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Thursday, November 3, 2011

11/4/11 Jeremiah 26:17-19 Introduction to Micah

17 Some of the elders of the land stepped forward and said to the entire assembly of people, 18 “Micah of Moresheth prophesied in the days of Hezekiah king of Judah. He told all the people of Judah, ‘This is what the LORD Almighty says:
“‘Zion will be plowed like a field,
Jerusalem will become a heap of rubble,
the temple hill a mound overgrown with thickets.’
19 “Did Hezekiah king of Judah or anyone else in Judah put him to death? Did not Hezekiah fear the LORD and seek his favor? And did not the LORD relent, so that he did not bring the disaster he pronounced against them? We are about to bring a terrible disaster on ourselves!”
20 (Now Uriah son of Shemaiah from Kiriath Jearim was another man who prophesied in the name of the LORD; he prophesied the same things against this city and this land as Jeremiah did. 21 When King Jehoiakim and all his officers and officials heard his words, the king was determined to put him to death. But Uriah heard of it and fled in fear to Egypt. 22 King Jehoiakim, however, sent Elnathan son of Akbor to Egypt, along with some other men. 23 They brought Uriah out of Egypt and took him to King Jehoiakim, who had him struck down with a sword and his body thrown into the burial place of the common people.)

(Micah- Jan Van Eyck- Ghent altar piece)

Thoughts: This passage is the only place where one prophet quotes another prophet. The people quoted Micah 3:12 as a reminder that the doom of Jerusalem was prophesied (and avoided) before.  They gave credit to Micah for waking the people up so that they repented under King Hezekiah (100 years before Jeremiah), and the Lord relented in his punishment. This was one of the rare cases where the prophet's message was heeded.   Micah means "who is like the Lord?"  His name implies a strict monotheism that Isaiah and Hosea (his contemporaries) also held.  Most of Micah's ministry was before the reforms of Hezekiah.  Micah would, like most prophets, go back and forth from doom to hope.  God does not totally cut off his people, but God does rebuke them through His prophet. The people in Jeremiah's day were very familiar with Micah- enough to quote him verbatim when needed.  They knew his story, applied it to the release of Jeremiah, but did not reform their ways and turn back to God.  They were like the people of our day who knew the Bible, could analyze the Bible, but could not listen to the Biblical message of repentance. 

Prayer: Give me ears to hear, O Lord.  Give me a heart to repent. 

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