Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email

Micah Preview

The book of Micah tells the story of another minor prophet, Micah, from a town called Moresheth Gath (an agricultural area about 25 miles from Jerusalem). Micah, similar to the prophet Amos, was concerned with those on the margins and outside of the power structures that were in existence. His prophecies were aimed towards the political and religious leaders of Samaria and Jerusalem.

This book is significant on multiple fronts. First, it is another warning to Israel and Judah about how they treated the lowly in society. They were unfair and unethical. They treated women poorly. They didn’t care about injustice. They were content to exploit others for the sake of their own gain. And this was contrary to what God wanted from them, so Micah (like so many other prophets along the way) called on them to repent.

This book also foretells a future where God’s kingdom will be restored and His people will live with hope. Micah speaks of a future ruler who will come from a little town called Bethlehem that will rule over Israel and, while the world will face judgment, there is a compassionate God who delights in showing mercy to His people. Micah points to the hope that is to come. As we read it, we can be reminded of that same hope!

While we read through another minor prophet, let’s dig into each chapter and verse. Grab a journal, a pen, and a highlighter. Take note of the important words and phrases that stick out. Look out for repetition. What was God trying to teach this original audience and what is He trying to teach us now? These are the questions we should be asking ourselves as we study the book of Micah together!

Read Micah 1

The word of the Lord that came to Micah of Moresheth during the reigns of Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah—the vision he saw concerning Samaria and Jerusalem.

Hear, you peoples, all of you,
    listen, earth and all who live in it,
that the Sovereign Lord may bear witness against you,
    the Lord from his holy temple.

Judgment Against Samaria and Jerusalem

Look! The Lord is coming from his dwelling place;
    he comes down and treads on the heights of the earth.
The mountains melt beneath him
    and the valleys split apart,
like wax before the fire,
    like water rushing down a slope.
All this is because of Jacob’s transgression,
    because of the sins of the people of Israel.
What is Jacob’s transgression?
    Is it not Samaria?
What is Judah’s high place?
    Is it not Jerusalem?

“Therefore I will make Samaria a heap of rubble,
    a place for planting vineyards.
I will pour her stones into the valley
    and lay bare her foundations.
All her idols will be broken to pieces;
    all her temple gifts will be burned with fire;
    I will destroy all her images.
Since she gathered her gifts from the wages of prostitutes,
    as the wages of prostitutes they will again be used.”

Weeping and Mourning

Because of this I will weep and wail;
    I will go about barefoot and naked.
I will howl like a jackal
    and moan like an owl.
For Samaria’s plague is incurable;
    it has spread to Judah.
It has reached the very gate of my people,
    even to Jerusalem itself.
10 Tell it not in Gath;
    weep not at all.
In Beth Ophrah
    roll in the dust.
11 Pass by naked and in shame,
    you who live in Shaphir.
Those who live in Zaanan
    will not come out.
Beth Ezel is in mourning;
    it no longer protects you.
12 Those who live in Maroth writhe in pain,
    waiting for relief,
because disaster has come from the Lord,
    even to the gate of Jerusalem.
13 You who live in Lachish,
    harness fast horses to the chariot.
You are where the sin of Daughter Zion began,
    for the transgressions of Israel were found in you.
14 Therefore you will give parting gifts
    to Moresheth Gath.
The town of Akzib will prove deceptive
    to the kings of Israel.
15 I will bring a conqueror against you
    who live in Mareshah.
The nobles of Israel
    will flee to Adullam.
16 Shave your head in mourning
    for the children in whom you delight;
make yourself as bald as the vulture,
    for they will go from you into exile.

Go Deeper

The essence of the book of Micah’s first chapter is that God is pronouncing judgment on the entirety of Israel, both the northern kingdom of Israel and the southern kingdom of Judah, and this judgment is bad news. We could stop there, because that’s basically the point, but there has to be more here, doesn’t there?

In verses 10-15, we read a list of cities and what will happen to the inhabitants of said cities. Most of us likely skimmed over this part, noting that it doesn’t sound good but wondering what this has to do with the point. Is this section a bunch of specifics we don’t need? Could we do without this part? These are understandable questions, to be sure, but, as many of us well know, this part wouldn’t be in Scripture if it weren’t important.

Look back at where Micah is from in verse 1, where he is introduced as “Micah of Moresheth.” This is interesting because Micah is the only one of the prophets who is introduced by his city. Why? It is possible that this is to set up a key literary and rhetorical device used in the section mentioned earlier (v. 10-15). Read verse 14 again. Many believe that “Moresheth Gath” in verse 14 is the same as Moresheth in verse 1, Micah’s hometown. Why does this matter? Of the cities listed in verses 10-15, ancient maps indicate all are neighboring cities to Moresheth. Micah would’ve known these cities, and, more importantly, their names. God allows someone familiar with these places and people to explain why they face “disaster” (v. 12). 

In these verses, Micah masterfully uses the rhetorical device of wordplay, which many prophets use. For example, in verse 13, we read, “You who live in Lachish, harness fast horses to the chariot.” The city name “Lachish” sounds like the Hebrew word for “steed,” which makes it ironic that Micah is calling for them to saddle up the horses and run from the coming judgment.

