Micah 1

2 Hear, you peoples, all of you;

pay attention, O earth, and all that is in it,

and let the Lord GOD be a witness against you,

the Lord from his holy temple.

3For behold, the LORD is coming out of his place,

and will come down and tread upon the high places of the earth.

4And the mountains will melt under him,

and the valleys will split open,

like wax before the fire,

like waters poured down a steep place.

5All this is for the transgression of Jacob

and for the sins of the house of Israel.

What is the transgression of Jacob?

Is it not Samaria?

And what is the high place of Judah?

Is it not Jerusalem?

6Therefore I will make Samaria a heap in the open country,

a place for planting vineyards,

and I will pour down her stones into the valley

and uncover her foundations.

7All her carved images shall be beaten to pieces,

all her wages shall be burned with fire,

and all her idols I will lay waste,

for from the fee of a prostitute she gathered them,

and to the fee of a prostitute they shall return.

As we read into Micah’s prophecy we will see that God’s anger at His people was more than justified. The next chapter relates the sins of injustice and greed on a large scale.

But we need to remember that the horrible social injustice of which they were guilty stemmed from an even greater sin. The sin against which Micah prophesied was idolatry (1:5-7). If the essence of sin is pride, it’s demonstration is idolatry. We show our pride by worshipping other than God. The god of choice is oneself.

Adam and Eve ate the fruit because Satan told them they would be as God. The people of the north and south kingdoms of Israel and Judah committed idolatry because of their surroundings. They adopted the gods of the Gentiles with whom they lived. Conformity led to idolatry. Conformity itself is idolatry. They had already forsaken God for other things before they ever bowed down to an idol.

We desire to be like the world more than we desire to do as God says and be different for His glory. We set ourselves up on the throne and obey the sovereign ruler – us. This is why Micah said they deserved the justice that was coming. The people should be ashamed of themselves. We should find sin shameful. But we do not.

The church needs to be on guard against being so conformed to the world that we call evil good and good evil, just as the world does. There is a battle going on for our souls (I Peter 1:11) and we lose it whenever we let our guard down, find the philosophies of the godless appealing and grow ignorant of the Word of God.

The social injustices that are referred to in chapter 2 come from hearts that find themselves more important than God. The horrible abuse of people can always be traced back to a view of God that is far too low and a view of oneself that is far too high.