Scripture Reading on Sunday Mornings
SUNDAY MORNING SCRIPTURE READING: MICAH
Over the past several months, during our Sunday morning corporate gatherings, we have been reading through the Minor Prophets of the Old Testament (otherwise known as “The Twelve”). Since we will be hearing from God’s words through the prophet Micah over the next several weeks, this post is intended to help you prepare your heart to better understand what you will be hearing in the weeks to come.
THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT THE BOOK
- Micah’s name is a shortened form of Micaiah/Michaiah which means, “Who is Like the LORD?”
- Micah prophesied during the reigns of various kings of Judah: Jotham (750-732 BC), Ahaz (735-715 BC), and Hezekiah (729-686 BC).
- Prophesied just before and after the fall of the northern kingdom (the ten tribes of Israel) to Assyria in 722 BC.
- Themes: God’s Chastisement, God’s Covenants, God’s King, God’s Kingdom
The following sections include a brief summary of the themes included in the book with passages that serve as examples of those themes. As you hear Micah read from the pulpit, try to notice these themes.
God rebukes his people for their persistent rebellion and promises coming judgment for their evil deeds. Yahweh chastises Israel through the prophet Micah for their refusal to obey the clear requirements of the Law as recorded by Moses (Deut. 31:9). Micah’s rebukes make the most sense the more familiar you are with the Law. (For a crash course on Mosaic Law, read or skim the book of Deuteronomy.)
- “Woe to those who scheme iniquity, who work out evil on their beds! When morning comes, they do it, for it is in the power of their hands. They covet fields and then seize them, and houses, and take them away. They rob a man and his house, a man and his inheritance. Therefore thus says the LORD, ‘Behold, I am planning against this family a calamity from which you cannot remove your necks; and you will not walk haughtily, for it will be an evil time.’” (Micah 2:1-3; also 1:5-7; 6:12, 15-16; 7:2-4)
Micah reminds Israel of God’s past trustworthiness by recalling Yahweh’s covenant faithfulness to Abraham and Moses. Notice how Micah builds on past biblical revelation, mentioning former Old Testament characters and places.
- “You will give truth to Jacob and unchanging love to Abraham, which You swore to our forefathers from the days of old.” (Micah 7:16; also 6:4-5, 7:18-19)
God’s Messiah-King is revealed to be the One who will reign over his people from Jerusalem and lead Israel into a time of incredible prosperity. He comes from Bethlehem—the city of David—and from the tribe of Judah, he will defeat Israel’s enemies and be a Shepherd to his people, and epitomize faithful devotion to God. Notice that Micah seamlessly prophesies details about Christ’s first and final advent. Micah weaves together prophecies about Christ’s incarnation and his time on earth as well as when Christ finally comes to reign as King of Israel from David’s throne in Jerusalem.
- “But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, form the days of eternity.” (Micah 5:2; also 4:6-8; 5:3-4; 7:14)
Micah prophesies of a time when this currently rebellious nation will one day be characterized by faithful devotion of Yahweh. At that time, Israel will finally dwell in the land that was promised to Abraham so long ago (Gen. 12:7; 13:14-18). They will be exalted above all other nations and there will be no more need for weapons of war because God’s King will rule from Jerusalem over the whole earth with absolute, visible sovereignty.
- “And it will come about in the last days that the mountain of the house of the LORD will be established as the chief of the mountains. It will be raised above the hills, and the people will stream to it. Many nations will come and say, ‘Come and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD and to the house of the God of Jacob, that he may teach us about His ways and that we may walk in His paths.’ For from Zion will go forth the law, even the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.” (Micah 4:1-2; also 4:3-5, 12-13; 7:15-17)
A WORD FOR PARENTS
Parents, Sunday morning Scripture readings are a great time to include our children in the instruction coming from the pulpit. Here are a couple suggestions for how to help your children glean from what’s being said during this time.
- Read and discuss the upcoming chapter of Micah on Saturday night. Your kids will recognize what they are hearing on Sundays and it will sound familiar to them.
- For kids who are just on the verge of learning to read and able to recognize certain words, teach them commonly used words in Micah such as God, Lord, the LORD (the personal name of Israel’s self-sufficient, covenant-keeping God who appeared to Moses in the bush), Zion, etc. This may keep them engaged and attentive since they are looking for something in the text on the screens up front.
- Instruct your kids with the gospel! The nation of Israel during Micah’s day (and even now) is only a microcosm of all of mankind. We have all sinned grievously against God and deserve his judicial chastisement. However, because God has graciously sent His Messiah-King to die before He reigns on earth, those who repent and trust Him are promised God’s coming kingdom.