Micah 3:1-4 (NIV) 1 Then I said, “Listen, you leaders of Jacob, you rulers of the house of Israel. Should you not know 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.
On verses 1-4: God wants leaders to “embrace justice” (v1), but instead Micah finds that the leaders of Jacob (another name for Israel) “hate good and love evil” (v2). Micah uses cannibalistic imagery to describe how Israel’s leaders take advantage of and abuse the people (v3). Micah says that because of their evil ways, the Lord will not listen to them when they cry out (v4).
What can we learn from this? God loves justice and expects leaders to embrace justice too. God is so holy that nothing with sin can get near him. Don’t expect God to do what you want especially when you’re not doing what He wants.
Micah 3:5-7 (NIV) 5 This is what the LORD says: “As for the prophets who lead my people astray, if one feeds them, they proclaim ‘peace’; if he does not, they prepare to wage war against him. 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.”
On verses 5-7: Here Micah turns his attention specifically to Israel’s false prophets “who lead my people astray” (v5), who prophesy good for those who bribe them and who prophesy evil for those who refuse to give a bribe (v5). As a result of their money-loving ways, Micah says there will come a day when Israel’s false prophets will be ashamed and disgraced and when they can no longer prophesy or hear from God (v6-7).
What can we learn from this? Be careful that you don’t allow the love of money to influence how you use the gifts that God has given you. Instead of loving money and using people, use money and love people. It is difficult to hear from God when you’re obsessed with money. Micah 3:8 (NIV) 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.
On verse 8: Micah is filled with power and with the Spirit of the Lord, with a sense of justice and a sense of His strength, to declare to Israel where Israel has gone wrong. What can we learn from this? When you are filled with the Holy Spirit, you have power to serve God in ways that you couldn’t if you were relying on your own strength alone. That is why Paul writes, “Keep on being filled with the Holy Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18). Every day ask the Holy Spirit to fill you with His power.
Micah 3:9-12 (NIV) 9 Hear this, you leaders of the house of Jacob, you rulers of the house 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 lean upon theLORD 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.
On verses 9-12: Micah goes after the political leaders, the judges, the priests and the prophets of Israel for on one hand accepting bribes and on the other hand assuming that God is with them and will not do their nation any harm. Micah clarifies that actually these leaders are the biggest reason why their nation will fall. For as John Maxwell says, “Everything rises and falls on leadership”. When the leaders are doing right and leading well, the whole nation will eventually be blessed. When the leaders are doing wrong and leading poorly, everyone suffers.
Heavenly Father, since You have called all of usto be leaders in our own way, I pray that we would be leaders who embrace justice, who love what is good, who hate what is evil, who aren’t lovers of money but lovers of people, who are filled with Your Holy Spirit to do things we could not do on our own, and who lead others in the right way. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!