Micah 1:11–16 (NKJV)

11 Pass by in naked shame, you inhabitant of Shaphir;

The inhabitant of Zaanan does not go out.

Beth Ezel mourns;

Its place to stand is taken away from you.

12 For the inhabitant of Maroth pined for good,

But disaster came down from the Lord

To the gate of Jerusalem.

13 O inhabitant of Lachish,

Harness the chariot to the swift steeds

(She was the beginning of sin to the daughter of Zion),

For the transgressions of Israel were found in you.

14 Therefore you shall give presents to Moresheth Gath;

The houses of Achzib shall be a lie to the kings of Israel.

15 I will yet bring an heir to you, O inhabitant of Mareshah;

The glory of Israel shall come to Adullam.

16 Make yourself bald and cut off your hair,

Because of your precious children;

Enlarge your baldness like an eagle,

For they shall go from you into captivity.

In this passage of Scripture, Micah alludes to various city names where the judgment of God will fall, using word play to demonstrate the level to which the suffering will occur.  Shaphir means beautiful, but its people will be paraded around naked in shame.  Zaanan means place of flocks, but no one will have flocks to take out to graze.  Beth Ezel is the house of a leader, but it will have no “place,” or office, in which to stand.  Because of her sins, Maroth is bitter in mourning, Lachish is vulnerable, and the Philistines in Gath will deceive (Achzib).  Because of their sin, their inheritance (Mareshah), their children, will be carried away captive to a sealed-off place (Adullam).  Therefore, Israel and Judah should cut off their hair and go into mourning.

The consequences of sin are described rather poetically and with powerful imagery.  The lesson we must learn here is that God’s will and purpose for your life is the best path to follow.  When an individual goes on a way that is different than God’s plan, he or she walks out of the covering of God and walks into danger, attack, and judgment.  Walk in God’s plan and be blessed.  Walk your own way, and be alone.  

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