Today’s selected reading is found in the Old Testament book of Micah the Morasthite which he saw during the days of Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah kings of Judah, which he saw concerning Samaria and Jerusalem. More specifically, today’s passage is found in all seven chapters of this prophetic book. HOSEA! ISAIAH! AMOS! MICAH! DURING THE DAYS OF JOTHAM, AHAZ, AND HEZEKIAH THERE WERE FOUR PROPHETIC VOICES SPEAKING IN THE MIDST OF THE LAND! THE EARTHQUAKE HAD ALREADY TAKEN PLACE! THE PROPHETIC WORD OF THE LORD CONCERNING THE CAPITAL! THE PROPHETIC WORD OF THE LORD CONCERNING THE CAPITAL CITIES! “Wherewith shall I come before the LORD, and bow myself before the high God? Shall I come before Him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old? Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; And what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” (Micah 6:6-8). “Then rose up certain of the elders of the land, and spake to all the assembly of the people, saying, Micah the Morasthite prophesied in the days of Hezekieh king of Judah, and spake to all the people of Judah, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Zion shall be plowed like a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps, and the mountain of the house as the high places of a forest. Did Hezekiah king of Judah and all Judah put him at all to death? Did he not fear the LORD, and besought the LORD, and the LORD repented him of the evil which he had pronounced against them? Thus might we procure great evil against our souls” (Jeremiah 26:17-19).
When you come to the prophetic book of Micah the Morasthite you will find nothing of him concerning where he was from, and the time in which he prophesied. In the opening verses of the prophetic book of Micah you will find that during the days of the reigns of Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah kings of Judah he would see the word of the LORD and would prophesy the word of the LORD in the midst of the land concerning the capital cities of the northern kingdom of Israel, as well as of the southern kingdom of Judah. It would be during the days of these three kings who sat upon the throne of David in the midst of Jerusalem Micah would see the word of the LORD and would prophesy concerning the capital cities of Samaria and Jerusalem—Samaria which was the capital city of the northern kingdom of Israel, and Jerusalem which was the capital city of the southern kingdom of Judah. If there is one thing that so astonishes and amazes me about the prophetic word Micah the Morasthite prophesied it’s that the prophetic word which was proclaimed during the days of these three kings would be directed toward the capital cities of each of the kingdoms that would make up the entire territory of the Hebrew people. It’s important to realize and recognize that although Israel as a whole was divided into two separate kingdoms—the southern kingdom of Judah and the northern kingdom of Judah—it was still the same land which was sworn unto Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. When Micah the Morasthite was raised up in the midst of the land he was raised up to proclaim the prophetic word concerning the seats of the authority, the dominion and the government of both the northern kingdom of Israel, as well as the southern kingdom of Judah. We dare not miss and lose sight of this awesome and incredible truth, for when Micah prophesied the word of the LORD, he would prophesy concerning and against the capital cities of these kingdoms which would in all reality be a prophetic word concerning—potentially against the thrones which were present in the midst of the land of Israel and Judah. It’s important to realize and recognize that each capital city would be synonymous with the kingdom which it represented, and that a prophetic word released and spoken against the capital cities would not only be a prophetic word concerning the cities themselves, but against the kingdom as a whole.
In order to truly understand the significance of the prophetic ministry of Micah the Morasthite it is necessary to consider the words which certain of the elders spoke concerning him during the days of Jeremiah. It would be during the days of Jehoiakim son of Josiah king of Judah when Jeremiah would once more stand in the court of the house of the LORD and there proclaim the word of the LORD. If and as you read the words which are found in the twenty-sixth chapter of the prophetic book of Jeremiah you will find that after Jeremiah had made an end of speaking that which the LORD had commanded and instructed him to, the priests and the prophets and all the people took him and declared unto him that he would surely die. Moreover, the prophets, the priests and the people alike would ask Jeremiah why he prophesied in the name of the LORD concerning the Temple of the LORD, and how the Temple of the LORD would be like Shiloh, as well as concerning the city of Jerusalem, and how it would be desolate and without inhabitant. Scripture reveals how all the people were gathered against Jeremiah in the house of the LORD as they sought to kill him. When the princes of Judah heard these things they came up from the king’s house unto the house of the LORD, and sat down in the entry of the new gate. The priests and the prophets would speak unto the princes of Judah concerning Jeremiah demanding that he was worthy to die, for he prophesied against the city of Jerusalem as they had heard with their very own ears. Jeremiah would hear and listen to the words which were spoken concerning and against him, and would declare unto them that the LORD had sent him to prophesy against the house of the LORD, and against the city of Jerusalem all the words which they had heard. Furthermore, Jeremiah would instruct them to amend their ways and their doings, and obey the voice of the LORD their God. If they amended their ways and their doings and obeyed the voice of the LORD, the LORD would repent of the evil which He pronounced against them. Concerning Jeremiah, however, he declared that he was in their hand and they could do with him as they saw fit, however, they must needs know that if they put him to death, they would bring innocent blood upon themselves, and upon the city of Jerusalem, and upon the inhabitants therein. Additionally, Jeremiah would declare that it was the LORD Himself who sent Him unto them to speak all the words which he had spoken in their hearing.
