“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.”
Micah prophesy’s specifically about the cause of the fall of the Judaean city of Lachish. Lachish was the second most important city of the Judah. It was located about 30 miles southwest of Jerusalem and was designed as a stronghold to protect the nation against invasions. It was situated on a hill, surrounded by hills and fortified with great walls and gates. This seemingly impenetrable city would suffer a great defeat when, under the leadership of Sennacherib, the Assyrian forces attacked. Micah declares that the cause of their defeat was sin. The inhabitants of Lachish seemed to have introduced many of the sinful practices, rampant in Israel, to the people of Judah. Their sin would be the cause of their fall. It is worth noting, no high walls or trained army can protect a nation that turns from God.
The fall of the city of Lachish is one of the most documented events in ancient times. Not only do the remains of the ancient city testify of its fall, but we have the biblical narrative, and the reliefs that filled the palace of the Assyrian King. We learn that a great army, armed with soldiers, archers and battering rams, came against Lachish. The soldiers erected siege mounds, enabling the wheeled battering rams to approach the city gates, while the soldiers took cover behind these massive structures. Soon the walls were broken down and the people taken captive. So proud was the Assyrian King of his victory, that he dedicated an entire room of his palace to display the victory in vivid detail. These reliefs can be seen, today, in the British museum. They show Israel being defeated, many of the soldiers being tortured, and the inhabitants being taken before the king to bow in submission. In addition to these, archeologists also found a large pit that served as a massive grave with the remains of over 1,500 bodies.
With vivid detail, the prophecy of Micah, regarding Lachish, came true. The city that introduced idolatry and wickedness to the nation, became the first to fall, and its people suffered greatly. In contrast, at the same time Lachish was falling, the inhabitants of Jerusalem looked to the Lord and repented. Perhaps it is time to take personal inventory of any areas where we might need to turn something over to God.