The character of God
Against the background of human failure we see throughout the prophecy Gods program of redemption through the sending of His Son as the rightful heir, who would ultimately deal with the basic problem of sin through bearing it away. Note the alternative translation of Micah 7:18, Who is a God unto Thee who beareth the iniquity.
The details of the book
In Micah 1:3-5 we discover that God will indeed intervene in the affairs of men. Do these vivid verses refer to Gods intervention in the time of Micah or to the final intervention just before our Lords millennial kingdom? Note that the language here described is analogous to the description in Psalm 97 of our Lord Jesus Christ returning to set up His kingdom. Micah speaks of mountains melting and valleys being cleft. This will happen, according to Psalm 97 when He does return. It appears that Micah is confirming the Psalmists prophesy that God will intervene dramatically as predicted to bring in the Kingdom. However, such is the character of God (Micah – who is like God), He has a wonderful program of redemption before that final dread intervention. First of all He would send His Son as Savior (chapter 5) before He will bring Him in as Judge.
One of the first interventions would be the driving of the Northern Kingdom into captivity. Samaria would be left as an heap of the field (Micah 1:6). The progress of the Assyrian invader is charted from city to city (1:10-16). There is a colorful play on words here as the name of each city carried significance in the Hebrew. After such a fearful captivity, what then of the inheritance? Micah must have wondered. God reveals to Micah the answer. Despite the invasion of the land by the Assyrian armies and the resultant destruction (1:10-16), God will eventually bring The Heir. This was Gods program to bring in the Heir in rejection initially. This is in contrast to the description at the beginning of the chapter where the coming of the Lord to reign is seen as a fearful and majestic thing. However, such is Gods character, that the Heir would initially come in rejection. Then ultimately we see that this Heir would feed His people like a shepherd (feed Thy people with Thy rod, the flock of Thine heritage Ch 7:14).
If in chapter 1 we find that God will intervene to leave Samaria (the northern Jewish capital) as an heap, at the end of chapter 3 we discover that He would intervene again to leave Jerusalem (the southern Jewish capital) as heaps (plural). The use of heaps (plural) indicates that the judgment on Jerusalem would be even more devastating than the judgment on Samaria. This was very hard for Micah to write, particularly since he was a man who was very much concerned with the well-being of Gods inheritance. However, such was the awful corruption that had taken hold in Judah and Jerusalem (described in ch 2 and 3), that God would be forced to act in this dramatic way. Why? Chapter 4 brings to Micah the answer. It was all because God had an ultimate program of millennial glory when the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established in the top of the mountains and it shall be exalted above the hills and people shall flow into it And the Lord shall reign over them in Mount Zion from henceforth even for ever. The point is that despite the failings of the nation of Israel, God still had promised Abraham that through his seed, all nations of the earth would be blessed (Micah 7:20). God would deal with the nation of Israel firmly but He would graciously provide the godly remnant of Israel in Micahs day with very clear prophecies that His program of bringing into the world the Redeemer was still very much on course and not altered by a broken law. This is the key to understanding chapters 4 and 5 of Micahs prophecy. It is full of Gods Messianic program, and written here as a comfort to the godly minority in Micahs day who were soon to face very trying times ahead. Do not My words do good to him that walketh uprightly? (Micah 2:7). In other words, the curses of Mount Ebal would be enacted because of a broken law with the result that captivity was inevitable. However, God would be pleased to reveal His character (who is like God) through revealing His Son as Savior!
The Messianic Prophesies, Ch 4, 5.
We have seen in chapters 1-3 the sad inability of the nation under the law to effect the eventual program of the Messiah reigning supreme in Jerusalem. Due to their intrinsic weakness and sinfulness, Jerusalem ends as heaps, and the mountain of the house as the high places of the forest (Mic 3:12). What an eloquent testimony to the futility of law-keeping in bringing in the millennial inheritance! But, remember what Micah says, Do not my words do good to him that walketh uprightly? (Mic 2:7). Micah is now directed by the Spirit of God to tell the godly remnant that Gods program will be effected despite the sin of the nation – for who is like God! And what a majestic program God has in store! The mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established in the top (head) of the mountains and it shall be exalted above the hills. The mountain here referred to is literal Mount Zion, the seat of the divine government. Zion which has been left as heaps, will one day be restored to the place of supreme government in the world.