Micah

Micah 2:1-5 Just Retribution Within The Covenant.

The LORD is incredibly patient with sinful humanity. These judgments come to those who “devise iniquity, and work out evil on their beds” (v. 1a Cf. Hos. 6:6-7)! There was a great deal of pre-meditation. It wasn’t a moment of weakness, so to speak. Furthermore, all that pre-meditation was in light of the reality that come morning they could put their scheme into practice, “because it is in the power of their hand” (v. 1b). If it required violence to put their schemes into practice, then so be it. It starts with coveting, but with practice it is acted out. This was the point that Paul made, as a Christian Rom. 7:7-12 (v. 2a). The end is clear, “they oppress a man and his house, a man and his inheritance” (v. 2b Cf. Is. 5:8).

It is on the above basis that the “therefore” of verse 3, is there for. What follows is based on the above. Therefore, just as the accused devised against the innocent, the LORD will devise judgment against the guilty, and they would no longer be haughty. This judgment would be such that people would take up a proverb against those who sought to take another’s inheritance, that the LORD would change the heritage of His people. “A family’s property was a permanent, sacred trust from God (Lev. 25:10, 13). After the Babylonian exile the land would be redistributed (cf. Num. 26:55; Josh. 18:8-10), but neither the oppressors nor their descendants would then be present to claim an inheritance” (NGSB. p.1425).

The accusation of verses 1-2, and the sentence of exile of verse 3, “and the loss of their lands to invaders” (v. 4) ends with the conclusion that “the robbers are cut off from the covenant people (v. 5). The accusation and sentence are linked by a play on words involving “who devise iniquity” (v. 1) and “I am devising disaster” (v. 3), which are virtually identical expressions in Hebrew. As the powerful took fields away from Israel’s men (vv. 1,2), so the Lord will send an enemy army to wrest the Promised Land from them (vv. 4, 5)” (Ibid. p.1425). These people were judged as they were precisely because they were in covenant with the LORD (Cf. Ex. 20:5; Jer. 8:3; Amos 3:1-2; 5:13).

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