Geography of Judgment (1:19-16)
The wound of God's punishment is given a specific geographical range of eleven cities that are near Jerusalem. The recitation of these Judean towns also afforded an opportunity to describe the nature of God's judgment. With poetic flair, Micah makes a series of puns on the names. For example, Shapir is related to the word "beauty" and therefore becomes a poetic means of telling people who take pride in beauty that they will be known by nakedness and shame. Aczib sounds like the Hebrew word for "deceitful" (aczab). Those who act deceitfully will be destroyed by deception. Our judgment is often a product of our own sin. Both the Bible (2 Kg. 18:13-16) and Neo-Assyrian annals contain the historical account of Sennacherib, who invaded the towns of Judah and even reached the gates of Jerusalem. Micah's oracle must have rung in people's ears, as they witnessed the fulfillment of his prophecy.
Spend some time meditating upon Jesus, who on the cross experienced the nakedness and shame of exile from God on our behalf.
Is there a strength or talent in which you take glory that might become a source of stumbling?
"And the longer you delay, the more your sin gets strength and rooting. If you cannot bend a twig, how will you be able to bend it when it is a tree?" -- Richard Baxter
O Lord Jesus, have mercy on me, a sinner! We too easily abuse the gifts that you have given to us and use them for our own glory. Yet, in your mercy the judgment that we deserve has fallen on you. Thank you. Amen.
Dr. Walter Kim is the Minister of Adult Education at Park Street Church in Boston. He received his M.Div. from Regent University's School of Divinity and his Ph.D. in Near-Eastern Languages and Cultures from Harvard University.