The End of the Line?
Father God, Your Word is right and good. Help me to listen well to those who share it with me.
Read Micah 3:1-12
 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 Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat will be the fate of the false prophets?
Despite sounding a note of hope at the end of yesterday’s reading (2:12,13), Micah’s denunciation of self-serving leaders (1-4) and false prophets (5-7) continues. Leaders, priests and prophets all work in collusion to exploit and oppress the poor and vulnerable (9-11a); justice is despised and distorted. Worse, all this is being done in the name of the Lord (11b). While other false prophets claim the Lord’s protection for God’s people regardless of their behavior, Micah, empowered by the Spirit, is bold enough to speak out about what is wrong (compare v. 8 with 1:5). Jerusalem, the center of worship, will suffer the same fate as Samaria: complete destruction and exile (compare v. 12 with 1:6). Perhaps we take it for granted that there will always be a Christian church in our country, that God will never withdraw his protection and blessing. The church at Ephesus thought so (see Rev. 2:1-7, especially v. 5), but it was not too long before both city and church disappeared from the map! Pray for your church to remain faithful always!
What does it mean for a church to remain faithful? How is your church doing so? What changes might be needed?
Lord of the Church, I pray that You’ll lead my church so that we stay faithful to You no matter what!
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