Reading: Micah 1:10-16; 2 Kings 19:1-19
Micah prophesied in the days of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah. What he describes in the verses 10-16 is probably the attack of Sennacherib on Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Hezekiah, as described in 2 Kings 18 and 19. In 2 Kings 19, Hezekiah brought this before the LORD and acknowledged that God only is God and the other gods are no gods. Then God saved His people.
God’s punishment is not focused on the destruction of His people, but it is His will that they return to Him and receive life! That they receive freedom and that they prosper. That is what happened under Hezekiah after Sennacherib went too far.
Where Samaria refused to return to the LORD and king Hoshea did not put his trust in God, there Hezekiah acted differently. And with that, the coming of God’s judgment in the exile of His people was postponed. However, this was only temporary. The son of Hezekiah, Manasseh, continued again in sin, at least at the beginning of his reign.
Micah will continue to warn the people. And to prophesy about God’s coming judgment. But he did so in a spirit of love and a desire for God’s people to return and receive God’s blessings. The prophecy in these verses must be seen in that context.
In verse 16 Micah speaks about the precious children, and knows what is going to happen to them. Their descendants will go into exile, they will be led into captivity. Because of their sins in which the children continue. If it is not for their own sake, let they then seek what is good for their children. They should realise how their decisions impact that of their children. How their example will be followed by their children. For the sake of the love for their children, let them repent, or else they will have to mourn and wail about them.
Micah’s warnings are not without hope. We must see this prophecy in the context of forgiveness and restoration. At the end of chapter 2 Micah does speak about a remnant that will be saved. Even though God had to punish his people, He will never give them up completely. It is His grace and His wonderful work through which He will continue to gather His people. That is the context which we must always keep in mind when we read through the prophecies in the Old Testament. We should never lose sight of God’s work throughout the history in the Old Testament.
Jonah, the book that comes before the book of Micah in the Old Testament, went and prophesied to Nineveh about destruction and punishment, without mentioning God’s grace. He wanted Nineveh to be destroyed. God in His grace did show love and did not want Nineveh to be destroyed.
Here, Micah prophesies, full of love and pity for his people, from the strong desire that they would repent, mourning for their sin, and their punishment.
Throughout the Bible God shows to us that He so loved the world, that He did not want the world to perish, but He gave His only Son, Jesus Christ, so that all those who believe in Him will not perish but have eternal life.
Now in the New Testament God sends us out as prophets, into the world. Go, make all nations to My disciples, Jesus Christ said. God does not want this world to perish. Jesus Christ wants all nations to become His disciples. What is our desire? Do we want the world to find salvation, only in Jesus Christ? Are we like Jonah, or like Micah?
We have been saved by our Lord Jesus Christ, not to live happily ever after, but to proclaim the great deeds of Him, Who called us out of darkness into His marvelous light.
We see the world in which we live, wallowing in sin. We see God’s judgment approaching: The mountains tremble and melt, volcanoes erupt, wherever God treads on the earth. The earth trembles and shakes, earthquakes split open the earth, announcing the coming of the LORD. He sends His heat in drought and forest fires, but also His fire in flashing lightning and in thunder. Wars are destroying this earth, people live in fear and anguish. And so many around us continue on their sinful ways, pushing for a more and more sinful lifestyle, rejecting all those who call them to repent and return to God.
Even though the world refuses to listen, we are put on this earth as the witnesses of our Lord Jesus Christ. The world will seek to kill the witnesses, but God in His almighty power will do what pleases Him.
It is our task to go out and preach Jesus Christ. The church shall not remain silent. Do we preach God’s wrath from a desire of revenge, or do we preach God’s love which He showed to us in His Son Jesus Christ, as the only way to escape God’s eternal wrath over sin?
Even though it may seem as if this world doesn’t listen, we will continue to preach God’s love to this world, even in times when we have to warn for God’s coming judgment over the sin of the nations.
Let in everything God’s name be glorified, in all His ways and work, now and forever.
Key Text: John 3:16: For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
Meditation: Do we so love the world that we want all people to come to repentance and be saved, or do we look upon them in anger and in a quiet hope for revenge? Do we care for those who live in hopelessness and despair in this world and are we willing to show them hospitality and love? How do we do that?