Searchlights from the Word by G. Campbell Morgan: Micah

Helpful outline sermon suggestion from every chapter from the Book of Micah

Gene Exod Levi Numb Deut Josh Judg Ruth 1Sam 2Sam 1Kin 2Kin 1Chr 2Chr Ezra Nehe Esth Job_ Psal Prov Eccl Song Isai Jere Lame Ezek Dani Hose Joel Amos Obad Jona Mica Nahu Haba Zeph Hagg Zech Mala Matt Mark Luke John Acts Roma 1Cor 2Cor Gala Ephe Phil Colo 1The 2The 1Tim 2Tim Titu Phle Hebr Jame 1Pet 2Pet 1Joh 2Joh 3Joh Jude Reve

The Book of Micah - "Searchlights from the Word" by G. Campbell Morgan.

Chapter 1

Hear ye peoples, all of you....
Micah 1:2

Micah was a prophet to the people of God contemporary with Isaiah and Hosea. His messages were concerned with Samaria and Jerusalem, the capitals respectively of the Northern and Southern kingdoms, as being the centres of national thought and action. Their burden was that of authority. He denounced the false, and announced the true. The book contains three discourses, each commencing with the same formula "Hear" (see 1:2; 3:1 and 6:1). The words we have emphasized constitute the introduction to the first of these. Necessarily the message was for the nation to which he spoke, but he couched it in the form of an address to all nations; and to the whole earth. The burden of the message is that of declaring the coming judgment of God upon the chosen nation on account of its apostasy. The nations are called upon to listen to this message, and to witness the Divine judgment. Micah recognized the Divine purpose of the chosen nation. It was to be the medium through which God bore witness concerning Himself to all the nations of the world. Israel, obedient to the Divine government, realized the blessings of the Divine government, and revealed its beneficence to the world. Israel disobedient to that law must be judged and punished, and thus the righteousness of the Divine government would be manifested to all the nations of the earth. Either in blessing or in blasting, Jehovah reveals Himself to the nations by His dealing with His ancient people. This is still so, if men have minds to apprehend. Let the rulers among the nations consider the history of the Hebrew people; let them ponder the reason of their long-continued suffering and scattered condition. God is speaking yet to the nations through the Jew.

Chapter 2

Therefore thus saith the Lord; Behold, against this family do I devise an evil ...
Micah 2:3

After a graphic description of the coming judgment (1:6-16) the prophet declared the nature of the sin of the nation (2:1). It will be noticed that the sin was peculiarly the sin of the ruling classes. The period was one of material prosperity, but the power of this was in the hands of the rulers. In view of this power, they planned and plotted in the night, and in the day carried out their plans. Their rule was that of oppression. The note in this charge which reveals the deepest wrong, is that in which the prophet declared that the oppression was not an action of sudden passion, or of swift moral collapse. It was premeditated. Observe the force of the word devise: "Woe to them that devise iniquity." This gives force to the declaration: "Behold against this family do I devise an evil." Men deliberately plot and plan in the darkness, devise iniquity in the night, when their fellow men cannot see, do not know. But God is not deceived, He knows; and over against the devising of wickedness, is set His devising. They devise iniquity against their fellows; but Jehovah devises evil against them. This is ever so, and the evil which God devises against the devising of iniquity is ever the outworking of that very iniquity in its reaction upon the evil workers. There is no escape from God; and that fact is the reason of confidence, and the secret of peace, in the days most full of the apparent triumph of evil men.

Chapter 3

The heads thereof judge for reward, and the priests thereof teach for hire, and the prophets thereof divine for money.
Micah 3:11

The second of Micah's messages was addressed to the rulers, and was concerned with the coming of God's true Ruler. Its first movement is contained in this chapter. It consisted of a denunciation of those in authority, both princes and priests and prophets, and an exposure of the falseness of their authority. In these words the whole evil is graphically stated, and relentlessly unmasked. The heads, that is the civil rulers or princes, exercised their judicial function for reward. They were open to bribery, their decisions could be bought by those able to reward them. The priests taught for hire, and therefore their teaching was accommodated to the desires of those who paid them. The prophets were seeking for money, and therefore - let this be carefully noticed - they divined. That was not the true method. The prophet speaks what God gives him to speak. But God's word cannot be bought. Therefore the prophets turn to wizardry, to necromancy; they divine. In each case the inspiration of the exercise of authority, whether that of prince, or priest, or prophet, was the desire of self-enrichment. This is the evil principle in false authority. When government is in the interest of the governing classes, instead of the governed, it is evil. Let all human attempts at government, whether autocratic or democratic, be examined in the light of this principle, and an explanation will be found of persistent failure, and also of any measure of real success. By it, Tsarism and the reign of the proletariat stand condemned. Rule, inspired by the self-interest of the rulers, spells ruin.

