‘The Word of the LORD…came to Micah…, which he saw concerning Samaria and Jerusalem…. “I will make Samaria like a heap of the field!…. All the graven images thereof…shall be burned with the fire… For her wound is incurable…. It has come to Judah!”‘ Micah 1:1-9.
Calvin comments: “Micah…discharged his office as a Prophet for thirty years…. This vision…was given him against two cities, Samaria and Jerusalem…. He threatens destruction to Samaria and the whole kingdom of Israel, on account of their corrupted forms of worship. We may hence learn how displeasing to God is superstition…. Whenever then we deviate in anything from the rule which He has prescribed, we manifest…our rebellion and obstinacy…. He says, ‘I will set Samaria as a heap of the field!’…. Such shall be the ruins, that they shall differ nothing from the heaps…. He adds…’I will uncover her foundations’ — that is, I will entirely demolish it….
“‘All the graven images thereof shall be beaten to pieces, and…be burned with the fire’… Its idols would be broken, and…its wealth would be destroyed…. Samaria had abandoned itself to ungodly forms of worship, and had departed from the Law…. The Israelites might then understand the cause for which God would so severely punish them…. The graven images of Samaria would be broken into pieces…. Its idols would be destroyed….
“‘For her wound is incurable’…. The Prophet here assumes the character of a mourner, so that he might more deeply impress the Israelites…. They were almost insensible in their torpidity. It was therefore necessary that they should be brought to view the scene itself — so that, seeing their destruction before they eyes, they might be touched both with grief and fear…
“We ought yet to apply this to ourselves. For we are not much unlike the ancient people. For however God may terrify us with dreadful threatenings, we still remain quiet in our filth. It is therefore needful that we should be treated severely, for we are almost void of feeling….
“The Prophets sometimes assumed mourning…. They transferred to themselves the sorrows of others…. When the discourse was respecting the Church and the faithful…, the Prophet was in real mourning – when he saw that a dreadful ruin was impending…. The Prophet therefore could not refrain from mourning unfeignedly for them….
“This lamentation was…the mirror in which he sets before them the vengeance of God toward men so extremely torpid. He therefore exhibits to them this representation, so that they might perceive that God was by no means trifling with men when He thus denounced punishment on the wicked and such as were apostates….
“He…subjoins that the wounds would be grievous…. ‘Grievous’ means…full of grief…. Desperate, or incurable!”
Incurable wounds? Yes. But (First John 1:7), the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin!