Day 182: The Inescapable God

The Book of Micah

Author and Date:

  • According to the book that bears his name, Micah was active as a prophet during the reigns of Kings Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, taking place in the last quarter of that century, about 727-700 BC, beginning just a few years before the fall of Samaria to the Assyrians, which would make Micah a contemporary of Isaiah.

  • His success in bringing about conversion in Judah under Hezekiah is lauded in Jeremiah (cf. Jer 26:18-19).

  • The first six chapters were written after Samaria’s fall and, but for a few later edits and additions, reflect Micah’s own work and preaching.

  • Most of the final chapter was probably added much later by another writer, after the return of the exiles from Babylon in the late sixth century BC, and inserted by an editor who endowed the book with remarkable flow and unity.


  • Micah warned the Jews of the late eighth century BC that they would face a similar fate to the Northern Kingdom if they would fail to repent, a prophecy that arguably was fulfilled with the exile to Babylon of 587 BC.

Main Themes:

  • Like many of the prophetic books, Micah consists of oracles threatening punishment for sin and calling the people to repentance along with promises of God’s blessing and restoration of the people would indeed experience conversion.

  • Some Jews and even the king believed that the Chosen People enjoyed God’s protection to the point that they were invulnerable to disaster, but Micah disabused the people of that notion.

  • Samaria met destruction because of the transgressions of the Northern Kingdom, but Judah was in the same danger for its own sins.

  • Pious religious observances and sacrifices were not enough; the people were required “to do justice, and do love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God” (6:8).

  • False prophets who lulled the people by encouraging such lukewarmness were roundly condemned (cf. 3:5-12).

  • The coming of salvation is strong in Micah: a “remnant of Jacob” would be saved (cf. 5:7-9) under a “ruler of Israel” who would arise from the humble town of Bethlehem (cf. 5:1-4)-verses from the prophet that are explicitly cited in the Gospel of St. Matthew as having been fulfilled in the Birth of Christ (cf. Mt 2:6).

(*The Didache Bible RSV-CE Ignatius Edition, 2006)

Micah 1-7 As with most prophetic literature, this book follows a pattern of condemnations and threats followed by promises and messages of hope. Micah’s target was Samaria, both before and after its fall to the Assyrians in about 722 BC. More generally, his message applied to all of Israel (NORTHERN KINGDOM) and Judah (SOUTHERN KINGDOM), whose peoples needed to repent of their moral failings and turn back to God.

Ch 1:1-16 At the time of Micah’s writing, Assyria was the rising empire of the region. The Northern Kingdom of Israel, while prosperous, had opened trade routes with other nations. However, this connection had unwittingly allowed the influence of pagan worship to be imported and to take hold in Israel. Through Micah, the Lord pronounced judgment on Israel because of the idolatry in Samaria. Judah, meanwhile, struggled with its own problems with pagan worship and infidelities and would suffer a similar fate. Both Samaria and Jerusalem would be destroyed by their conquerors: Samaria was razed by the Assyrians within a few years of Micah’s prophecy, and Jerusalem fell to the Babylonians a century later.

Ch 2:1-13 The people were guilty of many injustices, which drew more attention than the idolatrous practices mentioned in the previous chapter. They knew they were doing wrong and tried to shun the prophet for pointing out their sins. While Israel (NORTHERN KINGDOM) and Judah (SOUTHERN KINGDOM) would face the consequences of their sins, God would “gather the remnant of Israel” and restore his people to his sheepfold. (CCC 701-711, 1081)

Ch 2:2 The oppression of the poor, the weak, and the powerless is a frequent target of prophetic correction in the Old Testament. Covetousness can easily lead to unjust actions against the legitimate rights and possessions of others. (CCC 1867, 2534)

Ch 3:1-12 The corrupt leaders of that time cared little for the poor, and the false prophets led people astray; consequently, they both received strong rebukes from Micah. On account of their sins, both Samaria (CAPITAL OF NORTHERN KINGDOM) and Judah (SOUTHERN KINGDOM) were conquered.

Ch 4:1-5 God’s plan of salvation involves the regathering of his people into one body, signified by Israel in the Old Testament and the Church in the New Testament. As the Chosen People, Israel is a type (TYPOLOGY!!) of the one true Church founded by Christ, which draws people of every race and nation, both Gentiles and Jews. True peace is found in this Church established by Christ. (CCC 762)

Ch 4:6-13 The Lord’s hand extends itself to the outcast and the downtrodden and shows them special predilection. It is God who made his covenant with Israel and it is the same God who punished his people on account of their infidelity to the covenant. In his faithful and unconditional love, God used the conquest and destruction caused by Gentile nations to purify his people. (CCC 306, 1937)

Psalm 139 Neither can we hide from God nor can we deceive him since he is both omnipresent and omniscient. This presence and knowledge should not be taken as a motive of fear; rather, it should inspire confidence in his loving providence. Even though he may chastise and purify our lives through suffering, it is intended to serve as a way of finding true happiness. Furthermore, he always gives us the grace and strength to overcome all adversities. (Cf. Pope Benedict XVI, General Audiences, December 14 and 28, 2005)

This psalm reminds us of our utter dependence upon God. We need to call upon him often, and therefore, we must always seek the presence of God and his light in every important decision to avail ourselves of his solicitous protection.