It would be in response to all the words which Jeremiah had spoken in the hearing of the people in the house of the LORD, as well as the words which the prophets and the priests had spoken concerning Jeremiah that the princes and all the people spoke unto them declaring this man was not worthy to die, for he had spoken unto them in the name of the LORD their God. What’s more, is that when you come to the seventeenth verse of the twenty-sixth chapter of the prophetic book of Jeremiah you will find certain of the elders reminding them of another prophet who had prophesied generations earlier during the days of Hezekiah king of Judah—namely, Micah the Morasthite—and how Micah prophesied during those days how Zion would be plowed like a field, how Jerusalem would become heaps, and how the mountain of the house as the high places of a forest. What’s more, is that these elders of Judah asked if Hezekiah of Judah and all Judah put Micah to death, and proceeded to remind them how Hezekiah feared the LORD, and besought the LORD, and the LORD repented Him of the evil which he had pronounced against them. There is a part of me that can’t help but wonder if when Sennacherib king of Assyria and the entire Assyrian army laid siege to and against Jerusalem it wasn’t the LORD who had permitted and allowed them to come against His holy city. We know that it was during the days of Hezekiah king of Judah and Hoshea the king of Israel that Samaria would become desolate as the king of Assyria would lay siege to it, capture and destroy it, and carry away the inhabitants thereof captive into the nations and lands round about Israel and Judah. Moreover, we know that it was during the days of Hezekiah the northern kingdom of Israel would fall, and that after Sennacherib would lay waste to Samaria and the northern kingdom of Israel he would turn his gaze and his attention toward the city of Jerusalem. In order to truly understand this, I invite you to consider the words which are found in the thirty-sixth and thirty-seventh chapters of the prophetic book of Isaiah the son of Amoz:
“Now it came to pas in the fourteenth year of king Hezekiah, that Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the defenced cities of Judah, and took them. And the king of Assyria sent Rabshakeh from Lachish to Jerusalem unto king Hezekiah with a great army. And he stood by the conduit of the upper pool in the highway of the fuller’s field. Then came forth unto him Eliakim, Hilkiah’s son, which was over the house, and Shebna the scribe, and Joah, Asaph’s son, the recorder. And Rabshakeh said unto them, Say ye now to Hezekiah, Thus saith the great king, the king of Assyria, What confidence is there wherein thou trustest? I say, sayest thou, (But they are but vain words) I have counsel and strength for war: now on whom dost thou trust, that thou rebellest against me? Lo, thou trustest in the staff of this broken reed, on Egypt; whereon if a man lean, it will go into his hand, and pierce it: so is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all that trust in him. But if thou say to me, We trust in the LORD our God: is it not He, whose high places and whose altars Hezekiah hath taken away, and said to Judah and to Jerusalem, Ye shall worship before this altar? Now therefore give pledges, I pray thee, to my master the king of Assyria, and I will give thee two thousand horses, if thou be able on thy part to set riders upon them. How then wilt thou turn away the face of one captain of the least of my master’s servants, and put thy trust on Egypt for chariots and for horsemen? And am I now come up without the LORD against this land to destroy it? The LORD said unto me, Go up against this land, and destroy it” (Isaiah 36:1-10).
“But Rabshakeh said, Hath my master sent me to thy master to thee to speak these words? Hath he not sent me to the men that sit upon the wall, that they may eat their own dung, and drink their own piss with you? Then Rabshakeh stood, and cried with a loud voice in the Jews’ language, and said, Hear ye the words of the great king, the king of Assyria. Thus saith the king, Let not Hezekiah make you trust in the LORD, saying, The LORD will surely deliver us: this city shall not be delivered into the hand of the king of Assyria. Hearken not to Hezekiah: for thus saith the king of Assyria, Make an agreement with me by a present, and come out to me: and eat ye every one of his vine, and every one of his fig tree, and drink ye every one the waters of his own cistern; until I come and take you away to a land like your own land, a land of corn and wine, a land of bread and vineyards. Beware lest Hezekiah persuade you, saying, The LORD will deliver us. Hath any of the gods of the nations delivered his land out of the hand of the king of Assyria? Where are the gods of Hamath and Arphad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim? And have they delivered Samaria out of my hand? Who are they among all the gods of these lands, that have delivered their land out of my hand, that the LORD should deliver Jerusalem out of my hand? But they held their peace, and answered him not a word: for the king’s commandment was, saying, Answer him not. Then came Eliakim, the son of Hilkiah, that was over the hoeshold, and Shebna the scribe, and JOah, the son of Asaph, the recorder, to Hezekiah with their clothes rent, and told him the words of Rabshakeh” (Isaiah 36:12-22).
“And it came to pass, when king Hezekiah heard it, that he rent his clothes, and covered himself with sackcloth, and went into the house of the LORD. And he sent Eliakim, who was over the hoeshold, and Sheba the scribe, and the elders of the priests covered with sackcloth, unto Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz. And they said unto him, Thus saith Hezekiah, This day is a day of trouble, and of rebuke, and of blasphemy: for the children are come to the birth, and there is not strength to bring forth. It may be the LORD thy God will hear the words of Rabshakeh, whom the king of Assyria his master hath sent to reproach the living God, and will reprove the words which the LORD thy God hath heard: wherefore lift up thy prayer for the remnant that is left. So the servants of king Hezekiah came to Isaiah. And Isaiah said unto them, Thus shall ye say unto your master, Thus saith the LORD, Be not afraid of the words that thou hast heard, wherewith the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed me. Behold I will send a blast upon him, and he shall hear a rumour, and return to his own land; and I will cause him to fall by the sword in his own land” (Isaiah 37:1-7).
