Micah, Michah, Mica, Micha [Mī'cah,Mī'chah, Mī'că, Mī'cha]—who is like jehovah.
Micah prophesied during the reign of Jothan, Ahaz and Hezekiah (Mic. 1:1; Jer. 26:18). He was a younger contemporary of Hosea. He is called “the Morasthite” since he came from Moresheth Gath. Micah, unlike Isaiah, was no politician. He did not censure the habit of looking to Egypt or to Assyria for help. He denounces the depravity of the nation, and threatens the vengeance of God. Isaiah prophesied to royalty, Micah ministered to common people, the sort who heard Jesus gladly. Isaiah was a courtier; Micah, a rustic from an obscure town some twenty-five miles southwest of Jerusalem.
Micah was probably a yeoman, farming his own plot of land, and in vivid sympathy with the class to which he belonged. The land hunger of rich men, always to be deprecated, was positively dangerous to a country like Palestine with little foreign trade, relying mainly on the produce of the soil for the support of its citizens. The grasping avarice of large landholders doomed to poverty a considerable part of the population, and so Micah stands out as a preacher to the poor and oppressed. He regarded selfish luxury, joined with oppression of the poor, as the crowning sin of Judah. The people were heavily taxed, the Assyrians demanding large payments in tribute to satisfy their lavishness in their architectural magnificence. Thus Zion was built up with blood and Jerusalem with iniquity (Mic. 3:10). Because of such exaction and idolatry, Micah was called and empowered to declare the judgment of God (Mic. 3:8).
Micah was a man of strong convictions and corresponding courage, and as a true preacher, uncovered sin and pointed to the coming Christ. As a prophet he went against the stream and uttered truths the people did not want. For this he was consequently stoned—the usual lot of a faithful prophet. His cry, in essence, was:
Back to Bethlehem (Mic. 5:2). In other words, back to the Messianic hope. Back to David, who did so much for the nation, and to whom God promised He would raise up the Messiah. Back to David, the constant ideal of the monarchy. The Messiah of Israel’s coming golden age would be like David.
Back to ethical righteousness (Mic. 6:8). Micah brushed aside all former ritual in favor of a righteousness given by God, and that had a heart for the need of others. It was a righteousness based upon God’s salvation.
Back to the prince of peace (Mic. 4:1-3; 5:2-7). Micah heralded the message that the reign of the Messiah was Israel’s only hope of peace. We know it to be the only hope of world peace. The Messianic predictions form the most significant passages in Micah.
The most outstanding incident in Micah’s prophetic career was his preaching which led to the reformation under Hezekiah (Jer. 26:18). When king and people sought God and repented, He turned from the fierceness of His anger. The humble crofter of Philistia was chosen as God’s messenger to the people, and the secret of his power was the fulness of the Holy Spirit (Mic. 3:8).
The book Micah wrote is characterized by deep spirituality, with a simple, but not rugged style. Sin and corruption, the sighing and agony of the people over the misrule of men in authority, the insistence on return to God, are all dealt with in no uncertain tones (Mic. 1:2; 3:1; 6:1). Broadly speaking, Micah’s prophecy can be divided thus:
Chapters one, two and three—judgment.
Chapters four and five—comfort.
Chapters six and seven—salvation.
Devotional content drawn from All the Men of the Bible by Herbert Lockyer. Used with permission.