Read micah 3
Leaders and Prophets Rebuked
3 Then I said,
“Listen, you leaders of Jacob,
you rulers of Israel.
Should you not embrace justice,
2 you who hate good and love evil;
who tear the skin from my people
and the flesh from their bones;
3 who eat my people’s flesh,
strip off their skin
and break their bones in pieces;
who chop them up like meat for the pan,
like flesh for the pot?”
4 Then they will cry out to the Lord,
but he will not answer them.
At that time he will hide his face from them
because of the evil they have done.
5 This is what the Lord says:
“As for the prophets
who lead my people astray,
they proclaim ‘peace’
if they have something to eat,
but prepare to wage war against anyone
who refuses to feed them.
6 Therefore night will come over you, without visions,
and darkness, without divination.
The sun will set for the prophets,
and the day will go dark for them.
7 The seers will be ashamed
and the diviners disgraced.
They will all cover their faces
because there is no answer from God.”
8 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.
9 Hear this, you leaders of Jacob,
you rulers of Israel,
who despise justice
and distort all that is right;
10 who build Zion with bloodshed,
and Jerusalem with wickedness.
11 Her leaders judge for a bribe,
her priests teach for a price,
and her prophets tell fortunes for money.
Yet they look for the Lord’s support and say,
“Is not the Lord among us?
No disaster will come upon us.”
12 Therefore because of you,
Zion will be plowed like a field,
Jerusalem will become a heap of rubble,
the temple hill a mound overgrown with thickets.
In previous chapters, Micah had been speaking to all oppressors and wrongdoers in the general public of God’s people. Micah is now speaking directly to the rulers and leaders. This is because leaders have a special responsibility to be a godly steward of those that they lead and serve. There are multiple verses in Scripture that show the seriousness with which God will hold leaders accountable like Matthew 18:6, Acts 20:28, and Proverbs 16:12.
Sometimes it may seem like we are not stewards of much, but God clearly calls us to be faithful stewards of whatever leadership and resources we have been given. This calling is not optional. God takes our stewardship very seriously. Micah goes on to explain in verse 4 that God will hide His face from them due to their evil, poor stewardship as leaders and rulers. In Numbers 6:25 it is stated that God will shine His face on His people. However, when His people cause others to be led astray, His face will turn from them.
Micah 3 also calls out the individuals who show faith and false praise when all is well in their lives but speak against God as soon as hardships and obstacles are presented. Due to poor leadership, subpar stewardship, and false prophets and teachers, confusion and darkness will come to their land and all of the people there. God is a God of light, peace, and hope. However, when we follow false teaching, lead poorly, abandon faith during hardships, or practice poor stewardship, we are thrown into dark confusion and ultimately, death (Romans 6:23).
Hope is seen in verse 8. Micah is a faithful follower of God and reveals that he is “filled with power, with the Spirit of the Lord, and with justice and might.” When we truly follow the Word of God through good times and bad, we may face earthly hardships, but we will also receive the Holy Spirit and eternal rewards greater than anything we could imagine here on earth. Due to this power from the Spirit of the Lord, Micah had the strength to call out the leaders and thus face persecution or death. However, unlike other prophets, Micah’s audience actually heeded the words spoken to them by Micah, turned from their wicked ways, and a revival followed. In the book of Jeremiah, we see that Micah’s words are still being used over 100 years later!
Micah 3 gives a strong warning to all leaders, and every single person is a leader of someone. You might be a leader of a company, a life group, a family, your children, a social club, a team, or someone else. You are called to lead those people closer to Jesus, not for your own earthly rewards, but for the eternal rewards that we will experience in heaven with Jesus. This leadership may seem lonely or unfruitful now, but the eternal benefit of your faithfulness will produce dividends that cannot be measured by mere human calculations.
Remain faithful to the calling Christ has put on your life like Micah and let God do the rest.
- Who have you been called to lead? Are you stewarding this leadership in a way that is pleasing to the Lord?
- What is an example you have seen of faithful leadership and stewardship that produced eternal dividends that were not immediate?
- How can you lean on the Lord today to give you the strength to be a faithful leader and steward?
By the Way
Micah’s words in verse 12 were so important and profound that the prophet Jeremiah quoted him a century later to warn Israel yet again in Jeremiah 26:18:
“Micah of Moresheth prophesied in the days of Hezekiah king of Judah. He told all the people of Judah, ‘This is what the Lord Almighty says:
“‘Zion will be plowed like a field,
Jerusalem will become a heap of rubble,
the temple hill a mound overgrown with thickets.’
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