Judgment Against Samaria and Jerusalem (Micah 1:1 – 7)

Welcome to the book of Micah!

Reading Micah can be confusing. He had a big view of history (several thousand years at a glance). He shifts voice frequently (from God to Micah to the people and back again). He uses puns extensively. A contemporary of Isaiah, Hosea and Amos, Micah’s message is the same: God does not appreciate empty worship from those whose lives are morally and ethically bankrupt.

He could see the sinful activities of Israel (the northern kingdom) – idolatry, Baal worship, child sacrifice, sorcery – were creeping southward into Judah. Think of the book as a short collection of speeches. Here’s a general outline:

  • chapters 1 – 3: indictment of both the Northern and Southern kingdoms
  • chapters 4 – 5: description of the wonderful future God is planning
  • chapters 6 – 7: the trial, punishment and hope of the guilty nations

As you read, take note that Micah’s predictions of future events are more numerous and specific that those of the other prophets.

Scripture Text:

(click to open in a new window)

Micah 1:1 – 7

1. When have you seen one of your parents get really angry? Over what issues? How is you anger like (and unlike) his or hers?

2. What is your favorite city? Why do you like it?

3. Just as the capital cities of Washington D. C. and Moscow represent countries, what kingdoms do Samaria and Jerusalem here represent?

4. What’s happening in the divided kingdoms under Jotham (see 2 Kings 15:32 – 35)? Under Ahaz (see 2 Kings 16)? Under Hezekiah (see 2 Kings 18)?

5. While Micah’s ministry and the kings’ reign are localized (verse 1), is God’s rule restricted (verses 2 and 3)? Why is God coming out of His dwelling place?

6. To what does Micah compare God’s wrath? How does God’s holy, perfect wrath differ from human wrath?

7. Does your capital city represent what is wrong with your country? How so? Do your rulers ever acknowledge God’s rule over them? How?

8. How big is your God? When have you tried confining Him to heaven? To church? To civic life?

9. What would God’s wrath feel like to you? To someone you know?

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