All this is because of Jacob’s transgression,
because of the sins of the people of Israel.
What is Jacob’s transgression?
Is it not Samaria?
What is Judah’s high place?
Is it not Jerusalem?
Israel was one kingdom under the Judges, then King Saul, followed by King David, and lastly King Solomon. After Solomon, the kingdom of Israel broke into two parts. The northern Kingdom with its capital city being Samaria. Jerusalem is the capital city of the Southern kingdom. Both kingdoms were referred to as Israel. Israel was the name God gave to Jacob after the whole night wrestling, Genesis 32:22-32. Therefore the entire nation of Israel can be referred to as Jacob or Israel.
Micah preaches that God is coming and has intentions to punish sinners. Because of the human guilt, there is fear and trembling as God approaches. Then as if to answer a question on why the punishment and such terror from God, Micah responds using the words of our text today. God is approaching us in such a fierce manner, because of the sins of Jacob who are also the people of Israel.
Micah goes ahead to answer another question that the congregation could be asking, which sin is this? Micah asks his own question and then answers it. He asks, what the sin of Jacob or the northern kingdom is, and then he answers that it is its capital city Samaria. He further asks what is Judah’s place of sinning by committing idolatry (idols were worshipped at places referred to as High Places), then he responds to himself stating that it is Jerusalem. God blames the capital cities.
The sins of the southern kingdom are blamed on its capital city, Jerusalem. The sins of the northern kingdom are blamed on its capital city, Samaria. God knows something about the capital cities. God blames the capital cities!
All the elite of any country operates in the capital city. They set standards in every aspect of life. The elite attends churches in capital cities. The elite exploits luxurious living in capital cities. These elite come from all over the kingdom or country. Therefore they are connected to the whole country. They influence the whole country. If morals degenerate the origin is the capital city. For the sins of Israelites, God blames the capital cities!
Capital cities are centers of trade and therefore cultures interact and the exchange of ideas takes place. Unfortunately, this interaction introduces tendencies that are offensive to the God of heaven. The seed of good and evil takes root in the capital city before spreading anywhere else. God blames the capital cities!
The leadership has its headquarters in the capital city. Jerusalem is where the kings lived. Jerusalem was also the place where people worshipped at its temple. Therefore it was a government headquarters and also the headquarters of religious life and everything else. Problems of a kingdom or country were discussed at the headquarters and solutions rolled out to everyone else. If problems persist, the headquarters are to blame. God blames the capital cities!
The evil in Israel was rooted in its capital cities and from there it spread to the whole nation. God through Micah points a finger to the capital cities as the reason for His burning anger against sin. God blames the capital cities!
Capital cities are almost synonymous with leadership. When we say that God blames the capital cities, we are not referring to infrastructure but people in those cities who are able to influence the whole nation positively or negatively. The leaders are to blame for what the people under them have turned out to be. To change a situation, you change the leader. God blames leaders whose home and office are the capital city. God blames the capital cities!
Problems can begin from any point, but they persist at the negligence or incompetence of leadership. We can identify the source of the problem, but it is the leadership that solves or fails to solve it. This leadership has its seat and offices in the capital city. God blames the capital cities!
The capital city of your life is your thoughts and mind that thinks and decides. You are what you are because of how you think. You are where you are because of the decisions you have made. You are directed by your thoughts, your headquarters in the capital city of your life. If there is a problem, we seek to change your thoughts and everything else will change. If you do not change the poverty mentality, no amount of money will succeed to drag you out of poverty. Your thoughts are your capital city. God blames the capital cities!
How is your headquarters? May God grant it that our capital cities will be ruled by God for the glory of His name, Amen!
Note – Ellen Gould White has written a lot about cities. (1) We need to deliberately plan to preach in the cities (2) We need to raise families away from the cities to avoid corruption of the morals of our children (3) Adventist Schools should be away from cities so students are not corrupted by surroundings.
Further Note – preaching of the gospel in the New Testament was done from city to city. This is because, what starts in the city will spread everywhere. Cities are influential. Figuratively speaking, whatever influences you is your city. Are you influenced by a loved one, a book, a team of friends, a movie, a past event, a teacher, etc.,? That is your city, so to speak. God blames the cities!
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