My frame was not hidden...the earth: God knew us and created us at the moment of our conception, tending to every detail of our body and soul. Human life, from conception to natural death, must be respected and protected. The human person is formed in the image and likeness of God and, therefore, enjoys innate rights, beginning with the right to life. (CCC 2270)

(*The Didache Bible RSV-CE Ignatius Edition, 2006)

  • Today we are introduced to the Prophet Micah

  • Micah is a contemporary of the Prophet Isaiah in the Old Testament

  • He is prophesying to the people of Israel (NORTHERN KINGDOM), Judah (SOUTHERN KINGDOM), and ALL OF GOD’S PEOPLE

  • He is calling them back to REPENTANCE

  • He tells them what will happen if they DON’T REPENT and DON’T COME BACK TO THE LORD

  • Yup, sounds like a PROPHET!!

  • So when you are HALFWAY through today’s readings, you will be HALFWAY THROUGH THE ENTIRE BIBLE!!


  • GO US!!

  • This is PHENOMENAL!

  • We have all been FAITHFUL for the last 182 days!

  • What a GIFT!

  • Ok so in 2 Kings Ch 16 we have Ahaz

  • Ahaz is not a great guy

  • There are going to be a lot of connection points

  • At this point, Ahaz did not do what was right in the sight of the Lord

  • Ahaz did not live like his father, Jotham

  • Ahaz did not live like his grandfather, Azariah/Uzziah (SAME PERSON!!)

  • BUT…

  • Ahaz actually incorporated (we heard about this in 2 Chronicles) the practices of the Canaanites

  • Ahaz even sacrificed HIS OWN SON to the Canaanite god Molech!!

  • This is REMARKABLY out there!

  • It is almost UNIMAGINABLE! (I would even dare to say that IT’S INCONCEIVABLE!! 🤓)

  • His father, grandfather, and even some of the GOOD KINGS did NOT give God GOOD WORSHIP

  • But here is Ahaz who is turning AWAY from even the worship of the Lord God

  • He is worshiping these FALSE GODS

  • When Ahaz goes to Damascus to meet the king of Assyria, he comes back and tells the priest Uriah that he wants an altar just like the King of Assyria

  • Uriah builds an altar like the king of Assyria has

  • So what does Ahaz do?

  • Ahaz not only DE-EMPHASIZES the ACTUAL ALTAR in the TEMPLE, the Altar of Sacrifice to the Lord God

  • BUT…


  • So Ahaz is NOT A GOOD GUY

  • What’s happening is that the tensions are MOUNTING

  • The king of Syria and the king of Israel (NORTHERN KINGDOM) are teaming up against the king of Judah (SOUTHERN KINGDOM)

  • Ahaz it the King of Judah (SOUTHERN KINGDOM)

  • So what happens?

  • The Prophet Isaiah comes to Ahaz and says, “If you want to belong to the Lord God, He will fight for you in this.”

  • We will read this soon in Isaiah Ch 7

  • Isaiah Ch 7 is the Great Prophecy of IMMANUEL

  • Isaiah 7:14, “Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son and shall call his name Immanuel.”

  • Immanuel means GOD IS WITH US

  • At some point, Isaiah comes to Ahaz

  • Isaiah 7:10, “‘Ask a sign of the Lord your God’...but Ahaz said, ‘I will not ask, and I will not put the Lord to the test.’”

  • That sounds really HUMBLE and HOLY of Ahaz

  • But what it REVEALS is that Ahaz already HAS A PLAN

  • Ahaz’s plan is NOT to ask GOD for help

  • Ahaz’s plan is NOT to lean on GOD for help

  • Ahaz’s plan is to go to the king of Assyria and make a deal with him in order to fight against Israel (NORTHERN KINGDOM) and Syria


  • In fact, it is HORRIBLE

  • Assyria is the kingdom that is going to DESTROY ISRAEL (NORTHERN KINGDOM) and lead them into EXILE PERMANENTLY until the fulfillment of the NEW COVENANT

  • It will also PAVE THE WAY for the destruction of Judah (SOUTHERN KINGDOM)

  • That will happen really quickly coming up in the next couple of days

  • This brings us to the Prophet Micah

  • This is GREAT

  • This is all coming together

  • Micah is a prophet at the same time as Isaiah

  • Isaiah comes to Ahaz in Isaiah Ch 7

  • Micah is preaching at the time of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah

  • Jotham is Ahaz’s DAD

  • Hezekiah is Ahaz’s SON

  • Micah is all about JUDGEMENT and HOPE, just like all the other prophets

  • Micah is saying, “Here is what is happening. You are turning far from the Lord. What’s going to happen is there is going to be judgment.”

