Mic. 2:1 Woe to them that devise iniquity, and work evil upon their beds! when the morning is light, they practise it, because it is in the power of their hand.
Mic. 2:2 And they covet fields, and take them by violence; and houses, and take them away: so they oppress a man and his house, even a man and his heritage.
Woe is a reference to evil tidings. The prophet is pronouncing judgment to come from God against those who spend their nights planning evil schemes against their fellowmen. They plan how to take what they want using force and violence. They use their strength to defraud weaker men and their families.
This is a very sad description of those known as GodŐs people. I am reminded of the scripture that describes evil as an activity of the night.
John 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
The culture in Israel had gotten to the point that men werenŐt afraid of doing evil in the light of day. Sad to say, that is becoming more descriptive of AmericaŐs culture every day.
Power always corrupts when man refuses to recognize his accountability before God.
Mic. 2:3 Therefore thus saith the LORD; Behold, against this family do I devise an evil, from which ye shall not remove your necks; neither shall ye go haughtily: for this time is evil.
The prophet again makes clear that this message is from YHWH. We donŐt usually think of God as Ňdevising evil,Ó but I think the wording is deliberate in application to those described in the previous two verses. They may be getting away with their evil actions because of their strength, but their strength is no match for that of YHWH. GodŐs judgment is certain and will destroy their pride.
Ňthis time is evilÓ – IŐm not sure if this emphasizing GodŐs coming judgment or the fact that this time in the history of His people is evil and morally corrupt.
Mic. 2:4 In that day shall one take up a parable against you, and lament with a doleful lamentation, and say, We be utterly spoiled: he hath changed the portion of my people: how hath he removed it from me! turning away he hath divided our fields.
In this context the parable is a reference to a narrative song or poem that their enemies will use to mock them. It is basically a narrative depicting the truth that their judgment fits the crime; that they are reaping what they have sown. Just as they were taking by force from those weaker than they, God was going to allow their enemies to take His wicked people by force.
Mic. 2:5 Therefore thou shalt have none that shall cast a cord by lot in the congregation of the LORD.
When GodŐs people entered the promised land, the land was apportioned to the people by lot.
Num. 33:53 And ye shall dispossess the inhabitants of the land, and dwell therein: for I have given you the land to possess it.
Num. 33:54 And ye shall divide the land by lot for an inheritance among your families: and to the more ye shall give the more inheritance, and to the fewer ye shall give the less inheritance: every manŐs inheritance shall be in the place where his lot falleth; according to the tribes of your fathers ye shall inherit.
When God allows them to be conquered by their enemies, those lots will no longer be recognized. They will have no land to call their own.
Mic. 2:6 Prophesy ye not, say they to them that prophesy: they shall not prophesy to them, that they shall not take shame.
This verse is basically saying that the people donŐt want to hear what the true prophets have to say. They refuse to believe that God will allow His own people to experience such disgrace and shame.
Mic. 2:7 O thou that art named the house of Jacob, is the spirit of the LORD straitened? are these his doings? do not my words do good to him that walketh uprightly?
The Hebrew for straightened includes Ňmuch discouraged, grieveÉtrouble, and vex.Ó The questions (my paraphrase): O people of Israel, donŐt you think you have grieved or vexed GodŐs Spirit? Is this the way He instructed you to live? DonŐt My words benefit those who live according to them?
Mic. 2:8 Even of late my people is risen up as an enemy: ye pull off the robe with the garment from them that pass by securely as men averse from war.
Mic. 2:9 The women of my people have ye cast out from their pleasant houses; from their children have ye taken away my glory for ever.
These verses are an indictment against the wickedness of GodŐs people. They are acting no differently than those of heathen nations. They donŐt hesitate to steal from others. They donŐt even hesitate to take advantage of helpless women and children. Point is made that they are taking away from others what God has given them. Scripture teaches that God is the protector of the weak.
Psa. 35:10 All my bones shall say, LORD, who is like unto thee, which deliverest the poor from him that is too strong for him, yea, the poor and the needy from him that spoileth him?
Psa. 72:12-14 For he shall deliver the needy when he crieth; the poor also, and him that hath no helper. He shall spare the poor and needy, and shall save the souls of the needy. He shall redeem their soul from deceit and violence: and precious shall their blood be in his sight.
By positioning themselves as enemies of the weak and helpless, they were positioning themselves as enemies of God.
Mic. 2:10 Arise ye, and depart; for this is not your rest: because it is polluted, it shall destroy you, even with a sore destruction.
It seems as if the prophet is telling the people who will listen to leave their land because it has become so unclean. The longer they stay, the more they will suffer at the hands of the wicked people who dominate it.
Mic. 2:11 If a man walking in the spirit and falsehood do lie, saying, I will prophesy unto thee of wine and of strong drink; he shall even be the prophet of this people.
I like the CJB translation of this verse:
If a man who walks in wind and falsehood tells this lie: ŇI will preach to you of [how good it is to drink] wine and strong liquorÓ — this people will accept him as their preacher!
In other words, as long as the message is according to what they want to hear, the people will listen. DoesnŐt that sound a lot like the Ňseeker sensitiveÓ outlook that many churches are adopting today? God is clear that we are to declare the truth of His Word—not just in part, but in whole—not according to what is politically correct, but according to the truth—not according to what the people want to hear, but according to what He wants them to hear.
Mic. 2:12 I will surely assemble, O Jacob, all of thee; I will surely gather the remnant of Israel; I will put them together as the sheep of Bozrah, as the flock in the midst of their fold: they shall make great noise by reason of the multitude of men.
This verse is a word of encouragement to those in Israel who were still following God as LORD. This group is identified as Ňthe remnant,Ó and God has promised that He will always preserve this remnant of the nation of Israel.
2Kings 19:30-31 And the remnant that is escaped of the house of Judah shall yet again take root downward, and bear fruit upward. For out of Jerusalem shall go forth a remnant, and they that escape out of mount Zion: the zeal of the LORD of hosts shall do this.
Is. 10:20-21 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the remnant of Israel, and such as are escaped of the house of Jacob, shall no more again stay upon him that smote them; but shall stay upon the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, in truth. The remnant shall return, even the remnant of Jacob, unto the mighty God.
Ezek. 6:7-8 And the slain shall fall in the midst of you, and ye shall know that I am the LORD. Yet will I leave a remnant, that ye may have some that shall escape the sword among the nations, when ye shall be scattered through the countries.
Rom. 11:1-5 I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Wot ye not what the scripture saith of Elias? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel, sayingÉ. Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.
Not only is there always going to be a remnant, but the day is coming when that remnant will number in the multitudes. BozrahŐs meaning in Hebrew is Ňan enclosure, i.e. sheep fold,Ó and I am sure that is the main reason for the use of this name. I canŐt help, however, but think of my studies on end times. Bozrah is the name of a city also known as Petra in todayŐs Jordan. There are indications in scripture that this will be the very location where God protects the believing remnant during that last 3.5 years of tribulation before the Lord Jesus returns to establish His kingdom.
Mic. 2:13 The breaker is come up before them: they have broken up, and have passed through the gate, and are gone out by it: and their king shall pass before them, and the LORD on the head of them.
ŇbreakerÓ – The shepherd going before the flock to clear the way.
This sounds like the victorious march of the remnant behind the lead of King Messiah as He sets out to destroy the antichrist and his armies and establish His people back in the land for the millennial kingdom. I remember getting much clearer understanding once I understood that the Lord would be coming from Bozrah as described by Isaiah.
Is. 63:1 Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save.
Is. 63:2 Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the winefat?
Is. 63:3 I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment.
Is. 63:4 For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come.
There are many scriptures that describe the kingdom as a time of great prosperity for AbrahamŐs descendants in the land of Israel according to GodŐs promise.
Jer. 33:7 And I will cause the captivity of Judah and the captivity of Israel to return, and will build them, as at the first.
Jer. 33:8 And I will cleanse them from all their iniquity, whereby they have sinned against me; and I will pardon all their iniquities, whereby they have sinned, and whereby they have transgressed against me.
Jer. 33:9 And it shall be to me a name of joy, a praise and an honour before all the nations of the earth, which shall hear all the good that I do unto them: and they shall fear and tremble for all the goodness and for all the prosperity that I procure unto it.
Jer. 33:10 Thus saith the LORD; Again there shall be heard in this place, which ye say shall be desolate without man and without beast, even in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem, that are desolate, without man, and without inhabitant, and without beast,
Jer. 33:11 The voice of joy, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the voice of them that shall say, Praise the LORD of hosts: for the LORD is good; for his mercy endureth for ever: and of them that shall bring the sacrifice of praise into the house of the LORD. For I will cause to return the captivity of the land, as at the first, saith the LORD.
Hos. 1:10 Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people, there it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God.