How do you feel doing something with someone standing there with a check list ready to mark down everything you do wrong? Have you ever known someone who is critical, who has a critical spirit, who notices everything and is quick to point it out, especially the bad things, the mistakes, the failures, or just the things they don’t like or don’t approve of? The kind of people about whom it’s said, “they would complain if they were hung with a new rope.” Imagine if this morning in the back three pews there were a bunch of guys in dark suits, senior pastors, denominational officials, seminary professors all from Grand Rapids with check lists: did each member bring their Bible, did we sing out of the gray Psalter Hymnal, did we use the piano or organ, did I use the right liturgy for the baptisms, were the women wearing pants, were the kids behaving right, were the elders wearing ties? That’s what happened to Jesus. The senior pastors and seminary professors from Jerusalem showed up with their check list to do a surprise inspection of this Jesus and His disciples. Their check list was this book called the Mishnah or the oral tradition, the oral laws. I’m serious, when the Pharisees criticized Jesus, “Why do your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with defiled hands?” they were quoting this Mishnah.
We have seen with some of the Minor Prophets that there is no information about the prophet, where he’s from, what time period he prophesied in and to whom he was prophesying. Micah answers all those questions in the first verse.