Continuing some thoughts on the book of the prophet Micah. Today looking at chapter 2.
The chapter begins with the Lord’s/Micah’s indictment against the people:
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. 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. (Micah 2:1-2 from the NASB®1)
We see social injustice, oppression and theft being devised and perpetrated. And these perpetrators even lie awake at night planning and scheming!
But in verses 3 to 5 Micah speaks the Lord’s words of judgement against these oppressors ending with “Therefore you will have no one stretching a measuring line For you by lot in the assembly of the LORD.” The oppressors will in turn have their land taken, and there will be no one to restore it. There is no one who will take a measuring line (ie. surveying) and determining their entitlement. For a Jew this was the greatest calamity - their removal from the promised land. It signifies permanent separation from the Lord and the nation.
Verses 6 and 7 are interesting for in verse 6 the people tell Micah to “not speak out”, or, in the words in the New King James version, “Do not prattle”. But verse 7 contains the response, “Is the Spirit of the LORD impatient? Are these His doings? Do not My words do good To the one walking uprightly?”
Verses 8 through 11 contain more of the indictment the Lord holds against His people - they fleece unsuspecting people and evict and dispossess women from their houses (8-9). The judgement against them is a permanent sentence of what they are inflicting on their victims - they will find no rest (10). And the false prophet who proclaims the Lord’s peace and goodwill in the midst of this oppression and injustice will be discovered and revealed (11).
Verses 12 and 13 end this chapter on a positive note:
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. “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.
These couple of verses contain many motifs that continue from the Old Testament to the New: assembly, a remnant, sheep and pasture, deliverance (breaking out). And the final image is of these victorious people being led by a king, and with the Lord ahead of him. It is an image of ultimate safety, victory and deliverance.
Scripture quotations taken from the NASB. Copyright by The Lockman Foundation. ↩︎