By: Mark Tabata (Evangelist)
The Prophet Micah was commissioned by God to preach against both the wicked nation of Israel and of Judah, around the seventh to eighth centuries B.C.
Within the pages of his Book, there is a fascinating prophecy made against the city of Jerusalem.
Micah 3:12-Therefore because of you Zion shall be plowed like a field, Jerusalem shall become heaps of ruins, And the mountain of the temple Like the bare hills of the forest.
The Prophet describes that because of the wickedness of the people, the city of Jerusalem would be destroyed.
Please notice that this destruction would be complete, so that even the Temple would be destroyed; and that the city would be “plowed like a field.”
The specifics of this prophecy are truly incredible, especially when we consider that Micah’s words came to pass, over seven hundred years later!
Describing the fulfillment of these things, Ken Johnson has written:
“Shortly before the Temple was destroyed, he became the next Caesar. Here are the signs that foretold the city’s desolation. 1. Seven years before the destruction, when all was at peace and Jews from all over came to celebrate the feast of Passover, a prophet called Jesus, son of Ananus, walked though the streets crying “woe to Jerusalem.” He continued this for seven years until he was slain. 2. The year before the Roman war, during the feast of Unleavened Bread, at 3:00 AM , a great light shown down on the Temple and the altar. It was as bright as day and lasted for half an hour. 3. A star appeared resembling a sword, along with a comet that could be seen every evening for a whole year. 4. The Eastern Gate of the inner court of the Temple opened by itself about 12:00 AM . This brass gate was so heavy it took 20 men to shut it! 5. On Iyar 20, 16 days before Pentecost, just before sunset, everyone could clearly see chariots and armored troops of soldiers in the clouds, not only above the city of Jerusalem but other cites as well. 6. During the festival of Pentecost there was an earthquake and a loud noise. Then the sound of a great multitude of voices cried, “Leave this place!”…With the Temple destroyed in AD 70, the Romans sought to create a new pagan city on the site of ancient Jerusalem . The very next year in AD 71, the Romans ran a plow through Jerusalem . The prophet Mic ah predicted this would happen almost 700 years before it took place! The destruction of the Temple occurred on the ninth of Av. It interesting to note that according to the Talmud, the ninth of Av is also when Jerusalem was plowed under by Turnus Rufus, a Roman officer ! “ Her leaders pronounce judgment for a bribe, h er priests instruct for a price , and her prophets divine for money . Yet they lean on the LORD saying, ‘ Is not the LORD in our midst? Calamity will not come upon us. ’ Therefore, on account of you , Zion will be plowed as a field, Jerusalem will become a heap of ruins, and the mountain of the temple will become high places of a forest. ” Micah 3:11- 12”. (Ken Johnson, Th.D., Ancient Prophecies Revealed: 500 Prophecies Listed In Order Of When They Were Fulfilled, 111 (Kindle Edition))
Notice several things with me about this prophecy of Micah.
First, the Prophet clearly described in explicit detail the fate of Jerusalem.
There is found herein the language of exact description, not exclamations of vague generalities. This marks one of the differences between the Bible Prophets and the pagan prognosticators of the ancient world.
Indeed, the famous pagan priests and prophets of the ancient world were well-known for using a combination of mind-altering drugs and techniques to deceive and ensnare the seekers of the gods;
“Using historical and archaeological data, researchers established several facts: (1) Inquirers visited the oracle at a complex underground location. (2) Before presenting an inquiry, visitors faced a month of mind-altering experiences. These included solitary confinement in a room plastered with dreadful pictorial representations of the underworld. (3) Visitors lived for a month in extremely cramped quarters, shut off from natural light. (4) The only light came from lamps probably burning hashish. The psychological setting, coupled with the inhalation of vast amounts of hashish, possible bathing in drugged water, and ingestion of drugs by various mechanisms, guaranteed vivid, strong, and repeated hallucinations.” (Kenny Barfield, The Prophet Motive: Examining The Reliability Of The Biblical Prophets, 195; Nashville, TN: Gospel Advocate Company)
The use of hallucinogenic drugs by the pagan prophets and priests is well attested:
“The cult of worshipping Pluto was probably imitated from the cults of Serapis in Egypt  . Strabon (Book XIV)  mentions three sites in Asia Minor where Pluto was worshipped. In the region of Nysa and Acharaka he describes a temple for Pluto and Kore, as well as a grotto (the Charonion). Somewhere in the vicinity is Limon (λειμ ν, the meadow), where similar rites were practiced  . As a third Plutonium, Strabo mentions the famous Hierapolis with its hot water ponds, its calcareous hot water falls (nowadays Pamukkale), and its Charonion (Strabon XIV). Pilgrims prayed for health and cure and/or asked for prophecies. Priests dealt with the gods of the underworld. The priests, rather than the patients, incubated, i.e. immersed themselves in the natural environmental phenomena of the site. The patients subsequently followed the recipes and cures that were prescribed according to the dreams of the priests during incubation. The prerequisites of prophecies and dreams were among other parameters (drugs, hallucinogenic plants, and mushrooms) attributed to the presence of geogenic gases. Lack of oxygen and an increase in carbon dioxide can cause hallucinogenic effects in humans (see also Ref.  ).” (Philip Wexler, History OF Toxicology And Enviromental Health: Toxicology In Antiquity, Volume I, 94-95 (Kindle Edition); Waltham, MA; Academic Press)
Please notice the clear contrasts between pagan prognostication and Bible prophecy. The Prophets of God were detailed and clear in their prophecies; the pagan prophets were dependent upon mind-altering techniques.
The Bible Prophets gave clear answers with specific time-frames and detailed in their prophecies, while the pagan priests relied on vague generalities and supposition.
The differences could not be more clear!
Second, the clear prophecy and fulfillment of the Bible Prophets make it clear that the Bible is truly the Word of God.
From the evidence of Bible prophecy, we have an unshakable foundation of evidence which documents that this Volume truly is from the Lord of Creation.
The pagan gods and goddess are not the true Creator of the universe.
Finally, notice that this prophecy powerfully reminds us that the Lord is intimately involved in the affairs of mankind.
The destruction of Jerusalem here prophesied teaches us that God has a powerful and perfect hatred of sin. if the people would turn back to God, they could be forgiven; but if they refused, they would suffer terrible consequences for sin.
We need to remember that the God of Creation calls upon all people to repent of sin, promising forgiveness of sins to all who will return to Him.
Yet if we refuse to repent, we need to understand that there is a Day of Judgment coming (Acts 17:30-31).
Will God truly forgive us if we turn to the Lord?
Listen to the words of the Prophet Micah:
Micah 7:18-19-Who is a God like You, Pardoning iniquity And passing over the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He does not retain His anger forever, Because He delights in mercy.
19 He will again have compassion on us, And will subdue our iniquities. You will cast all our sins Into the depths of the sea.
God loves us so very much that He was willing to allow His Son Jesus Christ to die for the sins of mankind at Calvary (1 Timothy 2:6). He was buried, and three days later, he arose from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:1-8).
Today, He invites all people everywhere to believe in Him, repent of their sins, confess Him before men, and be baptized into Him for the remission of sins (Acts 2:37-38; 8:37; 22:16).
Why not let Him add you to His church today (Acts 2:47) by being baptized into Him (Acts 2:41)?
If you are a child of God who has left the Lord and wandered into sin, why not today repent and pray for forgiveness and return to the Lord and His church (1 John 1:9; James 5:16)?
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.