Introduction
The book of Micah collects the oracles this prophet proclaimed in the latter half of the eighth century b.c. Micah, whose name means “Who is like the Lord?” was a contemporary of the prophet Isaiah, but unlike Isaiah who lived in Jerusalem, Micah was from a rural town in Judah. Micah foresaw a coming judgment for Judah, much as Amos had earlier seen for the northern kingdom of Israel and for much the same reasons: greed, injustice, disregard for the poor and needy, and disdain for God's standards. The oracles of Micah, as indicated in the opening verse, are warnings of divine judgment against Samaria and Jerusalem, the capitals of the two kingdoms. In his prophecies the prophet accuses the wealthy of oppressing the poor, condemns their accommodation to false gods, and denounces the lies told by priests and prophets who care more for money than for God or fairness.
While Micah foresees a Jerusalem in ruins, along with its great temple, he also announces a future time of peace and safety, when God will bring restoration and renewal. He says that from Bethlehem, the ancient city of David, “shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel…. And this man shall be the peace” (5.2b,5a). The most memorable and profound passage in Micah, and probably the most often quoted, is 6.8: “[W]hat doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” This is Micah's succinct summary of what it means to live uprightly in service to God.
Outline
Messages of Judgment against Israel and Judah (1.1—3.12)
Messages of Hope for God's People (4.1—5.15)
God Brings Judah to Trial for Their Oppressive Policies (6.1—7.7)
There Is Hope in God for Future Restoration (7.8-20)
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