Drinks All Around
Lord God, may I learn what You want to teach me and live as You want to lead me today.
Read Micah 2:6-3:12
 “Do not prophesy,” their prophets say. “Do not prophesy about these things; disgrace will not overtake us.”  You descendants of Jacob, should it be said, “Does the LORD become impatient? Does he do such things?” “Do not my words do good to the one whose ways are upright?  Lately my people have risen up like an enemy. You strip off the rich robe from those who pass by without a care, like men returning from battle.  You drive the women of my people from their pleasant homes. You take away my blessing from their children forever.  Get up, go away! For this is not your resting place, because it is defiled, it is ruined, beyond all remedy.  If a liar and deceiver comes and says, ‘I will prophesy for you plenty of wine and beer,’ that would be just the prophet for this people!  “I will surely gather all of you, Jacob; I will surely bring together the remnant of Israel. I will bring them together like sheep in a pen, like a flock in its pasture; the place will throng with people.  The One who breaks open the way will go up before them; they will break through the gate and go out. Their King will pass through before them, the LORD at their head.”  Then I said, “Listen, you leaders of Jacob, you rulers of Israel. Should you not embrace justice,  you who hate good and love evil; who tear the skin from my people and the flesh from their bones;  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?”  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.  This is what the LORD says: “As for the prophets who lead my people astray, they proclaim ‘peace’ if they have something to eat, but prepare to wage war against anyone who refuses to feed them.  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.  The seers will be ashamed and the diviners disgraced. They will all cover their faces because there is no answer from God.”  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.  Hear this, you leaders of Jacob, you rulers of Israel, who despise justice and distort all that is right;  who build Zion with bloodshed, and Jerusalem with wickedness.  Her leaders judge for a bribe, her priests teach for a price, and her prophets tell fortunes for money. Yet they look for the LORD’s support and say, “Is not the LORD among us? No disaster will come upon us.”  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. Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectOf what crimes and sins are the prophet and rulers guilty?
Imagine a note sent to the preacher: “There’s a crate of wine for you if your sermon says something that makes my business dealings look good.” That’s what was happening in Micah’s time. For good food (3:5) and hefty tips (3:11) the prophets will bring a message that suits their masters (2:11). But upset them at your peril: they can just as easily turn their prophecies against you (3:5). Most of the message of Micah is a challenge to live differently. It is true that God brings judgment and punishment on his rebellious people (3:6,7,12). It is equally true that disobeying God’s laws bring their own consequences. God warns his people because, when they repent, he can change the situation into which they are running headlong. But if they won’t stop running, there will be a collision. Still, this passage, as elsewhere in the prophecy, brings both comfort and challenge (2:12,13). The people will return from exile. God’s judgment, although terrible, does not involve casting off his people forever. But there’s no room for complacency–only a remnant will return.
Take time to wonder anew and thank God that his grace and forgiveness is infinitely great and available to you.
Gracious Lord, may Your Word always challenge me so that my life conforms more and more to Your Ways.