The English word prophet in the Old Testament comes from the Hebrew word “nabiy” which means “spokesman” or “speaker”. The Greek word for prophet is “prophētēs”, which can mean “one who speaks forth” or “advocate.” Prophets are also called “seers,” because of their spiritual insight or their ability to “see” the future, as directed by God.
Micah, whose name means “who is like God?” was also a Minor Prophet and a contemporary of Amos, Isaiah, and Hosea who directed his prophecies specifically to Jerusalem and like all the prophets, his warnings were ignored.
Micah identified himself by his hometown, called Moresheth Gath, which is in an agricultural area of Judah about 25 miles southwest of Jerusalem.
Micah 1:1 (NKJV) The word of the LORD that came to Micah of Moresheth in the days of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, which he saw concerning Samaria and Jerusalem.
Micah writes that his ministry took place during the reigns of four kings of Judah Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah. This would make him a contemporary of Isaiah and Hosea and around the time that the northern kingdom of Israel was captured by Assyria in 722. Although he lived in Judah much of Micah's prophecy was directed towards the string of dishonorable kings of Israel in Samara, (who are not named in the book of Micah) and the kings of Judah (some good and some bad) in Jerusalem.
Since Micah was from an agricultural area his ministry shows a great concern for the less fortunate of society.
Micah 4:6-7 (NKJV)6 "In that day," says the LORD, "I will assemble the lame, I will gather the outcast And those whom I have afflicted;7 I will make the lame a remnant, And the outcast a strong nation; So the LORD will reign over them in Mount Zion From now on, even forever.
Why Is Micah Important?
Micah contains one of the most significant prophecies of the Messiah seven hundred year before it’s occurrence.
Micah 5:2 (NKJV)2 "But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Though you are little among the thousands of Judah, Yet out of you shall come forth to Me The One to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old, From everlasting."
There's also a look at what it will be like during the millennial kingdom of Christ.
Micah 4:1-5 (NKJV)1 Now it shall come to pass in the latter days That the mountain of the LORD'S house Shall be established on the top of the mountains, And shall be exalted above the hills; And peoples shall flow to it.2 Many nations shall come and say, "Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, To the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, And we shall walk in His paths." For out of Zion the law shall go forth, And the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.3 He shall judge between many peoples, And rebuke strong nations afar off; They shall beat their swords into plowshares, And their spears into pruning hooks; Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, Neither shall they learn war anymore.4 But everyone shall sit under his vine and under his fig tree, And no one shall make them afraid; For the mouth of the LORD of hosts has spoken.5 For all people walk each in the name of his god, But we will walk in the name of the LORD our God Forever and ever.
There are two very significant prophecies in Micah’s book. The first is the judgement on Israel and Judah.
Micah 1:1-3, 12 (NKJV)1 The word of the LORD that came to Micah of Moresheth in the days of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, which he saw concerning Samaria and Jerusalem.2 Hear, all you peoples! Listen, O earth, and all that is in it! Let the Lord GOD be a witness against you, The Lord from His holy temple.3 For behold, the LORD is coming out of His place; He will come down And tread on the high places of the earth.12 For the inhabitant of Maroth pined for good, But disaster came down from the LORD To the gate of Jerusalem.
The other significant prophecy is the restoration of God’s people in the millennial kingdom of Christ.
Micah 4:1-2 (NKJV)1 Now it shall come to pass in the latter days That the mountain of the LORD'S house Shall be established on the top of the mountains, And shall be exalted above the hills; And peoples shall flow to it.2 Many nations shall come and say, "Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, To the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, And we shall walk in His paths." For out of Zion the law shall go forth, And the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
The following are excerpts from the Bible Teaching Ministry of Charles R. Swindoll - Micah
Judgment and restoration inspire fear and hope, two ideas wrapped up in the final sequence of Micah’s prophecy, a courtroom scene in which God’s people stand trial before their Creator for turning away from Him and from others.
Micah 6:1-2 (NKJV)1 Hear now what the LORD says: "Arise, plead your case before the mountains, And let the hills hear your voice.2 Hear, O you mountains, the LORD'S complaint, And you strong foundations of the earth; For the LORD has a complaint against His people, And He will contend with Israel.
In this sequence, God reminds the people of His good works on their behalf, how He cared for them while they cared only for themselves.
Micah 6:3-4 (NKJV)3 "O My people, what have I done to you? And how have I wearied you? Testify against Me.4 For I brought you up from the land of Egypt, I redeemed you from the house of bondage; And I sent before you Moses, Aaron, and Miriam.
Micah 7:2 (NKJV)2 The faithful man has perished from the earth, And there is no one upright among men. They all lie in wait for blood; Every man hunts his brother with a net.
But rather than leave God’s people with the fear and sting of judgment, the book of Micah concludes with the prophet’s call on the Lord as his only source of salvation and mercy, pointing the people toward an everlasting hope in their everlasting God.
Micah 7:7 (NKJV) Therefore I will look to the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation; My God will hear me.
Much of Micah’s indictment against Israel and Judah involves these nations’ injustice toward the lowly—unjust business dealings, robbery, mistreatment of women and children, and a government that lived in luxury off the hard work of its nation’s people.
Micah’s impassioned plea for God’s chosen people to repent will cut many of us to the quick. Most of us don’t decide daily to cut people down or find ways to carry out injustice. Instead, we do it out of habit. Let’s allow the words of Micah to break us out of our apathy about extending justice and kindness to others and press on toward a world that better resembles the harmonious millennial kingdom to come. Let’s determine to live as God desires.
Micah 6:8 (NKJV) He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?