Why study the book of Micah?
Yesterday at Mountain Creek we began a new sermon series through the book of Micah. Since this is not a book that seems like a typical choice for a sermon series, I thought I’d answer the question: Why Micah?
ALL SCRIPTURE IS PROFITABLE
Micah is profitable simply because it’s Scripture. The apostle Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 3:16–17:
“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”
What this means is that it’s not just the red letters in the Gospels along with the letters of Paul to the churches that are profitable, but all Scripture is God-breathed and profitable for us. That’s true for the Old Testament just as much as it is true for the New Testament. It’s all profitable. Therefore, we need a steady diet of all of God’s Word, and not just the portions that seem at first glance to be most relevant. Over the past several years we’ve worked that out in practice at Mountain Creek by more or less alternating between books in the Old and New Testaments on Sunday morning so that we can profit from the whole counsel of God.
MICAH’S MESSAGE IS ONE WE NEED
Micah is profitable because it’s Scripture, but at the same time, Micah is also profitable because of its message.
Micah contains a message that is never popular: Micah contains a message of judgment. God through Micah warns the people of Judah, the king, the priests, and the (false) prophets of a coming judgment for their unfaithfulness and idolatry. The judgment he threatens in Micah, he would soon send through the hands of Assyria and Babylon.
But with every message of judgment, there’s always the promise of hope. Micah is about 70% words of judgment, but it’s about 30% words of hope, and it ends with the message that God is a God of grace and forgiveness (see Micah 7:18–20, for example).
The warning of judgment is never easy to hear, but it is for our good. It’s a call to return to the Lord, with the promise of the hope found in the Messiah.
MICAH ADDRESSES THE ISSUES OF TODAY
It’s quite amazing how much the events leading up to Micah’s day are similar to the events of our own day. Addressing issues that were current for him, Micah leads us to deal with issues that are current for us.
Micah tells us to “do justice” (6:8), and he confronts those who oppress the vulnerable in society (2:1–2; 3:1–3; 6:9–11). Opposing the false teachers of his day (3:6, 11), Micah helps us uncover the false teachers of our day. In a time when it’s increasingly convenient to neglect gathering for worship, Micah instructs us: “Come, let us go … to the house of the God of Jacob, that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths” (4:2).
Along with all of that, Micah answers questions we have about life following God. Micah shows us the nature of true worship (6:6–8), the role of Scripture (6:3–5), how the Old Testament points undeniably to Jesus (5:2–5), and how we are to live among an increasingly secular culture (4:5).
Through it all, Micah reminds us that faithfulness to God can have a lasting impact. Ordinary people (people like us!) can have an extraordinary influence on the world.
Micah was a nobody who spoke the truth of God to the leaders of his day. Like us, he had no standing in society, no power or might in the face of opposition, but like us, he had the word of God. And a hundred years later, they were still talking about his impact (see Jeremiah 26:17–19).
We may not stand before presidents and kings, but can still follow God faithfully before a watching world. Following the words of Micah, we can “do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with our God” (6:8) and trust God to bring the lasting fruit for the glory of His name.
Bert Watts has served since December 2016 as the Senior Pastor at Mountain Creek Baptist Church, where he has been on staff since 2012.