Micah was one of the minor prophets of the Old Testament. The name Micah means, “Who is like Yahweh?” The prophet was called a “Morasthite,” a term applied to one who came from the village of Moresheth-gath. His prophetic ministry took place in 8th-century B.C. The fact that his father’s name is not mentioned may suggest that he was a man of humble birth.
He was the younger contemporary of Isaiah and of Hosea, both of whom began their ministry in the reign of Uzziah, the predecessor of Jotham (Isa. 1:1; Hosea 1:1). He was a Judean from the fact that he mentions only the kings of Judah (Micah 1:1).
Micah, ministered in the critical period when Assyria was the dominant world power. In his own country, Jotham, the king of Judah when he began his prophetic ministry “did that which was right in the sight of the Lord,” although the people of his kingdom “sacrificed and burned incense still in the high places” (2 Kings 15:34, 35). Sadly, Ahaz, Jotham’s son and successor, was an evil king who burned “his children in the fire, after the abominations of the heathen” (2 Chron. 28:3). Ahaz was probably the most idolatrous king who had reigned over Judah.
The contents of Micah’s book set forth the moral and religious conditions among the people during the reigns mentioned. There were many false prophets who curried the favor of the people by assuring them that good times lay ahead, while scoffing at the threatened judgments that the true prophets of the Lord predicted would surely result from the nation’s multiplying transgressions.
Hezekiah succeeded Ahaz, and he was as devoted to God as his father had been devoted to idols. “He trusted in the Lord God of Israel; so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor any that were before him” (2 Kings 18:5). He resolutely set about to undo his father’s apostasy, to reform the moral and spiritual conditions of Judah, to abolish idolatry, and to bring his people back to the true worship of the Lord. In this he was supported by Micah. Reformation characterized the reign of Hezekiah.
Two main themes predominate in the book of Micah: (1) the condemnation of the sins of the people and the consequent chastisement in captivity, and (2) the deliverance of Israel and the glory and gladness of the Messianic kingdom. Throughout the book of Micah threatening and promise, judgment and mercy, alternate.
Micah’s language is poetical. His style is simple, and forthright. He is bold, stern, and uncompromising in dealing with sin, yet kind and sorrowful in spirit, loving, and sympathetic.
Tradition says that he died peacefully in the place of his birth in the early part of Hezekiah’s reign before the fall of Samaria.
In His service,
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