Today’s sermon is from Micah 3.
1 And I said,
“Hear now, heads of Jacob
And rulers of the house of Israel.
Is it not for you to know justice?
2 “You who hate good and love evil,
Who tear off their skin from them
And their flesh from their bones,
3 Who eat the flesh of my people,
Strip off their skin from them,
Break their bones
And chop them up as for the pot
And as meat in a kettle.”
4 Then they will cry out to the Lord,
But He will not answer them.
Instead, He will hide His face from them at that time
Because they have practiced evil deeds.
5 Thus says the Lord concerning the prophets who lead my people astray;
When they have something to bite with their teeth,
They cry, “Peace,”
But against him who puts nothing in their mouths
They declare holy war.
6 Therefore it will be night for you—without vision,
And darkness for you—without divination.
The sun will go down on the prophets,
And the day will become dark over them.
7 The seers will be ashamed
And the diviners will be embarrassed.
Indeed, they will all cover their mouths
Because there is no answer from God.
8 On the other hand I am filled with power—
With the Spirit of the Lord—
And with justice and courage
To make known to Jacob his rebellious act,
Even to Israel his sin.
9 Now hear this, heads of the house of Jacob
And rulers of the house of Israel,
Who abhor justice
And twist everything that is straight,
10 Who build Zion with bloodshed
And Jerusalem with violent injustice.
11 Her leaders pronounce judgment for a bribe,
Her 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.”
12 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
Verses 1-4 show us the results of false teachers and prophets. Micah likens what false teachers do as to canibalism. What is clearly being spoken against. Leaders and teachers are to know and love Justice.
Verses 5-7 speak to God’s judgement upon those false teachers. The prophets will be wrong and God will not answer them.
Verse 8 shows the mark of a Godly ministry. That mark is justice and courage and that the Lord fills you with the Holy Spirit. This isn’t a reference to speaking in tongues or anything like that, but that they will be willing to speak against injustice and point to the sins of the Nations.
Verses 9-11 speaks to what happens with a false ministry. How its leaders twist the straight, who seek to build their work on bloodshed. Corruption, violent injustice , phophets and teachers offering to “help” for money.
Finally in verse 12 we see God’s judgement on such people and countries. That judgement is utter ruination of what they held dear. In thhe book of Micah that was tangible earthly destruction, today it is the promise of eternal damnation.
But God is still gracious and his mercy is sure, and so if we repent and turn to him we can avoid the judgement.