What reference did Micah make to the nation’s present predicament?
Micah declared (Micah 5:1) that the nation would be besieged by her enemies and her king(s) smitten on the cheek (a reference to insult and humiliation).
What assurance of deliverance did Micah proclaim?
While the nation’s present kings suffered at the hands of oppressors (Micah 5:1), Micah envisioned the day when God would raise up one from the seed of David who would rule Israel in glory and majesty (Micah 5:2). Micah’s prophesy about the coming ruler (Messiah) was uttered about 700 years before the birth of Christ. Notice the description of the Messiah in Micah 5:2:
[A] He will be born in Bethlehem Ephrathah.
[B] He will “go forth for Me,” that is, He will do the will and work of God.
[C] He will be One who has always existed: “His goings forth are from long ago, from the days of eternity.”
In the meantime, Israel would continue to suffer (like a woman in labor) at the hands of her enemies (Micah 5:3), but would one day experience the protection and guidance of this ruler (Messiah) who would be like a Shepherd to them (Micah 5:4).
Practical Consideration: It’s Friday, but Sunday is coming!
Tony Campolo tells the story of hearing the Easter story told by a black preacher in an interesting way. The preacher pointed out that hell must have rejoiced when Christ hung on the cross, and then added, “That’s because it was Friday, but Sunday is coming!” Micah announced that while the nation and her leaders would suffer humiliation and defeat at the hands of her enemies, God was going to send a deliverer. Defeat is never the last word for God’s people. No matter how dark it gets on Friday, Sunday is just around the corner!
What did the people do in the meantime to deal with the pressures from Assyria?
After the Assyrians conquered the Northern Kingdom in 722 BC, they laid siege to Jerusalem in 701 BC. The Southern Kingdom raised up shepherds (kings) and leaders to oppose the Assyrians under Sennacherib (Micah 5:5). Micah 5:6 addresses the hope that one day Judah will conquer Assyria.
What did Micah prophesy would be the future of those surviving the judgment that he had announced?
Micah prophesied that God would not abandon the surviving remnant, but would work with them to strengthen them and assure them of a future. They would become like the dew (Micah 5:7) which spreads its influence over all the earth and as strong as a lion (Micah 5:8-9).
What steps would the Lord take to purify His people?
Micah declared that the Lord would purge Israel of everything that distracted and directed them away from God. The things that the Lord would remove included:
[A] Military might (Micah 5:10-11): Trusting in horses, chariots, and fortifications.
[B] False religious practices (Micah 5:12-14): Sorcery, fortune telling, carved images, sacred pillars, and Asherim.
In addition, Israel’s idolatrous neighbors, from whom she learned wrongdoing, would experience God’s judgment (Micah 5:15).
Practical Consideration: We should trust in the Lord.
It is easy to trust in things. God’s people trusted in military strength and looked for divine guidance from the wrong sources through the wrong methods. It is foolish for God’s people to trust in anyone or anything other than God. Why settle for less?