to alter (corrupt) the worship practices to become wealthy. This same selfishness also manifested itself in the unjust practices of the people who were oppressing their own kinsmen. The lack of an objective judicial system permitted the wealthy and powerful to take advantage of the poor and marginalized.
In Micah, the corruption of worship and injustice are intrinsically connected. Justice must be based on an absolute and unwavering standard. This standard is God Himself, who is perfect and just in every respect. When worship (theology) is corrupted, the standards of justice will inevitably decline.
The decline in orthodoxy (correct theology) and orthopraxy (correct practice) are at the center of Micah’s message.
Does Micah provide the reader with any hope? The book divides into three major sections (Chs. 1-2, 3-5, & 6-7), each one beginning with a call to listen to the message of God (cf. 1:2; 3:1; 6:1) and ending with a message of hope (cf. 2:12-13; 5:7-15; 7:18-20). After addressing the broken and corrupt worship of his day, Micah ends his message with a prophetic liturgy (7:7-20), which serves as an example of theological truths that are to be expressed in worship.
Micah’s message of hope: The incomparable God (the only one who is worthy of worship) will (in the end) save His people!
Significance of Micah’s Message for Christians:
1. Our theological beliefs affect every area of our lives.
2. Genuine worship is built on biblical theology.
3. God does not expect lavish worship or graveling servitude. Instead, He calls us to live out orthodox theology in orthodox practices.
4. There is no one like God!
Micah 7:18-20 (ESV) Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity and passing over transgression for the remnant of his inheritance? He does not retain his anger forever, because he delights in steadfast love. 19 He will again have compassion on us; he will tread our iniquities underfoot. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea. 20 You will show faithfulness to Jacob and steadfast love to Abraham, as you have sworn to our fathers from the days of old.
Micah in the New Testament
Micah New Testament
Micah 5:2 Matthew 2:6
Micah 7:6 Matthew 10:35-36
Further Study in Micah: Read the texts in Micah (listed below) and note the attribute or activity that is ascribed to God.
1. God is _______________________________ (2:12-13; 7:15).
2. God is ______________________________ (4:10).
3. God is ______________________________ (7:14).
4. God is ______________________________ (7:18-19).
5. God is _______________________________ (7:20).