Journey Through The Scriptures
The Prophecy of Micah
Lesson 3: Rebuking Leaders and Prophets
(Scripture to Read: Micah 3:1–12)
A prophet such as Micah who had a powerful, and highly unpopular, message to deliver needed the fortifying power of God to speak out boldly. This was precisely what Micah claimed for himself (v. 8), as opposed to the false prophets around him. His oracle was addressed to all of Israel, for “Jacob” and “Israel” (v. 1) were synonyms for the entire nation. The injustices detailed in chapter 2 were being perpetrated by leaders whose hatred of good and love of evil was, of course, the complete opposite of what God required. With a true prophet’s unyielding indignation and commitment to speak the truth, Micah compared Israel’s treacherous leaders to hunters who killed and completely devoured their prey.
The prophets of Micah’s day did not fare any better under God’s searching gaze. These seers who were charged with delivering God’s message to His people were available for hire, with a word of peace to anyone who paid them well. Because they were unfaithful in discharging their calling, these false prophets would suffer the worst fate for one who claimed to receive messages from God: they would be plunged into darkness where they could see no visions. Micah continued to denounce evil practices such as bribery, and ended this portion of his prophetic oracle with a message of doom. As impossible as it may have seemed to the people of Jerusalem in his day, the city would be reduced to rubble and the great Temple of Solomon destroyed.
- Why was the indifference of Israel's leaders toward justice such a devastating failure?
- What did Micah’s indictment that Israel’s leaders “hate good and love evil” reveal about their attitude toward God? (Hint: Read Proverbs 8:13)
- How would the unfaithful prophets and seers of Israel be disgraced (v. 7)?
- Why did Micah separate himself from the false prophets and teachers?
Something to Think About
Micah’s stern indictment of those who “build Zion with bloodshed, and Jerusalem with wickedness” (v. 10) reminds us that any attempt to build either an empire or even a life without God’s guidance and holy standards is to be seriously misguided.