Micah: Proclaiming the Incomparable God by Martyn McGeown (Jenison, MI: Reformed Free Publishing Association, 2018), hardcover, 227 pages (also in ebook format). [Reviewed by Julian Kennedy]
This commentary on an otherwise fairly obscure Old Testament prophet is a gem. Micah’s name means “Who is like Jehovah?” hence Rev. McGeown’s title Proclaiming the Incomparable God.
McGeown proceeds to show that Jehovah is indeed unique. He is, after all, the only true and living God, but He is a God who judges His people, denouncing false prophets and charging His people with thieving and butchering. Micah, His faithful servant, is not afraid to address the evil spiritual and political leaders of the people: “But truly I am full of power by the spirit of the Lord and of judgment and of might, to declare unto Jacob his transgression, and to Israel his sin” (Micah 3:8). He sees defeat and captivity on the horizon but also the preservation of a remnant and of a wonderful age to come with Messiah and His kingdom in the New Testament age: “In the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established in the top of the mountains…and the people shall flow into it” (Micah 4:1).
The author’s accurate and enlightening exposition of the text grants insights into other parts of Scripture, as he brings his Reformed glasses to bear on the prophecy. For example, in Micah 4:10 we have the birth pangs of a woman, which here refer to the horror gripping wicked men when destruction comes upon them (Is. 13:8); but it also represents the convulsions of creation laboring to bring forth the day of the Lord (Matt. 24:6-8); and finally, it means the struggle of faithful pastors striving to form Christ in their flock (Gal. 4:19).
This book on Micah addresses all the great themes of Scripture contained in the prophecy, including the covenant, God’s chastisement of Israel, His severe judgment of the enemy heathen (Micah 5:15), and the victory of His people through the Lord Jesus Christ their Messiah. Messiah is the “Breaker” who bashes down the gates of hell (Micah 2:13) and the Shepherd-Ruler of His people. McGeown shows how correctly to interpret Old Testament picture-language in terms of our modern Christian lives. For example, “the dew from the Lord” is “health-giving, refreshing, vivifying doctrine of the gospel of God’s grace.”
Perhaps one of the best-known verses in the prophecy is Micah 6:8, “He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” The author states that, “Mercy is tender affection and pity or compassion upon those who are miserable,” and this is exemplified by our covenant Jehovah’s fourfold action of passing by transgression, not retaining his anger, subduing our iniquities and throwing our sins into the depth of the sea (Micah 7:18-20). Are we merciful? This challenged me regarding my own attitude toward the ungodly whom I tend to condemn rather than pity. An excellent read and, to my mind, unsurpassed commentary on Micah. A helpful reading log bookmark with chapter divisions is included.