Verse 1 – Woe to those who devise iniquity, and work out evil on their beds! At morning light they practice it, because it is in the power of their hand.
Verse 2 – They covet fields and take them by violence, also houses, and seize them. So they oppress a man and his house, a man and his inheritance.
Micah directed these verses to wealthy and powerful landlords. They devised evil plots while laying on their beds and woke up and did them. Evil thoughts can lead to evil deeds.
Verse 3 – Therefore thus says the Lord: “Behold, against this family I am devising disaster, from which you cannot remove your necks; nor shall you walk haughtily, for this is an evil time.
Verse 4 – In that day one shall take up a proverb against you, and lament with a bitter lamentation, and say: ‘We are utterly destroyed! He has changed the heritage of my people; how He has removed it from me! To a turncoat He has divided our fields.’ ”
Verse 5 – Therefore you will have no one to determine boundaries by lot in the congregation of the Lord.
Those who have been oppressing others will find the tables turned. They had taken the houses and land from those who didn’t have the means to fight back. These were their own people. Now their enemies would come in and take it all.
Verse 6 – “Do not prattle,” you say to those who prophesy. So they shall not prophesy to you; they shall not return insult for insult.
Verse 7 – You who are named the house of Jacob: “Is the Spirit of the Lord restricted? Are these His doings? Do not My words do good to him who walks uprightly?
The false prophets rejected the truth that came form Micah’s message. They told him to stop preaching God’s judgment because shame would overtake them. God’s word always has two sides; one being His goodness and favor to those who follow His ways; the other being the consequences of evil ways.
Verse 8 – “Lately My people have risen up as an enemy – you pull off the robe with the garment from those who trust you, as they pass by, like men returned from war.
Israel was treating the innocent passer-by, as though they were enemies, stealing their cloaks.
Verse 9 – The women of My people you cast out from their pleasant houses; from their children you have taken away My glory forever.
Verse 10 – “Arise and depart, for this is not your rest; because it is defiled, it shall destroy you, even with utter destruction.
Verse 11 – If a man should walk in a false spirit and speak a lie, saying, ‘I will prophesy to you of wine and drink,’ even he would be the prattler of this people.
With sarcasm Micah said the people deserved the false prophecy – life of comfort. They wanted a religion that didn’t point out their sin, not one of righteousness and holiness pointed out by God.
Verse 12 – “I will surely assemble all of you, O Jacob, I will surely gather the remnant of Israel; I will put them together like sheep of the fold, like a flock in the midst of their pasture; they shall make a loud noise because of so many men.
Verse 13 – The one who breaks open will come up before them; they will break out, pass through the gate, and go out by it; their king will pass before them, with the Lord at their head.”
Micah’s prophecy tells us of two great events. One when the remnant is set free from the Babylonians and the other when all believers gather when the Messiah returns. The prophets were given visions of future events, but not always when they would happen. They couldn’t see the long period of time between the captives of Babylon and the coming Messiah, but they could see Him coming. This would give the people hope to turn from their sin.