The author of this book was the prophet Micah. There isn't much that is known about this man, but the one thing that is certain was the conviction Micah felt towards his own calling. Micah 3:8 demonstrates this. “But truly I am full of power by the spirit of the Lord, and of judgment, and of might, to declare unto Jacob his transgression, and to Israel his sin.” The name “Micah” means, “Who is like Jehovah.” He was from the territory of Judah, but spoke to both Israel and Judah.
This book was written around 735-700 B.C. This was the same time the prophet Isaiah lived as well. 735 B.C is also associated with the start of the reign of king Jotham. 680 B.C. is about the time king Hezekiah's reign was coming to an end.
Micah's geographical location, or his home, was in the small town of Moresheth in the Southern Kingdom. Specifically, Moresheth lay on the border lands between the Philistines and Judah, approximately 25 miles from Jerusalem. Micah refers to Israel being in the north and Judah in the south. This shows that the prophecy from Micah was for all the people of Israel. The place in which Micah grew up had a huge influence on who he became, and why he believed what he believed. Moresheth was something we would refer to as a “country town”, a place out in the middle of nowhere. Moresheth was located outside of the governmental agencies that governed Israel. He knew what it was to live a poor meek life. His ministries especially focused on the lame and persecuted- those who could not defend themselves. While his background directed the focus of his ministry, his background also influenced the direction of his message. Micah preached to the powerful leader- the kings of Sameria and Judah.
Some prominent historical movements are note worthy for this time period and will aid in the understanding of this book.
Historical Purpose- God asks the Israelites to see if they would like to receive his pardon because their “passionless ritual and sin” was making God angry.
Christological Purpose- Israel's ruler, the nations' judge, Jacob's God and Christ's birthplace are shared.
Doctrinal Purpose- Covenants made by God are faithfully kept, grace is bestowed by God to pardon,“empty formal religion” is condemned, and “social justice” is something that God is concerned about.
The book of Micah is divided up into two sections: the Lord's consolation and denunciation. First, because of Judah and Samaria's idolatry, God made an accusation against Samariah. Trickery and unfairness was the wickedness of the prices and prophets. Idolatry was the fault of Judah and Samaria. Judah had wicked sins beside Idolatry. Second, God's people will be saved by God.
Since the first verses in the book of Micah associate this time with the period of king Hezekiah, it is probable that the sins Micah was prophesying against are recorded in 2 Kings chapters 18-20.
I. Particular Sins Condemned
A. Idolatry 1:7; 5:13 B. Evil plans and devices 2:1 C. Covetousness 2:2 D. Rapacity of princes, prophets, and priests 3:2 - 11 E. Witchcraft 5:12 F. Dishonesty 6:10 - 12 G. Corruption 7:2 - 4 H. Treachery 7:5 - 6
II. Future Hopes
A. Establishment of a Righteous Kingdom 4:1 - 8 B. Coming of the Messiah 5:2 C. Reformation and Restoration of the nation 7:7 - 17 D. Triumph of Divine Grace 7:18 - 20
The book of Micah proves to be the most significant prophesy of Jesus birth. A specific verse demonstrating this foreshadowing is Micah 5:2, “But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.” This verse alludes to the birth place of Christ hundreds of years before it actually came to pass.
An even more powerful forshadowing is Micah 5:5, “And this man shall be the peace, when the Assyrian shall come into our land: and when he shall tread in our palaces, then shall we raise against him seven shepherds, and eight principal men.” This verse is a pictures of what the reign of the future prince of peace will look like. The millennial kingdom will be characterized by all the nations being able to coexist in a loving and peaceful manner.
There are a couple of things that we can learn from Micah.
1. The name Micah means, “Who is like God or… Jehovah.” We need to be Christlike. This means that we should confess sin, and “walk humbly.”
2. Micah carried a lot of knowledge about discipline and judgement. God sent Micah because He loved His people. He did not want to hurt them. Judgment is guaranteed if disobedience is not repented and corrected. It is also because of Gods abundant love that He will punish us. Sin is the equivalent of death, and because we are wicked human beings we deserve to go to hell. But God in His lovingkindness provided a way for us to go to Heaven to be with Him. The key is we have to follow Him. God helps us stay on the right track by allowing the consequences of our wrong actions to overcome us. We need to understand what sin really is in order to understand who we really are in christ.
Thompson, Frank Charles. The Thompson Chain-Reference Bible, 5th ed. B.B. Kirkbride Bible Co, 1988.