  • BUT…

  • Also, even in the midst of the Book of the Prophet Micah, there is HOPE

  • God keeps saying, “No, just listen. Come back to me because I will do something REMARKABLE.”

  • Micah is noting that Assyria is going to come and DESTROY

  • Babylon is going to come and DESTROY

  • WHY?

  • The LEADERS of the people are CORRUPT

  • The RULERS of the people are CORRUPT


  • The leaders will do UNJUST THINGS

  • The prophets will prophesy something GOOD for you if you PAY them and they will prophesy something BAD for you if you DO NOT PAY them

  • It shows the CORRUPTION of the LEADERSHIP

  • The TEMPORAL LEADERSHIP of the rulers, leaders, and kings

  • The SPIRITUAL LEADERSHIP of those prophets and some of the priests in this case

  • That corruption is going to be so awful

  • God says that the judgement is going to happen but also says in Micah 2:12, “I will surely gather all of you, O Jacob, I will gather the remnant of Israel; I will set them together like sheep in a fold, like a flock in its pasture…”

  • Basically even in the midst of this judgement God says, “But I am going to be the shepherd. But I am going to be the Good Shepherd here.”

  • We know that Jesus fulfills that ultimately and He says, “I am the Good Shepherd.”

  • That’s just such a REMARKABLE PROMISE


  • Right in the midst of this word of JUDGMENT upon Zion

  • There is a Prophecy of Restoration of Zion

  • This is AFTER EXILE


  • Micah 4:1, “It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of the Lord (remember that Zion is the MOUNTAIN OF THE LORD’S HOUSE) shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be raised up above the hills; and peoples shall flow to it, and many nations shall come and say: ‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; that he may teach us his ways and we may walk in his paths.’”

  • This is REMARKABLE

  • WHY??

  • Because of Jesus HIMSELF

  • The New Covenant is that Jesus extends the BLESSINGS of God to the People of Israel TO THE ENTIRE WORLD



  • Not just the Jewish People

  • They were the FIRST CHOSEN

  • They were chosen for a SPECIFIC PURPOSE

  • Remember, Abraham?

  • The promise is, “Abraham through you, you will have a kingdom. You will have land. You will have worldwide blessing. The entire world will be blessed through you.”

  • Here is Micah the Prophet in Ch 4 saying, “This is going to happen. But it is going to happen after EXILE. It is going to happen after JUDGMENT. It is going to happen after the DARKEST DAY of the Peoples of Israels’ lives up to this point.”

  • BUT…That person, That LORD HIMSELF

  • Micah 4:3, “He shall judge between many peoples, and shall decide for strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks...they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree, and none shall make them afraid…”

  • That is a line not only from the Book of Micah, but that is a line from Hamilton the Musical where George Washington is retiring and he just wants to have that place of REST

  • He wants to have that time of RESTORATION

  • After fighting HIS WHOLE LIFE

  • After establishing the nation of the United States of America, he just wants to be able to sit under his vine, under his fig tree, and none shall make them afraid (Hamilton is a great musical, and I don’t even LIKE musicals! Well….except for The Lion King...poor Mufasa 😫)

  • BUT…

  • It is NOT about George Washington

  • It is about JESUS

  • Micah 4:5, “For all the peoples walk each in the name of its god, but we will walk in the name of the Lord our God…”

  • That is the declaration that EVERY ONE OF US who belongs to God

  • We just need to say, “Yup. All peoples they walk each in the name of their own god. But we will walk in the name of the Lord our God.”


  • BUT…

  • Only with His Grace


  • Because it is HARD to CONVERT

  • Because it is HARD to REPENT

  • Because it is HARD to be FAITHFUL to the Lord when we all feel like we are WALKING IN DARKNESS


  • AND YET…

  • As the Psalm 139:12 said, “Darkness is not dark for you, Lord God.”

  • “So God, help us. Help us to walk even when we don’t know which is the next good step to take.”



Prayer by Fr. Mike: “Father in Heaven we give you praise. God, thank you so much. Thank you. You are-I love the title of this Psalm-The Inescapable God. You are the Inescapable God because you formed us in the depths of our being. You formed us when we were hidden in our mothers’ wombs. You, Lord God, have known us. And you have known us through and through, known us thoroughly. And we can never escape you. And why would we, Lord God? Help us to let you find us. Help us to seek after you and not run from you and not race to the ends of the sea or to fly to earths. And we ask you to please help us to stop, to turn back to you, and to be found by you because you are the God who loves us. And help us to let ourselves be loved by you, in this unstoppable and inescapable way. We make this prayer in Jesus’ name. Amen.”