“…And when he heard it, he sent messengers to Hezekiah king of Judah, saying, Let not thy God, in whom thou trustest, deceive thee, saying, Jerusalem shall not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria. Behold, thou hast heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all lands by destroying them utterly; and shalt thou be delivered? Have the gods of the nations delivered them which my fathers have destroyed, as Gozan, and Haran, and Rezeph, and the children of Eden which were in Telassar? Where is the king of Hamath, and the king of Arphad, and the king of the city of Sepharvaim, Hena and Ivah? And Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers, and read it: and Hezekiah went up into the house of the LORD, and spread it before the LORD. And Hezekiah prayed unto the LORD, saying, O LORD of hosts, God of Israel, that dwellest between the cherubims, thou art the God, even thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth: thou hast made heaven and earth. Incline thine ear, O LORD, and hear; open thine eyes, O LORD, and see: and hear all the words of Sennacherib, which hath sent to reproach the living God. Of a truth, LORD, the kings of Assyria have laid waste all the nations, and their countries, and have cast their gods into the fire: for they were no gods, but the work of men’s hands, wood and stone: therefore they have destroyed them. Now therefore, O LORD our God, save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that thou art the LORD, even thou only” (Isaiah 37:14-20).
“Then Isaiah the son of Amoz sent unto Hezekiah, saying, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Whereas thou hast prayed to me against Sennacherib king of Assyria: This is the word which the LORD hath spoken concerning him…Whom hast thou reproached and blasphemed? And against whom hast thou exalted thy voice, and lifted up thine eyes on high? Even against the Holy One of Israel. By thy servants hast thou reproached the LORD, and hast said, By the multitude of my chariots am I come up to the height of the mountains, to the sides of Lebanon…Hast thou not heard long ago, how I have done it; and of ancient times, that I have formed it? Now have I brought it to pass, that thou shouldest be to lay waste defenced cities into ruinous heaps. Therefore their inhabitants were of small power, they were dismayed and confounded: they were as the grass of the field, and as the green herb, as the grass on the housetops, and as corn blasted before it be grown up. But now I know thy abode, and thy going out, and thy coming in, and thy rage against me. Because thy rage against me, and thy tumult, is come up into mine ears, therefore will I put my hook in thy nose, and my bridle in thy lips, and I will turn thee back by the way by which thou camest. And this shall be a sign unto thee, Ye shall eat this year such as growth of itself; and the second year that which springeth of the same: and in the third year sow ye, and reap, and plant vineyards, and eat the fruit thereof…Therefore thus saith the LORD concerning the king of Assyria, He shall not come into this city, nor soot an arrow there, nor come before it with shields, nor cast a bank against it. By the way that he came, by the same shall he return, and shall not come into this city, saith the LORD. For I will defend this city to save it for mine own sake, and for my servant David’s sake” (Isaiah 37:21-35).
“Then the angel of the LORD went forth, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians a hundred and fourscore and five thousand: and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses. So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed, and went and returned, and dwelt at Nineveh. And it came to pass, as he was worshipping in the house of Nisroch his god, that Adrammelech and Sharezer his sons smote him with the sword; and they escape into the land of Armenia: and Esar-haddon his son reigned in his stead” (Isaiah 37:36-38).
DID HEZEKIAH KING OF JUDAH AND ALL JUDAH PUT HIM AT ALL TO DEATH? DID HE NOT FEAR THE LORD, AND BESOUGHT THE LORD, AND THE LORD REPENTED HIM OF THE EVIL WHICH HE HAD PRONOUNCED AGAINST THEM? [DID MICAH THE MORASTHITE SEE THE INVASION OF THE ASSYRIAN ARMY—NOT ONLY OF THE NORTHERN KINGDOM OF ISRAEL, BUT ALSO OF THE SOUTHERN KINGDOM OF JUDAH? WHEN SENNACHERIB THE KING OF ASSYRIA CAME INTO JUDAH AND AGAINST JERUSALEM, WAS HE COMING ACCORDING TO THE WORD OF THE LORD WHICH WAS SPOKEN THROUGH MICAH? THE PROPHETIC BOOK OF JEREMIAH SEEMS TO SUGGEST THAT WHEN THE ASSYRIANS CAME AGAINST JERUSALEM TO LAY SIEGE TO AND CAPTURE IT, THE LORD HAD PERMITTED THEM TO DO SO ACCORDING TO THE WORD WHICH WAS SPOKEN BY HIM THROUGH HIS PROPHETS! SCRIPTURE SEEMS TO SUGGEST THAT HEZEKIAH FEARED AND BESOUGHT THE LORD, AND IT WAS IN RESPONSE TO HEZEKIAH’S FEAR AND SEEKING THE LORD HE WOULD REPENT HIMSELF OF THE EVIL WHICH HE HAD PURPOSED AGAINST JERUSALEM AND WOULD SEND THE ASSYRIAN ARMY AWAY FROM JERUSALEM AND OUT OF THE LAND OF JUDAH! IT WOULD BE MICAH WHO WOULD PROPHESY CONCERNING THE ASSYRIAN, AND EVEN HOSEA, AMOS AND ISAIAH WOULD PROPHESY CONCERNING ASSYRIA WHICH WOULD LAY SIEGE TO AND DESTROY SAMARIA, AND WOULD COME UP AGAINST JERUSALEM UNTIL THE LORD REPENTED HIMSELF OF THE EVIL WHICH HE PURPOSED AGAINST IT!
