Joel, Micah, & Zephaniah Lesson 6
Chapter 3 Assignment Questions
Read Prophets and Kings, pp. 322, 325, and Micah chapter 3.
Who is the “I” of verse one?
- Who is the “they” of verse 4, of whom the Lord says that He will not hear them, and that He will in fact hide His face from them?
- What is the significance of the Lord hiding His face?
- What caused the Lord to act this way?
Are the prophets of verse 5 God’s prophets?
Who is the subject of the pronouncement of verse 6?
- Are the Seers of verse 7 to be distinguished from the prophets of verse 5?
- Do the sins of false prophets, accepted by God’s people as true prophets, block messages of God to his true prophets?
Who is the “I” of verse 8?
What is the story of these three verses?
- For whose sake is zion plowed?
- What is the message of verse 9-12?
Chapter 3 Assignment Answers
The “I” of verse one is God; it is He who calls the Israelites “my people” (3:3).
- The “they” of verse four is the heads of Judah and the rulers of the house of Israel addressed in 3:1.
- The significance of the Lord hiding His face is to be seen in the results set forth in 3:6-8; God will not communicate with His people.
- The sins of the leaders cause God to act this way; it is significant to recall that the pronouncements of God against His people are the result of the leader’s sins – rather than the mistakes of the followers of God’s peoples’ leaders.
The prophets of verse 5.
- Yes; because of the sins of God’s people, committed at least in part because they are following false leaders, God’s communications to them are interrupted; His plans for them have to be altered.
Because of the sins of the leaders whom Israel is following, God cases to speak to those leader’s prophets – there is no vision of God for them. But to God’s faithful prophet, the one who follows Him even when he must stand alone, God gives power, the Spirit of the Lord, and courage to make God’s feelings known.
- The sins of the rulers and leaders of 3:1-3 result in God’s hiding his face from His people and not answering when they cry to Him (3:4). The sins of the prophets of 3:5 result in God’s not giving them visions. But when these leaders add to their sins by saying that God is leading them and therefore no harm can come to them, God orders for Zion to be plowed as a field and Jerusalem to become a heap of ruins.
- The message of verses 9-12 is that when God’s people’s leaders err, and yet claim they are following God, and that He will protect them, the resultant sins of God’s people are so grievous as to bring about results that are eternal.
Note: If the plowing-of-zion prophecy is in fact not finally fulfilled until A.D. 70, while Micah made the prophecy in the eighth century B.C., it is clear that
“The forbearance of God has been very great – so great that when we consider the continuous insult to His holy commandments, we marvel. The Omnipotent One has been exerting a restraining power over His own attributes.
“God allows men a period of probation; but there is a point beyond which divine patience is exhausted, and the judgments of God are sure to follow. The Lord bears long with men, and with cities, mercifully giving warning s to save them from divine wrath; but a time will come when pleadings for mercy will no longer be heard, and the rebellious element that continues to reject the light of truth will be blotted out, in mercy to themselves and to those who would otherwise be influenced by their example.” Ellen G. White, Prophets and Kings, p. 276.
“The desolation of Jerusalem stands as a warning before the eyes of modern Israel, that the corrections given through his chosen instruments cannot be disregarded with impunity.” Ellen G. White in Present Truth and Review & Herald Articles, vol. 1, p. 535.
For further study: If the destruction of A.D. 70 is the result of a cumulation of sins, does A.D. 70, and its events, have a tie to sins committed prior to 606 B.C.? Does this passage teach that there are sins that though rebuked by Micah and his contemporaries, and punished (606-586) and forgiven (rebuilding of the Temple), are still shedding an influence for evil which adds to the cumulative total which results in the events of A.D. 70? For help with the answer to this question see Ellen G. White, The Great Controversy, pp. 26-29.