WHO IS A HOLY GOD LIKE YOU – AWESOME IN JUDGMENT?
THE SOVEREIGN GOD JUDGES RIGHTEOUSLY AND WILL ULTIMATELY BRING RESTORATION AS THE SHEPHERD-KING
I. (2:1-5) EXPLOITATION BY THE RICH WILL BE JUDGED – TAKING THE LAND AWAY FROM THE LAND GRABBERS
A. (:1-2) Targeting Evil Doers for Judgment
1. (:1) Evil Doers Assume They Are In Control
“Woe to those who scheme iniquity.
Who work out evil on their beds!
When morning comes, they do it,
For it is in the power of their hands.”
2. (:2) Evil Doers Rob the Defenseless
“They covet fields and then seize them,
And houses, and take them away.
They rob a man and his house, A man and his inheritance.”
Ryrie: The wealthy lie awake at night on their beds planning the next day’s evil deeds. It is in the power of their hands. The land-grabbing upper classes thought that “might makes right.” They unjustly took away the land (inheritance, v. 2) of the poor, a most serious matter in an agricultural community.
B. (:3-5) Turning the Tables on the Land Grabbers
1. (:3) Crushing Their Pride
“Therefore thus says the Lord,
‘Behold, I am planning against this family a calamity
From which you cannot remove your necks;
And you will not walk haughtily,
For it will be an evil time.’”
2. (:4) Converting Their Possessions
“On that day they will take up against you a taunt
And utter a bitter lamentation and say,
‘We are completely destroyed!
He exchanges the portion of my people;
How he removes it from me!
To the apostate He apportions our fields.’”
3. (:5) Canceling Their Privileges
“Therefore you will have no one stretching a measuring line
For you by lot in the assembly of the Lord.”
Goins: This is a frightening summary of these covetous people, who will reap what they have sown. This dreadful harvest of their sins will appear one day, even though they find it hard to believe right now. Self-confidence and pride will be stripped from them. Their authority will be gone, holdings torn from their possession, and they will see everything they’ve lived and worked for, and sinned to acquire, ripped out of their grasp. The Assyrian and then the Babylonian invaders will take all of their possessions, and the people who survive will be taken off to exile. They will die apart from their home land, but will also be separated from all the property around which they have built their life.
II. (2:6-11) EXPLANATION OF ISRAEL’S REPROACH: UNCLEANNESS BRINGS DESTRUCTION
A. (:6-7) Cover Ups and Complaints Accomplish Nothing
1. (:6) Only the Truth Can Lead to Repentance
“Do not speak out, so they speak out.
But if they do not speak out concerning these things,
Reproaches will not be turned back.”
Constable: The writer used another wordplay. False prophets were “speaking out” (lit. “dripping,” Heb. natap) and telling Micah not to “speak out,” not to announce the message of coming judgment for sin. These prophets were trying to silence him because they did not like his message (cf. Isa. 30:10; Amos 7:10-13). They were saying that Micah and his fellow true prophets, such as Isaiah, should not prophesy as they were doing. As long as they did, disgrace (for the sins they were charging the people with) would not leave the Israelites.
A. Fraser: Angered by this straight speaking, they tell Micah to be quiet; but the prophet answers bitterly that it is because they do not care to be made to feel uncomfortable that they wish him to desist. Or the whole of verse 6 may be taken as the words of the rich men who, when remonstrated with, reply with confused cries: “Stop your prophesying! They are prophesying (at us)! They shall do no such thing! Will their reproaches never cease?”
2. (:7) God Remains Blameless
“Is it being said, O house of Jacob;
‘Is the Spirit of the Lord impatient?
Are these His doings?’
Key: Do not My words do good to the one walking uprightly?
B. (:8-9) Charge of Shameful Exploitation
“Recently My people have arisen as an enemy –
You strip the robe off the garment from unsuspecting passers-by,
From those returned from war.
The women of My people you evict,
Each one from her pleasant house.
From her children you take My splendor forever.”
C. (:10) Sin Demands Destruction
“Arise and go, for this is no place of rest
Because of the uncleanness that brings on destruction,
A painful destruction.”
D. (:11) Value System Driven By Empty Decadence
“If a man walking after wind and falsehood had told lies and said,
‘I will speak out to you concerning wine and liquor,’
He would be spokesman to this people.”
Contrasted with Messianic leadership of v. 13
Constable: Micah bemoaned the fact that the Israelites had become so responsive to the false prophets that if one of them even spoke out (cf. v. 6) promising alcohol galore they would follow him. Any prophet who preached greater affluence and prosperity would have a receptive audience. In contrast, Micah’s message of doom was unpopular. God’s people would follow anyone whose prophetic fantasies blew with the wind, in contrast to being led by the Spirit (v. 7), or who lied to them by speaking falsehood.
III. (2:12-13) EXPECTATION OF THE REGATHERING OF ISRAEL AND THE REIGN OF THE MESSIAH – THE SHEPHERD-KING
A. (:12) Regathering of Israel
“I will surely assemble all of you, Jacob,
I will surely gather the remnant of Israel.
I will put them together like sheep in the fold;
Like a flock in the midst of its pasture
They will be noisy with men.”
B. (:13) Reign of the Messiah – the Shepherd-King
“The breaker goes up before them;
They break out, pass through the gate and go out by it.
So their king goes on before them,
And the Lord at their head.”