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Micah Speaks Out (Micah 2) April 11

Micah's prophecies continued during the days of Ahaz and on into the reign of Hezekiah (Micah 1:1). Sadly, even during Hezekiah's righteous reign, Judah had devolved into serious corruption.

"Imagine a society that allows powerful citizens to seize property and land whenever they want, especially from those who are too weak or poor to defend themselves. That was happening in Micah's day. The wealthy and powerful of Judah were grabbing real estate that belonged to others, by force if necessary (Mic 2.2; 3.10). The prophet condemned this practice, which amounted to robbery and murder. But the leaders of the country allowed it to go unchecked. In fact, they not only denied justice to the poor, but as good as skinned them alive in order to enrich themselves (3.1-3; compare Pr 22.16).

"In seizing the lands of their countrymen, the powerful businesspeople of Judah were violating key principles of the Law. They were openly breaking the Ten Commandments (Ex 20.13, 15, 17), the law forbidding permanent sale of land (Lv 25.23-28), and the law against changing landmarks (Dt 19.14). The Lord promised retribution in kind by allowing foreigners to seize the lands of Judah (Mic 2.4, 5)" ("Illegal Search and Seizure," Word in Life Bible, sidebar on 2:2).

But the people don't want to hear what Micah has to say. Notice the paraphrase in the Contemporary English Version: "'Enough of your preaching!' That's what you tell me. 'We won't be disgraced, so stop preaching!'... Get out of here you crooks! You'll find no rest here. You're not fit to belong to the LORD's people, and you will be destroyed.' The only prophet you want is a liar who will say, 'Drink and get drunk!'" (verses 6, 10-11).

The wrongdoing and evil attitudes of the people described in this chapter could well apply to people today—and so can the warnings. Indeed, it seems they do, for God addresses all Israel in verse 12. But here the message takes a positive turn. God says He will eventually assemble all of Israel from all the lands to which they have been scattered—a humbled remnant left after the great destruction that is coming—to at last walk uprightly in His ways. The message of God is ever one of hope. Despite the wrongdoing of man and the punishment he heaps upon himself, God is merciful beyond all imagination. And He will save His people yet.

We will read the rest of Micah soon.

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