These studies on Micah started as personal readings as I had no understanding of Micah and who he was talking to. Having been accosted by a pastor who told me to stay away from Eschatology, I was thrilled to see that Micah spoke with precision about such things. Another aspect of Micah that has troubled me for years was the division of the Northern and Southern Jewish kingdoms, Israel in the north, and Judah in the South. I feel strongly that I have a clear picture of much of that.
The men I sit with several days a week, are always asking me what I am studying, that prompted me to turn my own questions and thoughts into something that might help someone else understand. I realize that much of scripture is self-evident, however, if you grew up in church, as I did, then you have a lot of tales, traditions, and false teachings to undo. Undoing these things takes some dedication on your part, and that lack of commitment to God’s word becomes evident as the people around you will fight with you to maintain those tales and traditions.
Here it is November 9, 2018, and this morning we learned that a beautiful, peaceful, retirement community of Paradise, Ca. has pretty much burned to the ground. The lady who put up the video and showed you the destruction as they drove out of town to safety, continually said, “Oh my God!” You see, the majority of us have just enough experience with a self-serving and convenient religion that we can fight back with religious terminology. We are not fooling anyone, for we have chosen to do what Israel not only did but still does, they turned their back on God. They will, however, just like the person on the street, fight to protect what they think is right.
If I had one purpose it would be to get people interested and excited about reading the Word of God. I find it a fascinating journey, and I know the end of the story.
Enough of this, on with the study.
Micah 2:1 MKJV Woe to those who plot wickedness and prepare evil on their beds! When the morning is light they practice it, because it is in the power of their hand.
to those who plot wickedness.“
prepare evil on their beds!”
they have the power to do what they want.”
Micah 2:2 MKJV And they covet and seize fields, and houses, and take them away. And they oppress a man and his household, even a man and his inheritance.
- “they covet and seize fields, and houses, and take them away.”
In a previous post on Micah, I made a point of talking about the things that would have motivated the prophet (you know, life.) For example: suppose God brings some Hells Angel motorcycle rider to Christ. That man would undoubtedly have a rough exterior until God is through refining the man (by the way, God won’t be done perfecting us until we are changed just before entering heaven.) Micah had to deal with people like, King Ahab, who wanted the field of Naboth; a field which was profitable and happened to be next to the castle. Ordinary ploys at bartering did nothing to change the mind of Naboth, and so, Ahab’s wife, who had the power in her hands to take it, had Naboth killed. There is no reason to think that Micah would not have found out about this, especially since Jezebel’s actions brought a relatively swift judgment against her, and she was thrown out of an upper window, where she splattered and was eaten by dogs, leaving nothing to bury. This kind of action is high drama.
- “And they oppress a man and his household, even a man and his inheritance.” By power wrest the estates out of the hands of the owners. This kind of action is precisely what I was trying to portray when I brought up Naboth.
Seized property. The acquisition of property by oppressing the poor and weak violates both the law against coveting as well as the injunction not to violate the covenantal division of the land to each Israelite household after the conquest. Despite these laws, the mounting debt of small landowners and the political power exercised by large landowners led to abuses, which are mentioned in Egyptian wisdom literature (Instruction of Amenemope).[From the IVPBBC]
Isaiah 5:8 MKJV Woe to those who join house to house, laying field to field, until the end of space, and you are made to dwell alone in the middle of the land!
Oppressive real estate development. Expansion of real estate holdings in the ancient world was usually at someone else’s expense. The story of Ruth is such a tale. Even though the Jews had laws which demanded that another Jew’s property was to be returned after seven years, the Jewish investors looked for ways to get around these laws. In Israel, this was a theological as well as an economic crisis. Since God had given them the land as a benefit of the covenant, each family considered its landholdings as its little share in the covenant. Therefore, what otherwise would be a financial tragedy (often with an oppressive dimension) also served to deprive family members of their part in the covenant.
Here in America we had, several years ago, some lousy banking practices where they made sub-prime loans. These loans were made to people who would not be able to make their payments, and a deluge of people lost their homes to foreclosure.
Micah 2:3 MKJV So Jehovah says this: Behold, against this family I am plotting an evil from which you shall not remove your necks; nor shall you go proudly, but it is an evil time.
- “against this family.”
- “I am plotting an evil from which you shall not remove your necks; ”
- “nor shall you go proudly, but it is an evil time.”
Judges 2:15 MKJV Wherever they went out, the hand of Jehovah was against them for evil, as Jehovah had said, and as Jehovah had sworn to them. And they were greatly distressed.
Jeremiah 8:3 MKJV And death shall be chosen rather than life by all the rest of those who remain of this evil family, who remain in all the places where I have driven them, says Jehovah of Hosts.
Amos 3:1 MKJV Hear this Word that Jehovah has spoken against you, sons of Israel, against the whole family which I brought up from the land of Egypt, saying,
Micah 2:4 MKJV In that day one shall take up a parable against you and mourn a mourning of mournings, saying, We shall be completely laid waste. He has exchanged the share of my people. How He has removed it from me! To the apostate He has divided our fields.
be completely laid waste.”
Micah 2:4 ISV When this happens, someone will compose a proverb about you, lamenting sorrowfully, ‘We are completely ruined! He has given my people’s heritage to others. How he has removed it from me, dividing up our fields!’
God restored Israel to their land; this restoration began to happen 1917 with the Balfour agreements. But Israel became an acknowledged nation in 1948. And yet, here again, Israel will be completely laid waste. To those who do not read the Bible, with the purpose of understanding, this makes no sense, and neither does God. We are told things like God is love, and because of love, God gave His only Son to die so that the world, through Him, could be saved.
Why then does He not just save these people He calls his own?
Note how I said, through Him, we could be saved. It is an open-ended invitation, and all one has to do is to walk through the door. Soon that door, which is now open, will be closed; and thus will end the age of Grace. Is the opportunity to find or come to Him still available? Indeed, but after the catching away of the church, you will have to prove your allegiance through your actions and testimony. In the face of some entity, like ISIS, you will probably lose your head. Here in America, where loving God is on the verge of becoming a criminal act, you will probably be arrested and thrown into one the FEMA camps that are already set up across this nation. There is a good chance you will die by guillotine. I failed to mention that during the seven years following the catching away of the church, the violence and animosity towards mere people will skyrocket. And none of this accounts for the destruction God will send upon the earth.
How do I know this stuff? I have read my Bible and subjected myself to lousy Bible studies, that were so bad that I had to go home and study out what scripture had to say myself. My guess is you figured out that I am no Einstein; I am just a regular guy that has learned to rely heavily on God’s grace and mercy.