Chapter 4

Out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
Micah 4:2

Having denounced the false rulers and revealed the evil principle of their exercise of authority, the prophet described the true order in a prediction concerning its establishment. His outlook was that of the true Israelite; he recognized the Divine purpose in the national life of his people. Not for themselves did they exist in an isolation of privilege, but rather as a rallying centre for humanity, an order to which the people would flow, a revelation and realization, attracting the nations and inspiring them to inquire for the ways of Jehovah, the God of Jacob. In these particular words the chief glory of the national life of Israel is revealed. Zion is to be the hill of Jehovah, and out of it the law which men need, shall go forth; Jerusalem will become indeed the city of the Great King, and from it the word of Jehovah will be uttered. That is what the world waits for, and failing to find, or rather refusing to receive, it carries on, under a false interpretation of life, and cursed by the oppressions of false rulers. When life is governed by the law of Jehovah, and sustained by His word, strife will end, war will be no more; then peace and prosperity will be realized. That day has not yet come, but the gleams of its glory are everywhere appearing. Peace is found today in men in whom He is well pleased; and prosperity is the portion of the meek, who already inherit the earth, even though they seem to be excluded from its possession. The men in whom He is well pleased are those who live by His law; and the meek are such as are sustained by His word. But the Day is yet to be.

Chapter 5

But thou, Bethlehem Ephrathah, which art little to be among the thousands of Judah, out of thee shall One come forth unto Me, that is to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting.
Micah 5:2

And now in the prophet's message the great secret was out. This was the reason of his confidence that the Day of perfect realization would come. Here is the solution of the long problem of authority. The Kingdom will be realized under the King; the true order of life will result from the exercise of the true authority. The wonderful thing, that which sets this prophecy of Micah among the noblest of all, is this detailed and explicit prediction of the birthplace of God's King; and this description of the mystery of His Person. As to human history and human experience, He would come forth from Bethlehem. This was so definite that hundreds of years afterwards, both scholarly opinion (see the view of chief priests and scribes, Matt. 2:6), and popular belief (see the view of the multitudes, John 7:42), accepted it as true. But this One would not begin to be, in that coming forth from Bethlehem; His "goings forth are from of old, from everlasting." The men of His day knew that Jesus had come forth from Bethlehem. That His goings forth were "from of old from everlasting" was that which, men believing, found life. That is the key to the Gospel of John (20:30, 31). Thus God gave the world its King. The world rejected Him. It can find no authority and no peace. But God has not done with the world. That King is reigning now; and will be manifested again to establish the Kingdom. Until He come there will be no final peace, no true prosperity. It is for those who love His appearing to hasten it by loyalty to Him in life and service.

Chapter 6

O My people, what have I done unto thee? And wherein have I wearied thee? Testify against Me.
Micah 6:3

The last message of Micah was addressed to the chosen people, and was concerned with the controversy between them and Jehovah. It is highly dramatic. The prophet summoned Israel to hear, and the mountains also; and then the controversy proceeded. In reading this message it is of the utmost importance to distinguish between the alternating voices of Jehovah, the people, and the prophet. This the reader will do. It opens with a plaintive appeal by Jehovah, of which these are the first words. What a radiant revelation they afford of the love of Jehovah for His people; and the unutterable wrong of their infidelity: They had turned their back on Him, they had grown weary of Him. They had broken His law, neglected His word; and sought to govern themselves, and to find sustenance in debased forms of life. Jehovah appealed to them to declare what He had done to them to cause this infidelity; by what action or attitude of His their weariness of Him had been caused. Necessarily there was no answer to this, except that their deflection was the result of something in themselves, rather than something in Him. The question is a very arresting one, and a very searching one. It is ever the inquiry of God when His people prove unfaithful; and whenever they will hear it, and face it, there must result the sense of the wrong and shame of their infidelity. His ways have ever been those of love, redeeming from bondage, and defeating the evil consultations of those who would harm us. Thus the heinousness of all our wanderings is revealed.

Chapter 7

I will bear the indignation of the Lord, because I have sinned against Him.
Micah 7:9

These words occur in a section of the controversy in which the nation personified is speaking (7:1-10). It is the language of the nation 'realizing the truth concerning itself both as to its experience of suffering, and its purpose in the Divine Economy. It is a speech in which confession of sin and of the justice of punishment merge into hope and confidence in the redemptive victory of God. This is the language of genuine penitence. The indignation of Jehovah is recognized as just, and therefore the soul submits to it. Not only is it recognized as just; it is also confessed as beneficent. Through it the sufferer sees the light breaking, and the righteousness of God becoming manifest. Herein is discovered the difference between remorse and penitence. In remorse a man is sorry for himself; he mourns over his sin because it has brought suffering to him. In penitence he is grieved by the wrong sin has done to God; he yields to his personal suffering in the confidence that by it God is setting him free from his sin. This is a vital distinction. The world-penitence, through which it will be restored to God, and enter into His peace, will be of that nature: "Behold, He cometh with the clouds; and every eye shall see Him, and they that pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth shall mourn over Him." That is not remorse, the sorrow over personal pain; it is penitence, the sorrow for the wrong which sin has done to Him. When humanity is brought there, it will find release, for "the chastisement of our peace was upon Him."