(12 verses, 2:10 to read)
What I am about to READ
Through the prophet Micah, the Lord calls to task the rulers of Judah and Israel, as well as the prophets who preach falsely.
MARK and LEARN
The first group God rebukes are the leaders and judges of Israel and Judah. God uses the vivid imagery of a torturous beating to describe the violence and oppression which come when rulers fail to administer justice. The rulers of Judah and Israel who were tasked with administering the law and securing justice used their positions of power to seek their own good, and thus “eat the flesh of my people, and flay their skin from them” (vs. 3a).
The second group of persons God takes to task are the prophets who preach falsely and give the people a false sense of security. They preach “peace” when they should call the people to repentance for their sin, and when they preach they do so only for the payment they have coming. God promises them that they will no longer hear from the Lord and that they shall be disgraced among the people.
In contrast, Micah is “filled with power, with the Spirit of the Lord…to declare to Jacob his transgression and to Israel his sin” (vs. 8). Micah will do what the false prophets will not, declare God’s law to bring about repentance.
Crooked leaders and false prophets result in calamity for God’s people. God promises that Jerusalem shall be a heap of ruins. In the time of Jeremiah, about 100 years later, these words would hold true as Jerusalem was besieged and it’s inhabitants carried off to Babylon.
In the same way, when our earthly rulers administer justice and uphold the rule of law we may live in tranquility and peace. Also when we hear the faithful preaching of our pastors we are able to see our sin, repent of them, receive absolution for the sake of Jesus and obtain forgiveness and peace.
Lord Jesus, you are the head of your Church and King of the world. Continue to raise up faithful rulers in this and every land who would uphold justice and the rule of law. Grant that they would defend and secure the freedom of your preachers to proclaim your saving name to all the world and make your preachers faithful in their charge. In your name. Amen.