Micah announces to all people everywhere that God’s judgement against human evil is approaching. His prophecy is a warning to act now.
In the first instance, Micah’s warning is directed to the whole earth. He warns everyone that the coming of the LORD will see the created order melt before Him. To meet this God as an enemy is a disaster.
Micah’s Warning of Impending Destruction
Micah’s warning is also specific to the people of God. Speaking to the southern kingdom of Judah, Micah points to the destruction of the northern kingdom of Israel as evidence of God’s coming judgement. What is happening to them will happen to Judah unless they turn aside from idolatry and the worship of false gods.
For Micah, it’s no use agreeing that the LORD is God, but then trusting in false gods for your practical needs. Micah calls us to rid ourselves of the idols we’ve crafted in our own image and according to what we’ve decided is good. For us, we need to be mindful of how modern consumer idols shape our desires, our priorities, our choices and values.
Only God is worthy of our trust and dependence. Only God can provide. And Micah tells anyone who’ll listen that the God you cannot see will unmake this world that you can see. The permanence of our human structures is an illusion…
However, among the warning Micah presents a word of hope and rescue. His very name – Micah – means ‘who is a god like you?’.
God will have mercy on those who turn to Him. Nevertheless judgement is still a coming reality. Sin matters and God remains hostile to the evil that so marks our human experience. However, through His own suffering and determination, God will subject Himself to death so that He might lead His people through death. In the words of a contemporary prophet, Isaiah, God will be ‘afflicted in our afflictions’. In other words, at great cost to himself, God shares in our suffering in order to heal us from our own sinfulness.
Micah warns people everywhere to turn back to God – the God who promises and provides rescue from the coming judgement. He warns us against loving the things of this world instead of loving the God who is the maker of heaven and earth. Who indeed is a God like this!