What does it say?
Contemporary of Hosea, Amos and Isaiah, Micah is another of the eighth century B.C. prophets. From a southwestern town near the Philistine border, Micah addresses both the northern and southern kingdoms, Israel and Judah. Chapter one addresses both Jerusalem and Samaria for their sins. Micah 2 exposes the perversion of prophets and priests. The men of power were exploiting the people.
Micah 4 gives us a glimpse of glory to come with a new Jerusalem, while the last part of the chapter names Babylon as the power that would ultimately destroy the current Jerusalem. The opening verses of Micah 5 are another great Messianic prophecy giving us the information that the Messiah will be born in Bethlehem.
Even in the face of coming judgment God again describes what he requires of his people in Micah 6. God always gives repeated warnings before pulling the trigger on judgment. He is always clear in what he expects of his people. Micah 7 is also a ray of hope in the midst of impending judgment. To the very end, God holds our mercy to those who will turn to him.
What does it mean?
Sometimes Western believers are confused to see the prophets swing from current conditions to Messianic future, a swing of many centuries. While it is correct to say that many prophecies have a double fulfillment, one present and another ultimate fulfillment in the futures, this intertwining of history current and future also serves to remind us that the overarching theme of all history is God’s mission to glorify his name in all the earth.
Read Micah 4:1-7 and think back to Genesis 12:1-3. See also Micah 5:4; 7:8-10 and 7:16-10 with their emphasis on God’s witness to the nations. Everything that we have seen to this point in our Old Testament reading is threaded together by the mission.
How will I respond?
God’s plan is not about me, but about his glory. God doesn’t have a specific, detailed plan for my life that includes where I’ll eat lunch today, but he has included me in HIS plan. This is the essence of what we are seeing. God has the same plan he has always had, the same mission. I have a place within that plan … should I choose. I can choose to feed my own self-interest, comfort and enjoyment and leave a forgettable legacy of irrelevance. Or, I can choose to engage in his mission and be part of making a difference and establishing his kingdom. What will be my kingdom contribution today?