The more I read and consider the words which are found in the prophetic book of Jeremiah concerning Micah the Morasthite the more I can’t help but find that even after his time and generation had come to an end the words which he had spoken were still ringing within the ears of some of those who were present within the days and generation of Jeremiah. I find it absolutely and incredibly intriguing to read the words found in the twenty-sixth chapter of the prophetic book of Jeremiah, for the words which you find there reveal how Micah the Morasthite would prophesy concerning Jerusalem and proclaim that it would become a ruinous heap, and that the mountain of the house of the LORD would be desolate. These words would be spoken during the days of Hezekiah king of Judah whom we know was a righteous king who sat upon the throne of David, who did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, who confronted idolatry in the land during the days of his reign as king, and who even implemented the celebration of the Passover during his generation. It would, however, be during the days of Hezekiah king of Judah when Micah the Morasthite would prophesy the word of the LORD concerning Jerusalem and Samaria, and would prophesy concerning Jerusalem that desolation and destruction would be manifested in the midst of the city of Jerusalem. As I stop and consider this I can’t help but think about and consider the fact that when Assyria invaded Jerusalem, when they captured all the defenced cities, and when they even set their army outside the wall and city of Jerusalem, it was the prophetic word of the LORD which Micah had prophesied seeming as though it would come to pass. I have to admit that I have read the narrative of the Assyrian army invading Judah, capturing the defenced cities of the land, and attempting to lay siege to the city of Jerusalem, and never really gave any consideration to the fact that Micah the Morasthite prophesied concerning Jerusalem that the city would be razed to the ground and would become a ruinous heap in the midst of the earth. What’s more, is that it would be Micah and other Hebrew prophets who would speak concerning the Assyrian, and that one who would enter into the land of Judah and who would come against the city of Jerusalem. Isaiah, Amos, Hosea, and now Micah would all prophesy concerning the Assyrian, and how the Assyrian would come against the land of Judah, and how this Assyrian would come against the city of Jerusalem.
When we read the words which are found in the prophetic book of Jeremiah, as well as the words which are found in the Old Testament books of Second Chronicles and Second Kings we find three distinct accounts of Sennacherib king of Assyria entering into the land of Judah, capturing and taking all the fortified cities within the land, and even coming (or attempting to come) against the city of Jerusalem. It is absolutely necessary that we recognize and understand this, for when certain of the elders which spoke up during the days and generation of Jeremiah the prophet, they declared that Micah the Morasthite who prophesied concerning the devastation and destruction of Jerusalem, and even the mountain of the house of the LORD would not be immune from such destruction and devastation. It’s interesting and worth noting that what they spoke concerning Hezekiah king of Judah was that Hezekiah feared the LORD and honored the word of the LORD and would seek and beseech the LORD. This is something that is truly astonishing when you take the time to think about and consider it, for when you read of Hezekiah entering into the Temple with the words which Rabshakeh had spoken concerning Jerusalem, concerning himself, concerning the LORD’s intention for Jerusalem, and even the tremendous attempt to instill and sow fear within the hearts and minds of Jerusalem, you almost get the sense that more than simply the words which the Rabshakeh had spoken impacted the heart and soul of Hezekiah. I can’t help but wonder—based on the words which we find in the prophetic book of Jeremiah—if Hezekiah didn’t see the invasion of the Assyrian army as a direct fulfillment of the words which Micah the Morasthite had prophesied and spoken concerning Jerusalem. We know that Hezekiah king of Judah instructed Elkiam, Joah and Shebna not to speak to the Rabshakeh or respond to his threats against the city of Jerusalem, and I can’t help but think about the awesome reality that Hezekiah saw the Assyrian army outside the walls of the city of Jerusalem and feared the living God, and even feared the word of the LORD which He had spoken concerning Jerusalem. I can’t help but think about and consider the tremendous reality that Hezekiah was one who feared the word of the LORD, and when he saw the enemy and adversary outside the city of Jerusalem he immediately sought the LORD for His mercy and His grace.
The words which the elders of Judah and Jerusalem had spoken during the days of Hezekiah king of Judah were words which we find at the very end of the third chapter of the prophetic book of Micah. If you turn and direct your attention to the third chapter of this prophetic book you will find Micah speaking directly unto and concerning the princes, the rulers and the heads of Jerusalem, and at the end and conclusion of his words and message he would speak directly concerning the city of Jerusalem. Concerning Jerusalem Micah would prophesy and proclaim the following words which are taken directly from that prophetic book which bears his name: “Therefore shall Zion for your sake be plowed as a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps, and the mountain of the house as the high places of the forest” (Micah 3:12). The prophet Micah would prophesy these words concerning Jerusalem, and would prophesy them because of the rulers, the princes, the leaders, and those who were given authority, leadership and oversight in the midst of the city of Jerusalem. The opening verses of this prophetic book reveal how Micah would prophesy the word of the LORD concerning Jerusalem and Samaria, which were the two capital cities found within the land which was given unto Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. This Micah the Morasthite would prophesy concerning Samaria which was the capital city of the northern kingdom of Israel, and would prophesy concerning Jerusalem which was the capital city of the southern kingdom of Judah. What makes this even more intriguing is when you think about and consider how Micah prophesied according to the word of the LORD and a conspiracy the LORD had with the rulers, with the princes, and with the leaders which were found within that generation. What’s more, is that we know that these words which are found in the twelfth verse of the third chapter were prophesied during the days of Hezekiah king of Judah. What makes this even more captivating is when you think about and consider when these words of Micah would be spoken in relation to the actual invasion of the land of Judah and the Assyrian army coming against the city of Jerusalem.
