In Micah 3, Micah engages groups of leaders that are operating unjustly. He rebukes them for their sinful leadership. It’s here that we see: God confronts distorted forms of justice and brings retribution for it. It may be easy to check out and think that this doesn’t apply to us, yet in many ways it has great bearing and application for us.
1. God Confronts Unjust Rulers: v.1-4
God begins by confronting the unjust rulers. These would be people in positions similar to roles that we understand as judge, lawmaker, police and even politician. These are the ones who are supposed to know, embody and execute justice. Yet, they abuse their power, and as Micah graphically depicts in verses 2-3, they cannibalize their people for their own benefit. God’s response to them is silence. He won’t listen to them in the same way they won’t listen to the cries of those they exploit. You may ask, how does this impact my life? Loved one, you can’t continually choose what is evil and expect God to answer. God won’t be deceived and God is not mocked. In the same way that He addresses unjust rulers, He will address the ways in which we choose what is evil instead of what is good.
2. God Confronts Unjust Prophets: v.5-8
Moving from the civil authorities to the spiritual authorities, God addresses the prophets. The very ones who were supposed to speak on behalf of God, now need to hear from God for their unjust and perverse ways. The prophets had become greedy. Their greed led them to modifying the message so as to extract more from the hearer. Bottom line: the prophets were for sale.
You may think to yourself, this can’t possibly apply to me. In the purest sense that may be true, but in a broader sense, I think this is a major item for the church today. For most of us, the issue and temptation around sharing the gospel message isn’t financial greed. But there is an issue and temptation around relational greed. We want to be liked, accepted and approved, and so we’re tempted to modify the message. The Bible is clear that our role is that of a messenger. We come on behalf of another to deliver the message that they send. Think of our role as similar to how we think of a mailman. The mailman’s job is to deliver the mail. Our job is to deliver the gospel. Unlike these greedy prophets who were looking for a quick buck, we must be committed to telling the truth! Specifically, we must tell the truth about our sin, about ourselves and about God’s justice and forgiveness. To do any less makes us no different than these greedy prophets.
3. God Confronts Unjust Leaders: v.9-12
Finally, God confronts leaders of every form. Some of this is repetitive, but what is most shocking is what we see at the end of verse 11. The leaders, even though they are rife with injustice, greed and exploitation believe that God is with them. They are deluded by their wickedness. We would do well to consider in our own lives if we are living contrary to the way that God calls us, but naively and foolishly assuming that God will still plug and plod along with us. Because God won’t go with us in our sin, wickedness, or injustice. He won’t play our religious games and He certainly won’t be deceived by us.
God help us that we would hear the confrontation that God brings, and respond the way that the people did, in repentance. Where God is addressing sin, would we be people that hear that word and respond in repentance, being restored to God and cleansed of our sin.