Have you ever learned from someone else's mistakes? We can save ourselves much pain by watching someone suffer the consequences of doing something that we easily could have done. In this book the prophet Micah wonders why Judah does not learn from Israel.
After his death (922 B.C.) Solomon's kingdom was divided. To the north was Israel and to the south, Judah. Micah preaches before, during and after the time when Assyria comes from the east and destroys Israel (722 B.C.).
The society Micah portrays is not much different from what can be seen in the news today. People seize the property of others. The streets arefilled with violence; widows and their children are thrown out of their homes. Yet Micah does not point to gangs as the source of the problem, but to the leaders. Prophet, priest and king alike commit wickedness toward those they are to protect. The prideful leaders sell prophecy for a price and cheat justice for a bribe.
Therefore Micah's message is largely one of judgment and doom. He knows that God will not ignore the plight of the innocent, nor will the Lord keep a blind eye toward the wicked. Micah boldly proclaims the impending destruction of God's people for their sins. In the first chapter Micah declares the impending destruction of Israel for her faithlessness. From the second chapter on he warns Judah of impending doom for the same faults as Israel.
Yet Micah's message also contains clear messages of hope. At the end of chapters 2 and 7, along with chapters 4 and 5, we see that God will again have mercy on Judah. Micah holds out the promise of both a Messiah and a messianic age when all people will flock to the Lord's house.
Micah is not the first prophet to proclaim God's judgment against his people. He was preceded by Hosea and Amos. We can also be sure that the refugees from Israel, who quadrupled the population of Jerusalem, gave the Judeans eyewitness accounts of how God judged them. Unfortunately, the Judeans did not learn. Will we do any better?