Micah was a prophet living in the Southern Kingdom of Judah during the reigns of Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah. The book of Micah is a collection of Micah’s writings, which contained messages of judgment and restoration for both Judah and Israel.
Micah first points out the sin of Israel’s governmental and religious leaders for their greed and injustice against the poor and vulnerable. He names cities like Jerusalem and Samaria that will face God’s coming judgment because of centuries of rebellion. God will send another nation to overthrow Israel and its corrupt leaders and send its people into exile.
But these accusations are followed with messages of hope for restoration. Micah describes a remnant—a group of people who remain faithful to God in the midst of rampant injustice—that God will rescue and rule over as their King. God promises through the prophet Micah that He will one day build a new Jerusalem, where His presence will dwell among His people.
Micah goes on to proclaim that a King will come from the line of David to rule over the new Jerusalem. Micah says that this King will be born in Bethlehem and will restore justice and mercy in Israel and among all the nations.
The book of Micah ends with a prayer for God to be merciful and forgiving, despite Israel’s continued rebellion. Micah reminds the reader that God’s mercy triumphs over judgment and that He will not break His covenant promises to His people.
Justice: Micah’s writings point out the injustice Israel’s leaders have shown to foreign nations, the poor and the vulnerable. The prophet points out that God is not interested in their sacrifices and offerings as much as he desires them “to act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with … God” (Micah 6:8).
Restoration: Micah looks at three things God plans to restore in the future: the people of Israel, the city of Jerusalem and Israel’s leadership. Through Micah, God promises to restore a remnant of faithful people in Israel, rebuild the city of Jerusalem and dwell among His people and bring forth a King from the line of David to rule His people with justice and protect them from evil.
HOW DOES THIS FIT INTO GOD’S STORY?
Micah shows us that God cares deeply for justice, in regard to how we treat Him and the people around us.
The leaders of Israel failed to obey God’s commands to care for those in need, and instead used money and power for their own gain, and because of their corruption, God will judge them by sending the people into exile.
But Micah also shows us that God is as merciful and forgiving as He is just. Though people must face the consequences of their sins, God never abandons those He loves—and God loves all. Though people fall short, God’s love and mercy never fails.