What specific sins did Micah denounce?
Micah spoke out against the sins of the rich and powerful against the poor and needy. Micah accused the rich and powerful of scheming against the poor twenty-four hours a day. He accused the rich of plotting evil at night and practicing it by day (Micah 2:1). Micah also accused the rich of seizing whatever their evil hearts coveted (much like Naboth’s vineyard was unlawfully seized by Jezebel for Ahab in 1 Kings 21). The rich took every advantage of the poor, robbing them of field, home, and inheritance (Micah 2:2). There was a clear disregard for the law of God and for the rights of others. Selfishness ruled the hearts of the rich and powerful.
Practical Consideration: The eyes of man are never satisfied.
Micah accused the rich and powerful of scheming against their fellowman twenty-four hours a day. The greedy and powerful rich lay awake at night plotting how to increase their wealth at the expense of others. Their eyes were never satisfied. They wanted more at any cost. Proverbs 27:20 states, “Sheol and Abaddon are never satisfied, Nor are the eyes of man ever satisfied.” We must allow Jesus to be Lord of our eyes.
What sentence did God pronounce against the wicked?
Notice that God pronounced a punishment in kind against the rich and powerful. They had plotted evil against their fellowman so God would plan calamity against them (Micah 2:3a). Those who had perpetrated the evil described in Micah 2:1-2 would not be able to escape God’s judgment: “from which you cannot remove your necks” (Micah 2:3). Those who had seized the lands of others would lose their own lands “to the apostate” (heathen) without hope of recovering their property (Micah 2:4-5). Notice also that God’s punishment would be humiliating. God declared, “and you will not walk haughtily, for it will be an evil time” (Micah 2:3b). God would humble the proud and arrogant rich. They would become the objects of insult and jesting (Micah 2:4).
Practical Consideration: We should heed the Golden Rule.
The judgment of God upon the rich and powerful was punishment in kind. Those who took the possessions of others would lose their possessions (Micah 2:4-5). Those who turned a deaf ear to the cries of those they oppressed would find no one to listen to their cries in their distress (Micah 3:4). Jesus said, ” By your standard of measure, it will be measured to you (Matthew 7:2b). . .Therefore, however you want people to treat you, so treat them, for this is the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 7:12). James 2:13 states, “For judgment will be merciless to one who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment.” Someone has said, “Those that will not be ruled by grace will be overcome by judgment.”
What was the attitude of the wicked toward the Word of God?
They tried to silence God’s prophets, in this case, Micah himself (Micah 2:6a). They did not want to hear words that condemned them. They did not want to be held accountable. The faithful proclamation of God’s Word offended them. They lost sight of the protecting and preserving power of God’s Word (Micah 2:6b) and the good that it does in the lives of those who obey it (Micah 2:7). See also Amos 2:11-12 and 7:10-13. Micah proclaimed that the proof that his hearers had no regard for God’s Word was the way in which they treated their fellowman. The rich and powerful had become an enemy to the people of the land. They oppressed and exploited the poor, the unsuspecting, the helpless, and even women and children (Micah 2:8-9). They destroyed homes so that children did not have the opportunity to be educated to know the splendor or glory of God (Micah 2:9). Micah told the oppressors that they would be carried away and find no rest in their own land (Micah 2:10). Micah then told his audience that he knew the kind of preacher and preaching they would like: one whose sermons were full of hot air (Micah 2:11a) and one who condoned their vices and sins (Micah 2:11b). They would gladly listen to that kind of preacher (Micah 2:11c).
Practical Consideration: The truth of God’s Word is unwelcome to those who live in sin.
There were people in both the Northern and Southern Kingdoms who did not want to hear the truth of God’s Word. They tried in many instances to silence the prophets or to run them out of town. Those who live in sin do not want to hear the Word of God. It makes them feel uncomfortable. It offends because it condemns them. The writer of Hebrews declared, “For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).
What ray of hope shines at the end of Micah 2?
Micah introduced a ray of hope at the end of his prophesy against the oppressive rich and powerful. He spoke of a day when God would gather the scattered remnant from among the nations. In that day God would be like a Shepherd (Micah 2:12) and Liberator to His people (Micah 2:13).