Joel, Micah, & Zephaniah Lesson 5
Read chapter 2 through, then respond to the following:
Who are the evil people addressed in these verses?
What family is “this family” (v. 3a)? Who is the “I” who devises an evil in verse 3b?
Who is the “he” of verse 4?
What is the message of verse 5?
What is the message of verses 1-5?
What is the function of a prophet in verse 6?
- What is the issue regarding the spirit of the Lord in this verse?
- To whom do the “my words” in verse 7 refer? Is it the “spirit of the Lord” of verse 7, or “the Lord” of verse 3?
Micah 2:8, 9
- Who is doing the abusing in verse 8 and verse 9a?
- How is the glory of God taken away in verse 9b?
Who is to “arise and depart” in verse 10a? Who sends them away?
What is the connection between this verse and 2:6?
Who is doing the assembling; who are being assembled? Why are they being assembled?
What is the picture this verse is painting?
What is the message of verse 6:13?
Micah 2:1, 2
Those who devise evil. The planners or inventors of injustice and workers of evil who are pronounced against in these verses are those who have the power to carry out their plans.
Whether their power is in the spiritual, political or physical realm, none who plan and/or carry out evil are excepted from the pronounced woe.
The “this family” of this verse is those who are arranging the evil of verses 1 and 2. The one who devises evil in 2:3b against those planners of evil is the Lord. Micah 2:3c makes clear that the evil time is the cause of God’s act, not the result.
(For a discussion of God as the planner and executor of evil, see above “Summary of Story” in the Assignment Answers section of Micah 1:8, 9)
The “he” of verse 4 is the Lord of verse 3 who said He would devise evil against evil planners and doers. The evil He has set in action results in verse 4 in the people being utterly devastated; the share of property of God’s people He will exchange; and He will divide their open country to the faithless, or apostate.
This verse can be translated, “therefore he will not be to you one throwing down a rope in lot in the assembly of the Lord.”
The message of verse 5 here appears quite clearly to be further explanation of the results of the sins of God’s people against their fellowmen; He will not be in their midst as a divider of promised blessings.
The message of Micah 2:1-5 is that by our sins against our fellowmen (2:1, 2) we can cause God to turn against us (2:3) in our present circumstances (2:4), and we can cause Him to cancel promised blessings for the future (2:5). But we also know from Scripture how “David’s sincere repentance and confession were accepted by God, notwithstanding he suffered for his transgression; . . .
“In the joy of his release he sang; ‘I acknowledge my sin unto Thee, and mind iniquity have I not hid.
‘I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and Thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. . . .
‘Thou art my hiding place; Thou shalt preserve me from trouble;
‘Thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance.'” Ellen White, Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 726.
The functions of a prophet are various, but in this verse, which is variously translated, the function of a prophet is to prevent disgrace to the people of God.
(Note: The verse can be literally translated, “You shall not prophesy, they shall prophesy (but) they have not prophesied to these, (therefore) disgrace will not draw back.”
The New American Standard Bible translates this verse, “Do not speak out, so they speak out. But if they do not speak out concerning these things, reproaches will not be turned back.” Micah 2:6
a/b. When the question is raised in verse 7, “are these doings the doings of the spirit of the Lord,” that question is preceded by another question – “has the spirit of the Lord become annoyed?”
The implication is that either the spirit of the Lord has become annoyed (straightened), or at least the disgrace of verse 6 is not the result of the Holy Spirit’s activity, for the “my words,” the words of the Lord of verse 3, have as their result the doing of good to him that walketh uprightly – not the bringing of disgrace.
Micah 2:8, 9
- God’s people.
- By appropriating the blessings God had provided the poor with to themselves – by buying too low and selling too high – the love of God to the poor is obscured. They never come to realize the blessings God had sent – someone stole it away by fraud. The children’s resultant misunderstandings about God’s character takes from them a vision of the splendor of God; while God’s punishment of Israel for their sins further hides His splendor from Israel’s children.
By people abusing other people (2:9a) the splendor or majesty of the character of God is taken from the children who suffer and don’t see God’s goodness as it should have been revealed in His providings for their needs.
This means that the splendor of God here is taken from the children in perhaps three ways:
- The children don’t have God’s character in their lives – they didn’t behold, so they weren’t changed. This loss is of character.
- The splendor of God is taken away by the hunger and want the children experience. This loss is in knowledge.
- The splendor of God is taken away from the children in that they don’t see the character of God reflected in the adults with whom they are surrounded and with whom their parents have dealings. This loss is of example.
That which is lost here from the children is that which men denied Christ had in Isaiah 53:2.
God’s people – the ones who have been abusing their fellowmen and removing the glory of the Lord from their children – are the ones here ordered (Heb: imperative) by God Himself to leave the evil they are doing; because it is polluted and will destroy them with a sore destruction.
The connection between verse 11 and verse 6 is that the true prophet of verse 6 who would say that which would prevent disgrace to the people of God, and who is told to be silent by God’s people, is gladly replaced, by those who claim they are God’s people, by one who walks in the spirit of false hood and intoxicating drink, as their prophet, in verse 11.
If Jacob is a reference to the nation of Judah, and Ephraim another name for the ten tribes of Israel, then God is here saying that He will (sometime) gather together the remnant of Israel’s ten tribes and all of Judah and place them where He wants them to be.
This verse speaks of the time when the remnant of Israel’s ten tribes and Judah will turn from the evil they were called to leave in verse ten; pass through the confines that evil placed about them, and, together with a Christian king going before them, follow the Lord at their head.
The message of verse 6-13 is that there will be a faithful group from among God’s professed people and leaders, who will listen to His counsel and turn from the evil that would have destroyed them, and the evil leaders (v. 11) who would approve to them their evil deeds, and follow a king who leads them by following the Lord, their Head.