1The word of the LORD that came to Micah of Moresheth in the days of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, which he saw concerning Samaria and Jerusalem.
2 Hear, you peoples, all of you;
pay attention, O earth, and all that is in it,
and let the Lord GOD be a witness against you,
the Lord from his holy temple.
3For behold, the LORD is coming out of his place,
and will come down and tread upon the high places of the earth.
4And the mountains will melt under him,
and the valleys will split open,
like wax before the fire,
like waters poured down a steep place.
5All this is for the transgression of Jacob
and for the sins of the house of Israel.
What is the transgression of Jacob?
Is it not Samaria?
And what is the high place of Judah?
Is it not Jerusalem?
6Therefore I will make Samaria a heap in the open country,
a place for planting vineyards,
and I will pour down her stones into the valley
and uncover her foundations.
7All her carved images shall be beaten to pieces,
all her wages shall be burned with fire,
and all her idols I will lay waste,
for from the fee of a prostitute she gathered them,
and to the fee of a prostitute they shall return.
The children have been acting up and mom hollers out from the living room for them to behave. There is a brief calm and then it starts up again. Mom yells again and the same scenario is again acted out. Finally mom gets up and approaches the source of the trouble, but she is careful not to approach too closely. “If I have to come in there you are not going to like what happens.” There it is. Mom threatens not to just yell from her place, but to actually come into the room and deal with the whole matter hands on. That is serious threat. To have mom actually come into the room and deal with things would have a more powerful effect than if she simply continued to shout out instructions from the safety of the living room.
The prophet Micah wrote to both northern and southern kingdoms of Israel regarding the coming captivities of the two Jewish nations. As he begins to deliver the message from God that we know as the Book of Micah, he gives this warning – “the Lord is coming out of his place and will come down and tread upon the high places of the earth.”
The people have sinned. They have become intransigent in their sins and God has been telling them, from a safe distance that they had better start behaving. The people calm down a little but it is not long before they are right back at their sinfulness again. So God says “Do you want me to come in there?” That is a threat that ought to make everyone examine their lives very closely.
The thought of having to stand before God unprotected by priests and temple ritual should have made them tremble where they stood. But it does not. They fear poverty, and oppression from stronger nations. They fear captivity and political weakness. They fear what any godless person can fear. But they do not fear God and they are not filled with dread at the prospect of having God come down and deal with them directly. (See 6:9 and 7:17). So God came down and God judged them and all the things that they did fear happened to them because they would not fear God.
Much of the church of North America today has no fear of God. They have a view of God that longs for Him to come out of His place because they do not realize that it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. They believe that fear of God is an Old Testament concept and that God is such a friend that He will never punish or deal harshly (see 2:6; 3:11).
This was precisely the attitude of people in Micah’s time.
Too many have the perception that the “decision” they made, makes them the friends of God in such a way that God will never show anger no matter how they behave. They never consider that they may not be the friends of God at all and that even if they are, the never consider that God loves the glory of His Name more than He loves them. Does God threaten to come out of His place to judge the nations and to judge His people today? Perhaps He already has.