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Book of Micah: Chapter 3

Micah delivers the second message given to him by God, “Hear, you leaders of Jacob, you rulers of the house or Israel. Should you not know justice, you who hate good and love evil?” (vv. 1-2a). This message focuses on the problem with leadership and Israel’s future. Micah rebuked the leaders of the nation for their sinful conduct which God would judge (3:1-12), and he described the events leading to the coming of the Messiah (4:1-5:15). Knowing that God has a purpose and a future planned for their nations, the leaders should have been motivated to repent from their sins and obey the Lord.

Micah opened his message by rebuking the civil authorities (vv. 1-4), who were permitting the wealthy to exploit the poor; while doing the same thing! Leaders are supposed to love good and hate evil; but these men were just the opposite!

Micah continued his message by rebuking the false prophets and teachers (vv. 5-8), whose lies made it easy for the corrupt officials to continue their activities with religious immunity. They used religion to make money and enjoy pleasure; without concern for the future of the nation. Micah accused these counterfeit prophets and teachers of deceiving and robbing the people by giving them false assurance that everything was well. In the last chapter, we learned that Micah was attacked by counterfeit religious leaders for preaching God’s message. These men taught a “feel good” theology that had no place for sin or repentance. They argued that since “we are God’s chosen people, God would never permit those judgments to happen in our land” (Micah 2: 6-7). Like the false prophets in Jeremiah’s day, they announced peace even when war and destruction were rapidly approaching the nation (Jer. 6:13; 8:10). The false prophets claimed to hear from God. But, one day, they would cry out to the Lord and He would not answer them. God would “hide His face from them, because of the evil they have done” (vv.3,4). One day the prophets would be publicly disgraced and they would cover their faces because there would be no answer from God (v.7). Why would God not hear them when they called? So the people would know they did not speak for Him. Hopefully, they would remember Micah’s message, God’s true prophet, who was “filled with power, with the Spirit of the Lord, and with justice and might, to declare to Jacob his transgression, to Israel his sin” (v.8).

Micah next addressed all the leaders of the land (vv. 9-12), the rulers, priests, and the prophets. He accused them of committing injustice, distorting the truth, murdering innocent people, accepting bribes, and while doing those evil deeds, claiming to be serving the Lord! These judges delivered a verdict for a price (v.11). Proclaiming they spoke for God, they declared that the Lord would never abandon Israel to their enemies (v.12). Their mindset was not unlike that of many people today, who “profess that they know God; but in works they deny Him” (Titus 1:16). Were they ignorant of God’s word, or just foolish? Had the rulers, prophets, and priests studied Mosaic Law, they would know that the blessing of the covenant depended on their obeying God. Micah closes his message with a warning, “because of you, Zion will be plowed like a field, Jerusalem will become a heap of rubble” (v.12). These leaders forgot that with privilege and power comes responsibility, and with responsibility comes accountability.

Key Verse:
“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, to Israel his sin.” ~ Micah 3:8

Questions to ponder:

  • What false theology did the counterfeit religious leaders preach in Micah’s day? In our day?
  • The Israelites had false confidence because of their incorrect understanding of God and His promises. What false confidence toward God have you heard people proclaim?
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