Micah 1: One Is Better Than the Other
Welcome to Micah chapter 1. According to my commentaries, he was an approximate contemporary of Isaiah. I find it really interesting that whenever God is going to bring severe punishment to the people of Israel and Judah, one thing that always seems to be emphasized is the fact that the false idols are going to be destroyed.
Mic 1:6 Therefore I will make Samaria as an heap of the field, and as plantings of a vineyard: and I will pour down the stones thereof into the valley, and I will discover the foundations thereof.
Mic 1:7 And all the graven images thereof shall be beaten to pieces, and all the hires thereof shall be burned with the fire, and all the idols thereof will I lay desolate: for she gathered it of the hire of an harlot, and they shall return to the hire of an harlot.
I think that this is important to recognize because it helps perhaps point out a purpose in all of these problems. For example, what might have happened if all of this punishment had come, but the people still were worshiping the false gods? There might still be some ambiguity for the people. By demolishing the idols, there was no doubt who remained.
Think about the difference there. Certainly, there was a temple that was used as a worship place for God, but the Jewish people understood that God was not just a statue. In fact, it wasn’t like there was a God statue. When the Temple was destroyed, it didn’t mean that God was destroyed. The Old Testament is rather clear about that point that God is independent from His creation. God existed before anything else was created.
Compare that to the idea of a graven image that is worshiped. Often times, it seems as if the idol itself is the object of worship, so when you trample that, what do you have left? It is much more symbolic to tear down something that is actually a graven image. That meaning probably would not have been lost on the people of Israel.
To answer my previous thought, it seems to me that God was using these times that would’ve been difficult for the people of Israel as a way to help bring them back to Himself. By tearing down the idols, it would have pointed out that these are graven images are inadequate. It would challenge the people think about when was the last time any God came through for them. I know of one that met their needs for their entire history.