“Unit 31: Day 3, Micah,” Old Testament Study Guide for Home-Study Seminary Students (2014)
“Unit 31: Day 3,” Old Testament Study Guide
Micah prophesied to the people of Israel and Judah about the judgments that would come upon them because of their wickedness, lamenting their sins and eventual destruction. However, he also prophesied that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem, and he taught that in the latter days the Lord would have compassion on Israel.
Have you ever wondered how the Wise Men knew where to go to find Jesus?
A prophecy of the prophet Micah may have helped the Wise Men know where to find the young child (see Matthew 2:11) who was the Messiah. Read Micah 5:2, 4, looking for the details that Micah gave about the coming of the Messiah. You may want to mark what you find.
Micah prophesied that the ruler of Israel (Jesus Christ) would “come forth” (Micah 5:2) from where?
Micah 5:4, footnote a, indicates that Jesus would come to earth to “feed the flock.” Also, Bethlehem means “house of bread” (see Bible Dictionary, “Bethlehem”), which adds to the symbolism of Jesus Christ as the Bread of Life.
Micah was the only prophet whose writings are preserved in the Old Testament to name the birthplace of the Messiah. The chief priests and scribes quoted this prophecy more than 700 years later when Herod asked them where the Messiah would be born (see Matthew 2:3–6).
Micah was a prophet in the Southern Kingdom of Judah, and he ministered at about the same time as Isaiah. Turn to the diagram “The Kingdoms of Israel and Judah at a Glance” in the lesson for 1 and 2 Chronicles (Unit 21: Day 1) in this manual. Notice when Micah ministered in relation to the other prophets and the major events in the histories of the kingdoms of Israel and Judah.
As recorded in Micah 1–4, Micah prophesied that Samaria and Judah would be destroyed because of the wickedness of the people. He also chastised false prophets who taught the people false doctrines. Micah 4 records that the Lord gave Israel a message of hope that in the last days the Lord’s temple would be built again, Israel would conquer its enemies, and there would be peace for the Lord’s people in the Millennium. As recorded in Micah 5, Micah prophesied that in the last days the remnant of Jacob (Israel) would triumph over its oppressors “as a lion among the beasts of the forest” (see Micah 5:8–9). The Savior repeated some of the prophecies in Micah 5:7–15 to the Nephites (see 3 Nephi 20:16–17; 21:12–18, 21).
Reflect on an occasion when someone did something kind for you. Perhaps someone gave you a special gift, spent time with you, performed an act of service for you, or said something kind to you. How did feel on that occasion? How do you want to act after someone does something kind for you?
Through His prophet Micah, the Lord reminded the people of Judah of His goodness toward them so that they would show their gratitude and devotion to Him. As you continue to study Micah’s teachings, look for principles that can help you show your devotion to the Lord in return for all He has done for you.
Read Micah 6:3–4, looking for what the Lord reminded the people that He had done for them. You may want to underline what the Lord said He had done for His people.
Micah then turned the people’s attention to what they were doing to show gratitude to the Lord. Read Micah 6:6–7, looking for what Micah asked the people about offerings that might be given to the Lord to acknowledge His goodness toward them.
- Notice the first question Micah asked in Micah 6:6. Another way to phrase this question would be, “How should I come before the Lord and worship Him?” In your scripture study journal, write the following incomplete principle: If we desire to come unto the Lord and worship Him, then we must … (You will complete this principle later in this lesson.)
In verse 7, Micah was essentially asking, “If my outward acts are very great in number or value, will these be enough to please the Lord?”
Read Micah 6:8, looking for how Micah answered his questions about what we should do to worship the Lord.
Micah taught that our outward acts of worship alone do not please God. He requires something else before our outward worship becomes meaningful and pleasing to Him. According to verse 8, what does the Lord require of us in our worship of Him?
You may want to write the following definitions of the phrases in verse 8 in the margins of your scriptures: To “do justly” means to do what is right. To “love mercy” means to be kind and merciful to others. To “walk humbly with thy God” means to be humble, obedient, and teachable in your relationship with God (see also D&C 11:12).
To better understand Micah 6:6–8 and identify the principle Micah taught the children of Israel, read Deuteronomy 10:12–13, looking for what Moses said the Lord requires of those who worship and serve Him. (When Micah said that the Lord “hath shewed thee” what is required [Micah 6:8], he may have been referring to Moses’s explanation.)
What did Moses say the Lord requires of us as we worship and serve Him?
What do you think it means to serve the Lord with all of our hearts?
Based on the words of Micah and Moses, complete the principle you wrote in your scripture study journal.
- In your scripture study journal, list ways that we worship or show love for the Lord. Your list might include activities such as attending church, partaking of the sacrament, and praying. After you have made your list, answer the following questions:
How does the principle you identified in Micah 6:6–8 help you understand what our purpose should be as we participate in the activities you listed?
How might we perform these acts of worship with all of our hearts?
Ponder the difference it has made in your life when you have served the Lord with a sincere heart.
- In your scripture study journal, describe how well you are applying the principle you identified in Micah 6:6–8 to each of the forms of worship on your list. Set a specific goal about how you will begin to worship and serve the Lord with more of your heart in one of the areas on your list.
As recorded in Micah 6:10–16, the Lord said He could not justly excuse the children of Israel because they continued in their wickedness. He then pronounced consequences that would come to them because of their sins.
Micah 7:1–17 contains Micah’s lament because of the wickedness of the Israelites and the destructions that were coming because of their sins. However, Micah prophesied that Israel would turn to righteousness and rise again with the Lord’s help and that other nations would be amazed at what the Lord had done for Israel.
Read Micah 7:18–20, looking for Micah’s description of the Lord. You may want to mark what you find.
According to verse 18, what does the Lord delight in?
According to verse 19, what will the Lord do with our iniquities because He “delighteth in mercy”?
In order to receive the Lord’s mercy, we have to apply the Atonement of Jesus Christ by repenting of our sins.
From these verses we learn that as we repent of our sins, we will be forgiven because the Lord delights in mercy. Sincere repentance enables us to receive the Lord’s mercy and forgiveness through the Atonement.
- Answer the following questions in your scripture study journal:
Why do you think we are extended mercy even when we may have been rebellious?
How do you feel toward God, knowing that He delights in extending mercy to you and that you will receive that mercy as you repent?
How would you respond to someone who told you that he or she wanted to sin now and repent later?
- Write the following at the bottom of today’s assignments in your scripture study journal:
I have studied Micah and completed this lesson on (date).
Additional questions, thoughts, and insights I would like to share with my teacher: