In Micah 1:1-9, the prophet invites the whole earth to witness God’s judgment against sinful people.
The capital cities of Samaria and Jerusalem are singled out because their leaders failed to be role models of what it means to follow God with undivided hearts. These two cities would be the first to suffer destruction.
The thought of destructive judgment produced a real tension in Micah’s life. Because his prophetic call united him with God’s purpose, he had no choice but to announce what was coming in the near future. But the prophet also loved the people to whom he belonged, and the idea of their captivity drove him to personal lament. Oftentimes bad news had the most devastating effect on the mind and the body of the prophet.
God’s prophets were involved very much in the messages that they proclaimed. They did not enjoy speaking about the terrible things that would happen. They often used laments to express their reactions to the coming disasters. Their pain was real. To their listeners, the message was contained both in the prophetic words and also in the external signs, which often betrayed a deep pain stemming from within. Micah’s reaction to divine judgment reminds one of Isaiah, who for three years walked half-naked and barefoot as a visible sign of the shame that captivity would bring. For those who have the resources, you can read about the great suffering that Ellen G. White endured in her ministry as well; this will help us to better understand what these servants of God had to go through.
Read 1 Peter 4:14-16 and then look at yourself and whatever trials you are going through. How much suffering has come to you because of your faithfulness to God? How much due to your unfaithfulness?