I would love to know when Micah the Morasthite prophesied these words concerning Jerusalem, and more specifically when he prophesied them during the days of Hezekiah king of Judah. We know from the prophetic book of Jeremiah that these words were indeed prophesied during the days of the reign of Hezekiah, however, we don’t know at what point they were actually spoken. Scripture reveals how Sennacherib king of Assyria invaded the land of Judah during the fourteenth year of the reign of Hezekiah king of Judah, and how it was at that time Samaria and the northern kingdom of Israel had already been overtaken by the Assyrian army. The northern kingdom of Israel had already been devastated and destroyed by the Assyrian army, the land was permitted to lie fallow in the midst of the earth, the capital city of Samaria was reduced to ruin, rubble and ash, and the people were scattered among the nations of the earth. Now during the fourteenth year of the reign of Hezekiah king of Judah we find Sennacherib king of Assyria entering into and invading the land of Judah—and not only invading the land of Judah, but seeking to come against the city of Jerusalem, and sending Rabshakeh with a strong and powerful message of intimidation. It would be during the fourteenth year of the reign of Hezekiah the enemy would be in the land and outside the walls, and would completely and absolutely threaten everything and everyone inside those walls. THE ENEMY IN THE LAND AND OUTSIDE THE WALLS! WHEN THE ENEMY INVADES THE LAND AND STANDS OUTSIDE THE WALLS! WHEN THE ENEMY INVADES THE LAND AND SURROUNDS THE CITY! We know for a fact that Micah the Morasthite would prophesy concerning Jerusalem that it would become a ruinous heap in the midst of the earth, and we know that he prophesied concerning the mountain of the house of the LORD being desolate, and it would be in the fourteenth year of the reign of Hezekiah king of Judah the enemy would actually enter into the land, the enemy would capture all the defenced cities in the land, and would then set his sights and turn his attention toward the city of Jerusalem. I can’t help but wonder if anyone in Judah and Jerusalem saw the invasion of Sennacherib, and his coming against the city of Jerusalem as a fulfillment of the words which the prophets—including this Micah the Morasthite—had spoken concerning it. We know that there were those who during the days of Jeremiah the son of Hilkiah referenced the words which Micah had spoken, and how Hezekiah king of Judah feared the LORD, feared the word of the LORD, and besought His face in direct response to the threat of the Assyrian army outside the walls of the city of Jerusalem.
It’s actually worth considering the words which are found within the prophetic book of Micah, for what we find within this prophetic book is a powerful proclamation concerning the rulers, the heads of Jacob, the leaders, and the princes in Jerusalem. The words which Micah the Morasthite would prophesy concerning Jerusalem would be in direct response to the false prophets which prophesied in the midst of the city, as well as in direct response to the conspiracy the LORD found within and among the rulers and leaders of Jerusalem. With this being said, I invite you to consider the words which are found in the third chapter beginning with the first verse—words which would ultimately lead up to the culmination of the prophetic words which Micah would prophesy concerning Jerusalem. In order to understand the invasion of Judah by Sennacherib king of Assyria and the Assyrian army, and the threat against the city of Jerusalem, it is absolutely necessary to consider the words which Micah had spoken concerning the rulers which ruled and governed in the midst of the land. Consider if you will the following words found in the third chapter beginning with the first and opening verse:
“And I said, Hear, I pray you, O heads of Jacob, and ye princes of the house of Israel; Is it not for you to know judgment? Who hate the good, and love the evil; who pluck off their skin from off them, and their flesh from off their bones; who also eat the flesh of my people, and flay their skin from off them; and they break their bones, and chop them in pieces, as for the pot, and as flesh within the caldron. Then shall they cry unto the LORD, but He will not hear them: He will even hide his face from them at that time, as they have behaved themselves ill in their doings. Thus saith the LORD concerning the prophets that make my people err, that bite with their teeth, and cry, Peace; and he that putteth not into their mouths, They even prepare war against him. Therefore night shall be unto you, that ye shall not have a vision; and it shall be dark unto you, that ye shall not divine; and the sun shall go down over the prophets, and the day shall be dark over them. Then shall the seers be ashamed, and the diviners confounded: yea, they shall all cover their lips; for there is no answer of God. 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. Hear this, I pray you, ye heads of the house of Jacob, and princes of the house of Israel, that abhor judgment, and pervert all equity. They build up Zion with blood, and Jerusalem with iniquity. The heads thereof judge for reward, and the priests thereof teach for hire, and the prophets thereof divine for money; yet will they lean upon the LORD, and say, Is not the LORD among us? None evil can come upon us” (Micah 3:1-11).
It is quite clear and obvious when reading the words found in this prophetic book, and within this chapter that the LORD of hosts had a controversy with the heads of Jacob in the midst of the city of Jerusalem, as well as with the prophets who prophesied falsely in the midst of the land. When Micah prophesied concerning Zion that it would be plowed as a field, that Jerusalem would become heaps, and that the mountain of the house would be as the high places of the forest, he did so in direct response to the prophets and princes in the midst of the land. Notice in the twelfth verse how Micah prophesied and proclaimed that Zion would “for your sake” be plowed as a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps. Please don’t miss and lose sight of what is being said here, for with these words the prophet Micah is proclaiming that the LORD’s judgment against the city of Jerusalem would be in direct response to the iniquity, the wickedness, the transgression, and the wickedness that was found—not only in the princes and heads of Jacob, but also among the prophets who dared prophesy lies and falsehood among the people. Micah would emphatically declare and proclaim how the prophets during those days caused the people of God to err, and bit with their teeth and cried “Peace” when there was no peace. What’s more, is that Micah would go on to declare and reveal that the LORD had not sent these prophets, and that He had not put a word in their mouths, and would prepare war against them. Micah would prophesy concerning the prophets who prophesied falsely during those days that the LORD was going to prepare war against them, that night would be their portion, and that they would not have a vision. Micah would also go on to declare that it would be dark unto them, that they would not divine, and that the sun would go down over the prophets. Even still, we find Micah declaring that the seers would be ashamed, that the diviners would be confounded, and how they would all cover their lips because there was no answer of God. The words found within the third chapter are actually quite astounding and remarkable, for the opening verses of the prophetic book of Micah reveal the fact that he prophesied during the reigns of Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah kings of Judah, and how he prophesied the word of the LORD which he saw concerning Jerusalem and Samaria.
It should be noted and carefully considered that the prophetic word which Micah prophesied concerning Jerusalem would be directly linked, connected to, and tied together with the rulers, the princes, the leaders, and the heads of Jacob who were given authority, leadership, and oversight over the people of God. Micah the Morasthite would prophesy concerning the capital city of the land of Judah, and with that prophetic word would come controversies that would be spoken concerning the leaders which governed and ruled in the midst of the land. Oh that we would pay close and careful attention to this, for one can’t help but wonder if the LORD has not released and is not releasing in the midst of the land during these days a prophetic word concerning the capital city of this nation—namely, Washington, D.C. Moreover, I can’t help but wonder if the LORD of hosts doesn’t have a controversy against the senators, the governors, the house of representatives, Congress, and all those who have been given authority and oversight over and in the midst of the nation. There are many who believe that this upcoming election in the twentieth year of this new millennium is perhaps one of the most crucial—if not the most crucial elections in all of history. There are those who look at the upcoming election and who get the strong sense that the outcome of this election can and will either seal the fate of this nation, or will help bring about an awakening and revival in the midst of the land. I sit here this morning and I can’t help but think about and consider the fact that the LORD of hosts does indeed and has in fact had a conspiracy and controversy with the rulers, with the leaders, with the governors, and with all those who have been placed in positions of authority in the midst of this land. Just as the LORD of hosts had a conspiracy with the rulers and leaders during the days of Micah the Morasthite, so also does the LORD have a conspiracy with and against the rulers and leaders within our nation. If you want to truly get a sense for what the LORD thinks and how the LORD feels toward the rulers and governors in the midst of this nation you need only look at and examine the laws which they pass and the bills they propose and consider it in light of the Word of God. What’s more, is that you must consider it in light of their treatment of the poor in the midst of the land. If you want to truly understand the thoughts the LORD has toward the leadership and government of this nation you need only pay attention to the legislature that is being and has been passed, and consider it in light of the Word of God.
As I continue reading the words which are found within this prophetic book I can’t help but consider the words which are found in the opening chapter—particularly and especially when you consider the tremendous light Micah the Morasthite paints the LORD in. If you begin reading with and from the second verse of the first chapter you will find Micah calling all the people to hear and to hearken unto the LORD, and to let God be witness against them—the LORD from His holy Temple. The prophet Micah would go on to proclaim and declare how the LORD comes forth out of His place, and will come down, and tread upon the high places of the earth. Moreover, Micah would go on to proclaim and declare that the mountains would be molten under him, and how the valleys would be cleft, as wax before the fire, and as the waters which were poured down a steep place. What’s more, is that as you continue reading in the opening chapter you will find the prophet Micah speaking about the transgression of Jacob and the sin of the house of Israel and then going on to say that the transgression of Jacob was Samaria, and the high places of Judah were in Jerusalem. Thus, with these words the prophet Micah paints a very clear and powerful picture that the source of much of the transgression in the midst of the land of Israel, as well as in the midst of the land of Judah was indeed and was in fact due to what would take place in the capital cities of both kingdoms. The prophet Micah emphatically proclaimed and declared that the source of the sin in Judah were the high places in Jerusalem, and that the transgression of Israel was found in Samaria. This is something worth thinking about and considering, for it paints an incredibly powerful picture of the capital cities of nations, and how capital cities of nations can indeed and can in fact have direct implications and direct influence on the nation itself. Through the prophet Micah—as well as other Hebrew prophets—we encounter the awesome and incredible reality that not only can a capital city be intrinsically linked to the nation itself, but the capital city can indeed direct influence and impact the course of an entire nation.
