Rulers and Prophets Denounced
3 And I said:
Hear, you heads of Jacob
and rulers of the house of Israel!
Is it not for you to know justice?—
you who hate the good and love the evil,
who tear the skin from off my people
and their flesh from off their bones,
who eat the flesh of my people,
and flay their skin from off them,
and break their bones in pieces
and chop them up like meat in a pot,
like flesh in a cauldron.
Then they will cry to the LORD,
but he will not answer them;
he will hide his face from them at that time,
because they have made their deeds evil.
Thus says the LORD concerning the prophets
who lead my people astray,
who cry “Peace”
when they have something to eat,
but declare war against him
who puts nothing into their mouths.
Therefore it shall be night to you, without vision,
and darkness to you, without divination.
The sun shall go down on the prophets,
and the day shall be black over them;
the seers shall be disgraced,
and the diviners put to shame;
they shall all cover their lips,
for there is no answer from God.
But as for me, I am filled with power,
with the Spirit of the LORD,
and with justice and might,
to declare to Jacob his transgression
and to Israel his sin.
Hear this, you heads of the house of Jacob
and rulers of the house of Israel,
who detest justice
and make crooked all that is straight,
who build Zion with blood
and Jerusalem with iniquity.
Its heads give judgment for a bribe;
its priests teach for a price;
its prophets practice divination for money;
yet they lean on the LORD and say,
“Is not the LORD in the midst of us?
No disaster shall come upon us.”
Therefore because of you
Zion shall be plowed as a field;
Jerusalem shall become a heap of ruins,
and the mountain of the house a wooded height.
Micah 3 Commentary
by Hank Workman
Poverty was driving the people into an early grave. Those responsible for this were none other than the leadership of the nation. It was across the board starting with the top down: The rulers, the leaders, the priests and prophets. All of these were making decisions based on their own wants and not taking into consideration how these decisions were affecting the people. What was more pointed is when these leaders found themselves in crisis or trouble; they asked God for His help. There would be none to come.
God is not like a light switch, to be turned on and off by our hand.
Spiritual leadership of any kind is never there for the sake of those leading. Leaders are there for the sake of the people. If only our world would get this point. But not just the world, all forms of leadership – from churches, to business owners to families, spiritual leadership is never about us and our wants. It’s about looking out for those who’ve been entrusted to us.
In contrast, Micah boldly proclaimed he was not only full of the Spirit of God but acting according to His words. He was confident in the direction and leading of the Holy Spirit. This was where his confidence rested. Like most Old Testament prophets his job was to expose the sin that abounded.
We may not be called to such a place of ministry, but we are called to speak the Truth in grace boldly. Not simply with words but also with actions and follow through. Are we confident in our own relationship with God and the words and direction He lays upon our hearts? Do we take ourselves out of the equation about our own wants and desires when it comes to choices we make and how we lead? This is one of the foundations and tests of our being led by the Spirit of God or by our own selfish gain. He’s not a light switch to be turned on at a whim when trouble or difficulty comes. He’s to be ‘on’ continually in our lives which will show us the way to go, how to respond, and operate in His Spirit.
Micah 3 Commentary
by Brad Boyles
The distortion of justice taking place in Israel was a strong indicator of just how bad things had become. Those who were entrusted to lead the city were actually manipulating it. Their ability to distinguish between good and evil had dwindled because compromising with sin both sears our conscience and darkens our understanding.
They are darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them and because of the hardness of their hearts. 19 They became callous and gave themselves over to promiscuity for the practice of every kind of impurity with a desire for more and more. 20 But that is not how you learned about the Messiah, 21 assuming you heard about Him and were taught by Him, because the truth is in Jesus.Ephesians 4:18-21 HCSB
But the tables were about to turn. Those who turned a blind eye to the cry of the marginalized would later experience God turning a blind eye to them. We must call it what it is. It wasn’t a mistake. These decisions weren’t made overnight. The hardness established in their hearts developed slowly over time through intentional choices.
Earlier I stated that inviting sin into our lives will darken our understanding. As the darkness closes in, we turn our attention solely to our own lives. Selfishness creeps in and we find ourselves compromising more and more to feed our flesh. It is a terrible and hopeless way to live. This is why God had to put His foot down.
“The false prophets had wilfully misled the people. Their one desire was to get food. For those who provided it, they uttered peace; for those who opposed them, war. Therefore they would be left without a vision; God’s Spirit would cease to strive. How great the contrast between them and Micah, who spoke with the consciousness of spiritual power!”F.B. Meyer