Saturday, we met Micah, identified with Moresheth in Judah, and the reign of Jotham. This voice is roughly contemporary in time with Amos and Hosea, maybe a few years younger, and from closer to Isaiah’s home turf in overlapping decades. Samaria hasn’t fallen yet, affluence is still good given the foreign policy of Judah as a client state of Assyria, but the end is clear enough.
There is more moral condemnation of the privileged in Micah, rather than a focus on the idolatry and ritual religious sins of the people as a whole, than in our first 8th century prophets Amos and Hosea. There is also more affirmation of a hope in some subsequent outcome beyond God’s righteous anger.
We cherry-pick Micah for the Bethlehem prophecy, or for the summary of 6:6-8. Will it change your experience of those nuggets to hear the whole book? Might you add some additional nuggets for personal or community use?
Monday, we hear the rest of the opening oracle, zeroing in on the elites, and their preferred prophets, with a summary. As usual, ‘tell them what you’re going to tell them’ – the introduction is complete.
Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, Micah unpacks the summary accusations against the leadership of Israel, then contrasts a future hope for Zion. There’s a vision that can be projected and abstracted into heaven, or focused into a political Zionism in recent or earlier centuries.
Friday and Saturday, Micah refocuses north to Israel from Judah. Does it matter when we’re talking about somebody else’s community, rather than our own, in diagnosis or prognosis?