Micah is prophesying at a time of great prosperity for the two kingdoms of Judah and Israel. With the death of Jeroboam in Israel, this time would come to an end. Israel is to be overrun by the Assyrians, destroying their capital of Samaria, making it “a heap in the open country” (Mic. 1:6).
Judah would escape destruction, although Jerusalem, its capital, would be destroyed as prophesied by Micah. However, the nation would exist as a weakened vassal state under the Assyrians.
Micah is concerned with a number of things (idol worship, prostitution, etc.), but his strong sense of social justice stands out. He sees that the greatness of the capital cities of Samaria and Jerusalem are the result of the exploitation of the poor. (chapter 3). He sees moral corruption leading to greed at the expense of the people. He goes so far as to compare it to cannibalism (Mic. 3:1-3), letting his listeners see just how vile their behavior is.
While preparing this post, I had the unfortunate experience of reading an article on cannibalism in the restaurant industry (which may or may not have been true). A restaurant in Nigeria was allegedly shut down when it was found to be serving human flesh (at a high cost to the diners).
I was repulsed by the article and still feel my stomach turn at the thought of it. Does my stomach turn when I see the poor and the weak trampled upon? Am I bothered in the same way when I hear of human lives being trafficked for the sex trade or slave labor? To be honest, those things do grieve me, but I do not have the same sense of disgust and abhorrence.
May the Lord give to me a heart like his, for only by his Holy Spirit may I see things as he sees them.