I like when people say nice things about me. I thoroughly enjoy being affirmed in what I am doing. The flip-side is also true. I don’t care much for being criticized or corrected. I would rather be told to “keep it up” than “get your act together.” I am confident that most of you quite naturally feel the same way I do. This doesn’t mean that I never need a correction or a recalibration. The fact is that I do need to be shaped, refined and even rebuked; especially by my God.
In Micah we read of the immoral state of the leaders and the prophets of Israel. They spoke words of comfort when there should have been words of correction in chapter 2 and we see in chapter 3 that their self-worship used people up while claiming to be on the Lord’s side. They were somehow blinded to the fact that they were choosing to oppose God with their lives.
Micah 2 6“Don’t say such things,”
the people respond.
“Don’t prophesy like that.
Such disasters will never come our way!”
Micah 3 9 Listen to me, you leaders of Israel!
You hate justice and twist all that is right.
10 You are building Jerusalem
on a foundation of murder and corruption.
11 You rulers make decisions based on bribes;
you priests teach God’s laws only for a price;
you prophets won’t prophesy unless you are paid.
Yet all of you claim to depend on the Lord.
“No harm can come to us,” you say,
“for the Lord is here among us.”
Micah is a book filled with hope and God’s good gifts, but to get there we need to be willing to come to grips with our own sinfulness. Our repentance, which sees things like God does, could be described as the spigot that opens heaven’s storehouses of grace, mercy and forgiveness. Our Father in Heaven does not shy away from making it clear that opposing Him is a very bad decision. But He is equally clear that He desires to claim us as His own children just because He can.
Micah was calling Israel to see the truth. God is always true! Jesus declared this very clearly as He came as our savior. In John 8:32 He said, “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
We may be confident that we are not as blatant as the ones Micah was speaking to that were “building a foundation of murder and corruption”, but what is our foundation? Most of us are tempted from time to time to put on false fronts. To act or say something to fit in or to appear better, stronger or more of “something” than we really are. Although this is harmful to our peace of mind and our sense of contentment; it isn’t the worst.
Micah points out the worst or the most dangerous – choosing to live opposed to God but claiming that He is ok with it. It is one thing to struggle with our sin – it is quite a different thing to be claiming God is fine with it. It is a wonderful thing to be amazed by grace and it is quite a shameful thing to take grace or mercy or forgiveness in Christ for granted.
The Truth of Micah and all of Scripture that God wants us to dwell in can be summarized by two statements.
Have a good one!
Pastor Nick Mundis