The Genesis To Revelation Bible Course
By WILLIAM M. GROOM, Th.M., D.D.
Lesson No. 31 – Micah
Copyright, 1921 BY THE BIBLE STUDY PUBLISHING CO.
* KEYWORD–“SOCIAL SINS.”
* KEY VERSE–Mic 2:2.
* KEY PHRASE–“GOD REBUKES THE RICH, THE UNWORTHY RULERS, AND THE FALSE PROPHETS.”
Read a chapter a day in Micah. For the family altar:–
* Sunday–The Lord Witness Against Israel,–Mic 1:1-6.
* Monday–Social Sins Condemned,–Mic 2:1-5.
* Tuesday–Sins of the Rich,–Mic 3:1-8.
* Wednesday–Future Kingdom of Messiah,–Mic 4:1-5.
* Thursday–Christ Shall Be Born at Bethlehem,–Mic 5:1-4.
* Friday–The Lord’s Requirements,–Mic 6:1-8.
* Saturday–God Delighteth in Mercy,–Mic 7:15-20.
Writer--Micah was born at Moresheth, some 25 miles south of Jerusalem. He prophesied in the reign of Hezekiah, Jer 26:18, sympathizing he same time as did Isaiah, about 758-700 B. C. Micah was a representative of the common people, and of the country life of Judea, while Isaiah preached to the city and the court. “To Micah, the villager, the unjust treatment of the helpless poor by men of wealth and power is the sin that cries aloud to heaven. He has little to say about idolatry.” He saw and felt keenly the social wrongs of the age.
TIMES OF MICAH–During his life. time the northern kingdom, Israel, was taken Intel captivity. Israel would not heed Micah’s warning, but Judah did and was saved for the time being. With all the other prophets he taught that national sins would lead to national downfall.
PURPOSE–To show that God’s plan to redeem men should not be frustrated, even though he had to punish his chosen people for their sins.
Great Fact I. Threat of Judgement
Mic 1; 2.
Micah begins with an account of the coming of the Lord to call Israel to account for its wrongs. Samaria, which was first in wickedness, shall be the first to fall before the avenging enemy. A similar fate shall befall Judah, and its people shall be deported, for among them is oppression, injustice, and violence. The false prophets only pander to their evil ways. However, God will not cast them off altogether.
LESSON–Like the Master Himself, Micah had no quarrel with the worthy rich, but he knew. the perils of wealth and he saw that many who were exposed to that peril quickly went wrong. He insisted that too often the worst citizens were not the wretched poor who had everything to drag them down, but the idle rich, who had everything that was supposed to lift them up. Of course, there were then, as now, bad men among the poor, but the proportion seems to have been greater among the rich. Here is Micah in the age-long trinity of evil; the idle rich, the unworthy ruler, the false prophet, and the worst of these is the false prophet, for he winked at their vices and justified the wicked with a reward. More and more, men are coming to realize the social value of the gospel. In spite of injustices and wrongs, the teachings and power of Christ are bringing in a better social order. God helps us to be brothers by making us His sons. The gospel is the real hope of the world, Lu 4:18.
Great Fact II. Salvation in Messianic Times
Mic 3; 4; 5.
Micah was no mere prophet of judgment and of gloom. His heart was full of hop and his voice full of song. He looked beyond the discipline that would coin through failure to the day when royal power shall again be seated in Jerusalem. Christ Himself shall reign there in the midst of universal peace, nations will flock unto it to learn piety and true religion, His kingdom shall extend to the ends of the earth, every man shall sit under his vine and fig tree and none shall make him afraid.
Micah assures us:–
1. Of the future establishment of Christ’s kingdom with Jerusalem as its capital, Mic 4:1
2. That the future kingdom will be universal, Mic 4:2.
3. That lasting peace shall prevail, Mic 4:3.
4. That peace shall lead to general prosperity, Mic 4:4.
The picture of triumph, righteousness, and peace is followed by a distinct promise of restoration from exile, Mic 4:6, although Micah does not disguise the fact that the Babylonian captivity will be a period of anguish. His great prophecy as to where the Christ-child shall be born, Mic 6:2, was accepted as final by the Jews.
LESSON–Micah describes the ideal conditions that will exist in an ideal world, in the ideal age of Christ’s reign. As the center of all peace, freedom, and love, he places the religion of the Lord, for “He will teach us His ways and we will walk in His paths,” Mic 4:2. Let us look for and hasten the coming of the Lord, and the beginning of His glorious reign on the earth, by praying and working for the salvation of individual souls through the gospel. Just as the enemy wrongly occupied Belgium, but one day was completely expelled, so shall the god of this world be dethroned, and Christ shall. be acknowledged by all to be Lord of Lords and King of Kings.
Great Fact III. God’s Controversy with Israel
Mic 6; 7.
In his part, God is represented as holding a controversy or law-suit with his people. He recounts how He was good to them and how He kept His covenant with them. The conscious-stricken people have to plead guilty to the charge of continual backsliding, and the prophet identifying himself with the people, repents of the sins which have occasioned the punishment, looks patiently to God, Puts his sole trust in Him, and in answer to his prayers is rewarded by the promise of deliverance.
Micah contains many special predictions, which summed up are as follows:–
1. The destruction of Samaria, Mic 1:6.
2. The invasion of Judah, Mic 1:9.
3. The overthrow of Jerusalem and the temple, Mic 3:12.
4. The deportation to Babylon, Mic 4:13.
5. The return from exile, the supremacy of Israel, and her peace and happiness under the Messiah, Mic 4:1-8.
6. Christ should be born at Bethlehem Mic 5:2. This prophecy was so unmistakable that the Wise Men were guided by it.
7. The kingdom that Christ shall set up shall be world-wide, peaceful and prosperous, Mic 4:1-5.
LESSON–While Micah paints a charming picture of future blessings, he also insists that the people must have a change of heart, and as evidence of this change they must “do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with their God.” Mic 6:8 is an especially priceless message, and has been called the greatest verse of the Old Testament. If men would “do justly,” they must be conscientious in business, not untrue or unfair in criticism, ever seeking to carry out the Golden Rule.
Mercy and justice joined together, are the qualities that make men God-like Mercy is nobility’s true badge. It radiates a spirit of sweet kindness about the sinful, the suffering and needy. It makes smooth and glad the path through life.
The third demand is the highest, for it requires us to be real friends of God, to have close personal fellowship with Him, to walk the fields of truth, climb the heights of the promises, and soar the watchtowers of prophecy with Him. To walk with Him so often that we get to walk like Him. Thrice blessed is the man who has learned to “walk humbly with his God!”
Questions on the Lesson
1. Who wrote this book and where was he born?
2. In the time of what king and what prophet did he live?
3. What happened to Israel at this time?
4. What did Micah teach about national sins?
5. Give the keyword and key verse.
6. What the purpose of the book?
7. How much of Micah have you read?
8. Name the great facts.
9. Who is the age-long trinity of evil?
10. What is bringing in a better social order?
11. How does God help us to be brothers?
12. Name the four things of which Micah assures us?
13. What is the center of this peace, freedom, and love?
14. Give as many as you can of the special predictions of Micah.
15. On what thing did Micah insist?
16. What was to evidence this change?
17. How can man do justly?
18. What are the benefits of man’s mercy to man?
19. What does it mean to walk humbly with God?
(For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.) — 2 Corinthians 6:2 KJV