I re-taught the book of Micah, a short and punchy prophetic book from the Bible's Old Testament. If you want to engage with God's zeal against social injustice or better familiarise yourself with the prophets, have a download of this teaching (scroll below) to supplement your study. It's a three hour lecture, easy peasy.
An Introduction to the Prophets
The Prophets (17 books from Isaiah to Malachi) is a type of literature which contains the most direct words of the Lord in Scripture and through it you can get to know the heart of God like no other. Much of the text comes in the form of Hebrew poetry and figurative language and (contrary to popular belief) doesn't simply prophesy future judgement/restoration for God's people, but also describes the events of the time as well as God's opinions and warnings within it all. The Prophets is also one of the most misunderstood and misapplied portions of scripture. We have nothing like it in our genres of literature today and because of that people struggle with knowing how to interpret its contents, often jumping to finding future fulfillments that apply to us today.
The books of Kings and Chronicles are hugely important to unlocking the Prophets. They describe Israel's history from the united kingdom (where Saul, David and Solomon reigned) to the divided kingdom (where Israel's 12 tribes split into two separate kingdoms known as 'Israel'/the North and 'Judah'/the South) to the eventual exile of both nations. The Prophets are individual books telling of the life and words of individual prophets, like Micah. These prophets were righteous Israelites from Israel and Judah, called by God to act as His mouthpiece to speak to the people. This was because the kings and priesthood were often corrupt and thus God was unable to lead and speak to His people. During the divided kingdom (a timespan of over 300 years) God's people rebelled against His instruction and covenant, spiralling into sin and rejection of Him. The different prophets often came with words to warn the Israelites of their sin and the consequences that will come, calling them back to repentance and to God. The prophecy part of the Prophets spoke of upcoming judgement, such as being exiled, or of the future hope of the coming Messiah and the establishing of the Church Age. Very few prophecies in this portion of the Bible are, I believe, unfulfilled.
An Introduction to the Book of Micah
The book of Micah gets called 'mini Isaiah' because both men prophesied at the same time and gave similar messages. Micah mustn't be forgotten in Isaiah's shadow though. He revealed to God's people that their coming Messiah would be born in Bethlehem (still in the minds of Jews 700 years later) and Jesus Himself quoted from Micah. His book was written to the Southern kingdom, Judah, and calls them out for their social injustice and wealth disparity. Micah was the perfect man to deliver this message. He was from an obscure Judaean town which saw a lot of political upheaval where the weak were subject to the whims of the powerful. His name means, 'Who is like God?' and he came to remind the Israelites that there was no one else like their God; they mustn't neglect Him. Micah cared enough about the social and religious situation of his day that he lamented, and I think we can learn from that. We too can feel conviction at the wealth disparity of our day and how our own lives may depend on others being kept poor and weak.
Historical Background and Chapter 1
Chapter 2 - 3
Chapter 4 - 7