Reading a portion of the book of Micah the other day I discovered he observed the same dilemma that the world is facing today. I never thought about it before running across this synopsis of the circumstances Micah, a contemporary of Isaiah, was facing in his day.
I had never considered this before, but how would you feel if you received a summons from God in the form a lawsuit? The Word of the Lord from Micah was just exactly that. The entire nation of Israel, the Northern and Southern Kingdom, i.e., all Israel, had been sued by the Lord Himself. It was as though Micah was the prosecuting attorney and the shadowed mountains were like judges watching the sad case of apostasy. To make matters worse, Micah saw the wounds that had been inflicted by their idolatry as incurable. It reminded me of the day we live in when I read, Micah 2:6. “Do not preach… what you are preaching Micah, one should not preach such things. Disgrace will not overtake us.” It is an unusual word chosen to gauge the verbal reflex of a sinful people. “DISGRACE WILL NOT OVERTAKE US.” What is the opposite of grace? DISGRACE! Is disgrace a bad word? You can decide for yourself: Loss of or damage to one's reputation: bad name, discredit, dishonor, disrepute, humiliation, ignominy, ill repute, shame. to discredit, dishonor, shame, etc.
What was Micah preaching and who was it that was telling him not to preach the Word of the Lord that he had been given? It was the preachers, who enjoyed the privilege and lived a lifestyle of ease and comfort, not just the politicians of the day saying, “Stay out of politics.” It was prophets who had become spokespersons for special interest, just like today. What were they up in arms about?
Here is an excerpt from his message in modern-day language: “God has had enough.” He says, “I have some plans of my own: Disaster because of this interbreeding evil! Your necks are on the line. You’re not walking away from this. It’s doomsday for you. Mocking ballads will be sung of you, and you yourselves will sing the blues: ‘Our lives are ruined, our homes and lands auctioned off. They take everything, leave us nothing! All is sold to the highest bidder. And there’ll be no one to stand up for you, no one to speak for you before God and his jury. “Don’t preach,” say the preachers. “Don’t preach such stuff. Nothing bad will happen to us. Talk like this to the family of Jacob? Does God lose his temper? Is this the way he acts? Isn’t he on the side of good people? Doesn’t he help those who help themselves?” It made me think of, “What fellowship has light with darkness?”
Micah was in trouble with his critics who wanted him to stick with religion and not get involved in the big picture. They laughed at him, scorned him, and tried to keep him shut up. Their message was clear, “SIN? DON’T TAKE IT SO SERIOUSLY, WE ARE GOD’S CHOSEN… THERE IS NO DOOM TO FEAR.”
Often in history men have come to a place where they scoff at the truth, and ultimately that leads to scoffing at the idea of the imminent return of the Lord.
In the middle of this failed state of well being, an unexpected voice, like a trumpet blast, rings loud and clear throughout the universe. The same is happening today when it is easier for a prophet to be popular than real. Remember, God is always faithful to His overall and long-desired plan. As you read in Micah’s warning, God said, “ I have plans of my own.” It is here in the midst of his chosen people who are gone off the beaten path of obedience and true grace.
In the middle of stern warning, is the message of hope: Micah 5:2 - “But you, Bethlehem Ephratahah, you are little to be among the clans of Judah; [yet] out of you shall One come forth for Me who is to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth have been from of old, from ancient days (eternity).”
The promise of the birth of the Messiah in which the stargazers from the East could study out and find their way to Bethlehem, even when a jealous genius like Herod could not. We have that crowd with us today as well, men and women who are legends in their own minds and sadly have political offices that more often than not bend rules to play to an immoral public opinion. “Keep looking up, God is looking down.”
Your loving pastors,
Cleddie and GayNell