The name “Micah” means “Who is like Yahweh?” The theme of the biblical book of Micah alternates between God’s deliverance and destruction: there are always glimmers of hope breaking into the despair and destruction. “Micah spells out the disobedience of God’s people, particularly in the city of Jerusalem, and the certain judgment of the Lord which will be thorough but will leave a faithful remnant under the leadership of God’s chosen king” (Bible Speaks Today). The people of Judah had learned “to perfect the perennial heresy of compartmentalizing their religious beliefs and separating them from their daily lives” (BST).  They were learning to live comfortably without God.  

The people did not want to hear God’s word declared passionately by the prophet: “Don’t preach with such impassioned rhetoric.  These prophets should not preach of such things; we will not be overtaken by humiliation” (Micah 2:6 NET).  The NET provides this alternative meaning: “do not foam at the mouth.” “The sinful people tell the Lord’s prophets not to ‘foam at the mouth,’ which probably refers in a derogatory way to their impassioned style of delivery.”  But Micah was intensely moved by what God had shown him: “This is why I lament and mourn.  This is why I go around in rags and barefoot.  This is why I howl like a pack of coyotes, and moan like a mournful owl in the night” (Micah 1:8 – MSG).

In Micah 2:7-8 (NLT), God challenges the people through the prophet: “Should you talk that way, O family of Israel?  Will the Lord’s Spirit have patience with such behavior?  If you would do what is right, you would find my words comforting.  Yet to this very hour my people rise against me like an enemy!”  The Lord accuses them of defiling the land with their rebellious behavior.  He tells the apostate people, “Get up, go away! For this is not your resting place, because it is defiled, it is ruined beyond all remedy” (2:10).  The land could no longer be the resting place God had intended it to be.  The land was defiled and beyond cure.  

Then, in verses 12-13 we hear of God’s message of salvation for his faithful remnant.  False prophets said God’s judgment would not come. “But Micah promised salvation beyond the judgment for a righteous remnant” (CSB). This can be received as both good news and bad news. It assures the salvation of a remnant, while at the same time affirming the destruction of Judah as a whole. “I will surely gather all of you, Jacob; I will surely bring together the remnant of Israel.  I will bring them together like sheep in a sheepfold, like a flock in its pasture” (v. 12). 

How will this happen?  As we read this passage we can shout, “King Jesus has come!”  “Micah’s prophecy telescopes two great events – Judah’s return from captivity in Babylon, and the great gathering of all believers when the Messiah returns” (Application Bible).  “Your leader will break out and lead you out of exile, out through the gates of the enemy cities, back to your own land.  Your King will lead you; the Lord himself will guide you” (Micah 2:13 NLT).  

As faithful followers who take our marching orders from King Jesus, we seem to be more and more in exile.  In the midst of the post-Christian destruction of our institutions and our former way of life, God is preserving a remnant.  As the faithful remnant, we see more clearly than ever that this is not our resting place, “It is defiled, and ruined beyond all remedy.”  My counsel: find fellow believers who have the same vision and follow King Jesus into the new land.