Micah, called from a rustic home to be a prophet, left his familiar surroundings to deliver a stern message of judgment to the princes and people of Jerusalem. Angered by the abusive treatment of the poor by the rich and influential, the prophet turned his verbal rebukes upon any who would use their social or political power for personal gain.
Micah insisted that God’s righteous demands upon His people remained clear at all times and in all ages: “to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God” (6:8).
Micah not only rebuked his people, however; he also issued several prophecies of the coming Messiah and described a future time of peace and prosperity when Israel would once more serve the Lord in holy gladness. The most famous of his Messianic prophecies is an annual favorite at Christmas time: “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to Me the One to be Ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting” (5:2).
The Hebrew name Michayahu (“Who is like Yahweh?”) is shortened in the book to Michaia. In 7:18, Micah hints at his own name with the phrase “Who is a God like You?” He is fond of plays on words, as in 1:10, “Tell it not in Gath,” where “Gath” sounds like the Hebrew word for “tell.”
Themes: God insists that His people must reflect His holy character in the way they live; if they refuse, judgment is the inevitable result. Yet God will never abandon His covenant people and will send the Messiah to rescue them from their sins and to one day rule over them in righteousness and truth.
Author: Micah, a native of Moresheth in southern Judah.
Time: Micah prophesied during the reigns of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah (750–686 B.C.), and was a contemporary of the prophet Isaiah.
Structure: The first portion of Micah’s book generally exposes the sins of his countrymen; then he focuses on the punishment God is about to send; and the final portion holds out the hope of restoration once that discipline has ended.
Charles F. Stanley, The Charles F. Stanley Life Principles Bible: New King James Version (Nashville, TN: Nelson Bibles, 2005), Mic.