Read Micah 2
Human Plans and God’s Plans
2 Woe to those who plan iniquity,
to those who plot evil on their beds!
At morning’s light they carry it out
because it is in their power to do it.
2 They covet fields and seize them,
and houses, and take them.
They defraud people of their homes,
they rob them of their inheritance.
3 Therefore, the Lord says:
“I am planning disaster against this people,
from which you cannot save yourselves.
You will no longer walk proudly,
for it will be a time of calamity.
4 In that day people will ridicule you;
they will taunt you with this mournful song:
‘We are utterly ruined;
my people’s possession is divided up.
He takes it from me!
He assigns our fields to traitors.’”
5 Therefore you will have no one in the assembly of the Lord
to divide the land by lot.
6 “Do not prophesy,” their prophets say.
“Do not prophesy about these things;
disgrace will not overtake us.”
7 You descendants of Jacob, should it be said,
“Does the Lord become impatient?
Does he do such things?”
“Do not my words do good
to the one whose ways are upright?
8 Lately my people have risen up
like an enemy.
You strip off the rich robe
from those who pass by without a care,
like men returning from battle.
9 You drive the women of my people
from their pleasant homes.
You take away my blessing
from their children forever.
10 Get up, go away!
For this is not your resting place,
because it is defiled,
it is ruined, beyond all remedy.
11 If a liar and deceiver comes and says,
‘I will prophesy for you plenty of wine and beer,’
that would be just the prophet for this people!
12 “I will surely gather all of you, Jacob;
I will surely bring together the remnant of Israel.
I will bring them together like sheep in a pen,
like a flock in its pasture;
the place will throng with people.
13 The One who breaks open the way will go up before them;
they will break through the gate and go out.
Their King will pass through before them,
the Lord at their head.”
Take a minute to re-read through Micah 2 and this time, jot down your observations about the specific sins of the Israelites and what the LORD says in response (1-11), and then finally what He promises (12-13). We see the plotting of evil, misusing power, coveting, taking, and pride in addition to the idolatry described in Micah 1 (v. 7). The LORD’s response is a humbling judgment for sin–a time of calamity where the Israelites will lose their land to others (the Assyrians).
Instead of repenting, the Israelites try to silence this uncomfortable message of coming disaster for sin. “Do not prophesy” their false prophets say (v. 6). They would rather hear a prophet say that plenty of wine and beer is on the way (v. 11). The Israelites simply are not listening. They do not want to hear a negative message. They are not owning their sin or taking responsibility for its consequences and ultimately, they will reap what they sow, losing their land and facing disaster after plotting the same against others. Assyria is not to blame. The prophets with a negative message are not the ones to blame. Their own sin is to blame. The LORD reminds them in verse 7, “Do not my words do good to the one whose ways are upright?” The way to blessing is to walk uprightly, not to silence or ignore the uncomfortable truth.
How different the Lord’s leadership is from that of the Israelite leaders! In the midst of this darkness, we see God’s faithfulness to gather a remnant of Israel like sheep in a pen (v. 12). The “One who breaks open the way will go up before them” (v. 13). Their King will lead them (v.13). God is faithful to make a way for His people, always, and we can remember His commitment to us in the darkest of times. Instead of using His power to take, our God used his power to give His life so that we could have life. As we go about our day today, reflect on the overwhelming love of God from the words in 2 Corinthians 8:9: “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.”
- Are we dealing with our sins seriously or softly? Consider your own life. What sin do you tolerate confessing over and over rather than going to war to extinguish it from your life?
- Are there any sins that we are failing to personally own right now? Or is there any sin that others have brought to our attention, but we don’t really listen and fail to take full responsibility for it?
- Are you using your positions of leadership, financial advantage, or other power in relationships to benefit ourselves at the expense of others, walking “proudly” like the Israelites?
Use the words of Titus 2:11-14 to pray as you commit yourself to walking uprightly in light of his grace to you:
11 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.”
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