Why does all of this matter? The rhetorical device of wordplay (used in both Old and New Testaments) emphasizes a point. Each word is significant and carries weight. Wordplay helps bring attention to the message. What did we already say the point of this chapter is? God is pronouncing judgment on the entirety of the Israelite people. It’s a jarring reminder of how seriously God takes sin. We can even dare to say He considers it punishable by death. 

If only there was someone who could intercede on behalf of the guilty…


  1. Have you taken time recently to grieve your sin? If so, keep it up! If not, take this as an opportunity to put some of your sin struggles on paper and prayerfully take them before God.
  2. Who in your life are you regularly confessing your sin to? If you’re not regularly in a rhythm of doing that, schedule time to do that sometime in the next week. You can do this in the power of the Holy Spirit!
  3. It’s important for us to remember that God hates sin, but also that God is not mad at you. Continue to take this before Him in prayer. What is one sinful habit you can work on changing today?

By the Way

Read Romans 5:6-11 and Romans 6:23. These may help with some questions from today.

Leave a Comment Below

Did you learn something today? Share it with our Bible Reading Plan community by commenting below.

Join the Team

Interested in writing for the Bible Reading Plan? Email

5 thoughts on “Micah 1”

  1. Ella Snodgrass

    Micah delivers a similar message to the prophet Amos. The people have blatantly chosen to step away from the security of following God’s precepts and into the dangerous cavern of following the pagan gods of culture. Sovereign God bears witness against them in sending warning of his impending judgement. The final verses reveal the devastating sorrow of being taken from the familiar and exiled to a distant land. Nothing would pierce their hearts quite like seeing their children snatched away, never seeing them again. Or would it? Were they so steeped in sin and deluded that they grew cold and indifferent to God’s coming wrath? Be assured that sin costs us dearly! It cost the life of Christ on Calvary to set us free.

  2. Micah is another wordy prophet. I am learning that I need to learn more of Bible history, time line and Hebrew. But that is for my own understanding to be enlightened. God had a plan and still does. His love for us and all humanity has never waned. He desires us to be a part of His family so He made the way. As Romans 5:6 BUT GOD clearly shows and proves His own love for us by the fact that while we were still sinners Christ died for us. (Amplified).

    Thank you God for your grace and my eternal life through Christ Jesus. I am thankful for that free gift. Thank you that I can be a fruitful tree that is constantly praising and telling others about You. I am convinced that there is nothing! not one thing! that can separate me from You and your love (Rom 8:38-39)!!!! Thank you for loving me in Jesus name amen!

  3. Audrey Andrews

    From Going Deeper: Romans 6:23 “for the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ.”

    I’ve been weary lately talking about how heavy our sin is. It seems to be a topic of sermons and daily reading. God changed my perspective a bit this morning. And I’m grateful.

    The more we confess: the more humble. The more freedom. The more gracious. The more merciful we are. This gives us an incredible opportunity to show mercy & kindness to others that have never been introduced to You, Lord!

    People are coming to Texas by the thousands. Though it is changing the landscape of our cities, may it strengthen our witness not deter it. Help us daily wash the slate clean & start again.

    Yes! It is about our individual sin!! But the recent readings: Amos, Jonah and now Micah show that it is about collective sin too.

    Thank you, God for our cities. Please help us be a light to those around us.

  4. Thank you God for your Word, the BRP and all the ministries that work with the BRP. It is the “but God” in Romans 5 that stops me in my tracks all the time during the day to remind me that God loves me so much that He sent His son to die for my sins.

  5. Yes, thank you BRP for all the breaking down of the passages we read. I needed fresh insight into Micah and encouragement to get through another chapter of prophecy! The question to meditate on Sunday was what common pattern do we see in the book of prophets we have read so far. One thing that stuck out this morning was how in each one I see how they had to bare this ministry on their own–alone–with God. Evans is doing this series called Detours to Destiny, and two quotes stood out this morning: ” Suffering leads to righteousness”, “Don’t let your ministry be stopped by your misery”. Each prophet is lead away on a new mission–most are obedient, one not, so far. I think about Micah being in his hometown and receiving hardship in receiving a warm welcome. Scripture tells us that even Jesus had it hard in his hometown. Which then makes me ask the question to myself “What hometown ministry is out there for me?” Am I getting involved in my community? Am I reluctant because people know me and I am afraid of what they make think? It takes courage!
    Talking about current events: If you listened to the phenomenal interview of the trainer, jockey, and owner of the winning Kentucky Derby horse, Rich Strike, you will hear repeatedly the word “courage” used. Here we have this unknown horse who went from being worth thousands one night, to millions the next day! All because a jockey believed in this horse, and his trainer believed in his jockey, and the owner believed in his trainer. The UNBELIEVABLE UPSET! I’m sure the Israelites were thinking the same thing. One night, they were good living in sin–the next day, Micah rolls into town with a vision from God that wrath is coming! Another unbelievable upset we are fixing to unravel!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.