The more I read the words found in this prophetic book the more I am brought face to face with the awesome truth and grim reality that a nation’s capital, and a nation’s capital city can indeed and can in fact have a tremendous impact and influence on the nation as a whole, and can be directly responsible for what takes place within a nation. You need only look at and examine our current nation and you will come face to face with the incredible reality that our nation’s capital—Washington, D.C.—can indeed be, and has in fact been responsible for much of the transgression, iniquity and wickedness that is found and has been found within the nation. We cannot ignore, nor can we miss this truth, for it has the ability to impact the course and trajectory of an entire nation. Through the prophetic words of Micah the Morasthite we come face to face with how the capital cities of Samaria and Jerusalem were directly linked to the iniquity and transgression of the nations and kingdoms as a whole, and in some cases were the very source and foundation of such evil, wickedness and transgression. Moreover, it would be in the capital cities of Samaria and Jerusalem where the throne of the kings were set up and established, and it was the kings themselves who would also play a crucial and critical role in whether or not the nation and people would worship and serve the LORD. We know that for pretty much the entire history of the northern kingdom of Israel—from the time of Jeroboam son of Nebat until the time of Hoshea—there was not a single righteous king who would sit upon the throne, and who would do that which right in the sight of the LORD. What’s more, is that there were certain houses of kings which the LORD would pronounce judgment upon as He would declare His bringing an end to those houses, thus not allowing them to survive and remain in the earth. Houses such as those of Jeroboam, Baasha, and Ahab would be those which the LORD would pronounce strong judgment on, and would not allow them to remain in authority and leadership in the midst of the earth. What’s more, is the LORD would also cut off from the earth the seed of the house as well as the house itself, as the LORD would ensure that no descendant within these houses would ever sit upon the throne in the midst of the northern kingdom of Israel. It is imperative and necessary that we pay close attention to this reality, for it would be the kings of the northern kingdom of Israel which would lead the people into iniquity, immorality and idolatry in the land—beginning with Jeroboam son of Nebat who would set up the twin golden calves in the midst of the land, and implement his own religion among the people.
There has been at least one time in the history of this nation when a father and son have both served as the President of the United States, and that was George H.W. Bush and George Bush. While this couldn’t necessarily constitute as a house in the same context as what we would find in the northern kingdom of Israel it is still quite interesting to consider the awesome reality that it was the closest thing this nation has seen to a house sitting in the highest seat of government within the land. While this nation and the government doesn’t lend to houses which would sit behind the desk in the Oval Office, we can indeed and can in fact consider the fact that houses can indeed and can in fact continue in the midst of this nation through the different political parties which have been and are still present within this nation. This nation was founded as a democracy, and as such there are two major political parties which are present within the country—the Democratic party, and the Republican party. When a President is elected into office he is elected into that office—not only as the President of the United States, but also as the representative of the party in which he is associated with. There have been times when the Democratic party has a member of their party sitting behind the desk in the Oval Office, while there have been other times when the Republican party has had a member of their party sitting in the same seat. What’s more, is there has long been a power struggle between these two parties, which can more aptly be described as factions and rivalries for the hearts, the minds, and the attention and trust of the American people. Moreover, never has there been a time in the history of this nation when it has been more divided than it is right now, as this nation is not only divided along political lines, but it is also divided across racial lines, gender lines, religious lines, and the like. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this, for it has the ability to directly influence and impact the entire outcome of this nation.
I am absolutely and completely convinced that we need to pay careful and close attention to what happens and what takes place within the capital city of this nation, for what happens in the White House, what happens in the House, what happens in Congress, what happens in the Supreme Court, and the entire judicial and legislative system can negatively and adversely affect the entire nation. Micah the Morasthite prophesied during the days of Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, and during the reigns of those kings he would prophesy concerning the capital cities which were not only the seat of authority and power within the northern and southern kingdoms, but also represented the kingdoms and nations themselves. We must not miss the importance of this reality, for more often than not it would be the king which sat upon the throne in the midst of the land that would be the ultimate driving force in whether or not it followed, walked with, obeyed, and worshipped the one true and living God. There were righteous men who sat upon the throne of David and who did what was right in the sight of the LORD, and as such they would lead the nation in obedience and faithfulness before the LORD. I think of kings such as David, Hezekiah, Josiah and others who faithfully did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, and as a direct result of their obedience before and in the sight of the LORD they would faithfully lead the nation in the same type of obedience before the LORD. It is important for us to realize this awesome truth, for more often than not when a man who did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD sat upon the throne in the southern kingdom of Judah the nation would spiral down a slippery path of idolatry, immorality and iniquity. Time and time again when a man who had no regard for the LORD, nor for His Law, nor for His statutes, nor for His commands sat upon the throne in the midst of the land, the nation, the people and the land would suffer as idolatry and iniquity would abound among the people. What’s more, is that it wouldn’t simply be the king which sat upon the throne that would directly impact the course of the nation, but it would also be the prophets and priests—the religious system that was found in the midst of the nation. If the king was responsible for governing according to the Law of the LORD, then the prophets and priests were responsible for teaching the people in the ways and Law of the LORD, and guiding them in paths of righteousness. This takes on a whole other meaning when you think about the fact that prophets such as Ezekiel, Jeremiah, Amos, Hosea, and others prophesied the controversy of the LORD with and against the prophets and priests within the land because they caused the people to err and led them into sin and transgression.
