Micah has warned the people of God that they are sinning against the Lord, and there is a serious consequence that is coming their way. They have worshiped false gods and they find their comforts in the gifts of the Lord rather than the Lord Himself. In other words, they enjoy their elite blessings, but they have missed the Lord who gives them the blessings that they enjoy. So, what is the ultimate consequence of their action? Is the Lord being cruel in promising or bringing about such punishment? What do we as a people learn from their experience and what exhortations come to bear upon us?
I hope that we can agree that the ultimate splendor of Jerusalem was not the buildings, but ultimately that the Lord dwelt in the midst of the city. If you were an Israelite in the ideal times of Israel it must have been reassuring to see the temple and know that the Lord was in Israel’s midst. This is not necessarily a bad desire, but when can this desire be sinful? When can the Lord withdraw His presence from His people? Why would the Lord withdraw His presence from us? How can that ultimately be a good thing for a time no matter how tragic and painful it might be?
The Old Testament forbids man from harming himself, but our Lord seems to be contradicting His command to Israel by advocating that we cut off a body part that may cause us to stumble. Does the Lord really want us to cut off body parts? How is the Lord different from Baal when the priests of Baal cut themselves in 1 Kings? If our Lord does not desire us to maim our bodies then what does our Lord mean when he talks about cutting off parts of our body that lead us into sin?