WHEN POLITICS AND RELIGION GOVERN A NATION! I sit here today and I can’t help but think about and consider the fact that the two greatest influences on a nation are that of politics and that of religion. NO other issues remain as directly connected to and directly connected to the fate and trajectory of a nation than these two issues, and we must needs recognize and understand this. There is not a doubt in my mind that one of the greatest influences upon this nation is that of religion—and what I mean by religion is the countless religious leaders who are present within this nation who have been given a voice to speak unto the nation. We would be incredibly naïve to think about and consider the fact that this nation is not and has not been one of the most “religious” nations within and upon the earth, as this nation is a melting pot of all the religions of the world—including Christianity. This nation was founded as a Christian nation, and has long boasted the freedom of religion, which has afforded countless churches to be found within the cities and towns throughout the land. Although I can’t say this with one hundred percent accuracy and certainty—I would dare say that this nation has perhaps the most houses of worship in any nation upon the earth. Please note that this doesn’t merely refer to Christian churches, but all houses of worship—regardless of whether they’re Catholic, Baptist, Methodist, Islamic, etc. What’s more, is that this nation is perhaps the single nation on the earth that has been more exposed to the divine Word of God and has unlimited and free access to the Word of God in a variety of different means. Moreover, this nation has no shortage of “voices” which are attempting to speak “for God” during this hour and in this generation. Perhaps the single greatest question we must ask ourselves is whether or not the LORD has a conspiracy with the prophets and priests of the land during this generation, and whether or not the LORD finds fault within those who claim to speak for the LORD in this generation, and even countless houses of worship which are found within and throughout this land. We must not be naïve to think that just because it has a steeple with a cross on the top, and just because it says it’s a church that it is pleasing in the sight of the LORD. Consider if you will the words which the prophet Micah prophesied, which are found in the opening chapter of this prophetic book concerning the altars in the midst of the land, and how the idolatry had managed to make its way all the way to the land of Judah, and even unto Jerusalem:
“Therefore I will make Samaria as an heap of the field, and as plantings of a vineyard: and I will pour down the stones thereof into the valley, and I will discover the foundations thereof. And all the graven images thereof shall be beaten to pieces, and all the hires thereof shall be burned with the fire, and all the idols thereof will I lay desolate: for she gathered it of the hire of an harlot, and they shall return to the hire of an harlot. Therefore I will wail and howl, I will go stripped and naked: I will make a wailing like the dragons, and mourning as the owls. For her wound is incurable; for it is come unto Judah; He is come unto the gate of my people, even unto Jerusalem” (Micah 1:6-9).
Perhaps one of the greatest outcries found within the writings of the prophets is that against the idolatry that had swept throughout the land. Time and time again you will find the prophets crying out against the altars, the graven images, the high places, the false gods, and anything and everything else that would pollute the land and turn the hearts of the people from worshipping and serving the living God. If you read and study the history of the northern kingdom of Israel, as well as the southern kingdom of Judah you will find that when a man who did that which was evil in the eyes of the LORD sat upon the throne—more often than not the nation would be led into extreme idolatry before the LORD as they would worship the strange and foreign gods of the nations round about them, and would even form and fashion graven images and idols in the midst of the land. We must recognize and understand this, for I m convinced that one of the greatest threats to this nation is the countless graven images, idols, false and strange gods, and altars which have been set up in the midst of the land. We cannot and must not be so naïve into thinking and believing that this nation is not guilty of idolatry, and has not been guilty of it for decades now. Although this nation was founded upon the principles outlined in the Word of God this nation has replaced the one true and living God with false and strange gods, and has given itself to the false gods it has set up in the place of the living and eternal God. The ancient Hebrew prophets cried out against the idolatry that plagued and polluted the land, and despite the fact that this nation is one that was founded upon the word of God and was founded as “one nation under God” it has ultimately become “one nation under many gods.” It is absolutely critical that we recognize and understand this, for within the prophetic book of Ezekiel we learn that idolatry doesn’t begin with the actual forming and fashioning of that which appears in the material and natural sense, but it begins within the heart. An idol and idolatry has always and will always begin within the heart of a man, and once it has been fully formed and fashioned with a man it will then manifest itself before their eyes and in what they worship within their homes, and even within a house of worship.
As I prepare to bring this writing to a close I find it absolutely necessary to leave you with a powerful prophetic word that is found within this book—a word that promises hope for the house of Israel, as well as a word that invites the people into, and reminds them of that which the LORD their God has required of them. You cannot read the prophetic book of Micah and not encounter a wonderful and powerful promise given unto the house of Israel concerning Bethlehem—a promise that would proclaim how the Messiah would be born among and within it, which would rule and govern the nations. At the same time the prophet Isaiah was prophesying concerning the virgin conceiving and how unto us a son would be given the prophet Micah would prophesy concerning the location of the birth of this child which would be born of a virgin and given unto us as a son. We cannot conclude any discussion concerning the prophetic book of Micah without calling and drawing our attention to the words which were written concerning the birth of the Messiah, as well as the words which were spoken concerning that which the LORD our God has required. I feel it is absolutely necessary and imperative to call and draw your attention to the awesome promise that is found within this prophetic book—a promise which not only offers hope, but also demands and requires something of us. I leave you now with the words found in this prophetic book concerning Bethlehem where the Messiah would be born, and concerning that which the LORD our God requires of us. Not only this, but also a prophetic promise that would be spoken concerning the mountain of the house of the LORD, and how the LORD would restore the mountain of His sanctuary and Temple in the midst of the earth and would draw all the nations unto it to worship before Him:
“But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it. And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the LORD of hosts hath spoken it. For all people will walk every one in the name of his god, and we will walk in the name of the LORD our God for ever and ever” (Micah 4:1-5).
”But thou, Beth-lehem 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” (Micah 5:2).
“Wherewith shall I come before the LORD, and bow myself before the high God? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old? Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God” (Micah 6:6-8).