Condemning the Princes, Prophets, and Priests

January 22, 2014 at 11:38 am | Posted in Micah | 6 Comments
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In Chapter 3 Micah accused three groups of people of being false cheap imitations, and he condemned them.

1. The Princes

And I said, Hear, I pray you, O heads of Jacob, and ye princes of the house of Israel; Is it not for you to know judgment?

Micah 3:1

This is going to sound like a crazy idea, considering the age in which we live, but leaders in government are actually supposed to do what’s right. They are supposed to be statesmen instead of just politicians. Politicians think of the next election. Statesmen think about the next generation.

Who hate the good, and love the evil; who pluck off their skin from off them, and their flesh from off their bones;

Micah 3:2

We know that hating good and loving evil is is an abomination to God, so he compares it to something that we think is abominable: cannibalism.

Who also eat the flesh of my people, and flay their skin from off them; and they break their bones, and chop them in pieces, as for the pot, and as flesh within the caldron. Then shall they cry unto the LORD, but he will not hear them: he will even hide his face from them at that time, as they have behaved themselves ill in their doings.

Micah 3:3-4

The princes looked valuable, but when they were examined closely they didn’t make the grade. They were fake leaders – they didn’t lead. They preyed upon the people they were supposed to be leading. They had been honored by God, and raised up to do good, but they behaved abominably once they came into power.

2. The Prophets

Thus saith the LORD concerning the prophets that make my people err, that bite with their teeth, and cry, Peace; and he that putteth not into their mouths, they even prepare war against him.

Micah 3:5

The prophets were supposed to help people. Do you help someone by giving him good news or bad news? Neither, necessarily. You help someone the most by telling him the truth. These greedy, sinful prophets decided what kind of prophecy they would give based on what they were given by those who wanted to hear the prophecy. If people wanted their ears tickled, these spiritual prostitutes could be had for cheap – a little food would be enough. Imagine your pastor standing up on Sunday morning to preach, and saying, “I’m going to be preaching against some of your favorite sins next week – but if you take me to Popeyes this week, I might be inclined to change up the lesson a little bit!”

Therefore night shall be unto you, that ye shall not have a vision; and it shall be dark unto you, that ye shall not divine; and the sun shall go down over the prophets, and the day shall be dark over them.

Micah 3:6

God tells them that they’ve misused their gift, so He’s going to take it away from them.

Then shall the seers be ashamed, and the diviners confounded: yea, they shall all cover their lips; for there is no answer of God.

Micah 3:7

Divination – dealing with familiar spirits – was a great sin and a crime, but God calls these fake prophets diviners and seers. He would make it so that the people began to see that these charlatans had no real value. People would see that their prophecies did not come true, because God would not speak to them at all.

Micah was a different prophet. He was genuine. He did not flatter, and he could not be bought. He invited people to hold up his words next to what actually came to pass.

But truly I am full of power by the spirit of the LORD, and of judgment, and of might, to declare unto Jacob his transgression, and to Israel his sin.

Micah 3:8

3. The Priests

The heads thereof judge for reward, and the priests thereof teach for hire, and the prophets thereof divine for money: yet will they lean upon the LORD, and say, Is not the LORD among us? none evil can come upon us.

Micah 3:11 (emphasis added)

The politicians and judges could be bribed, and the priests wanted to be paid for teaching. They taught false doctrine concerning the Covenant, claiming that it guaranteed the people’s protection even in their sin. The devil loves to counterfeit, and these counterfeit leaders were a dime a dozen – so were their favors, their prophecies, and their lessons. They gave out messages that comforted, but did not challenge, the people. Their messages could not be verified from the Word of God. The people should have learned from their experiences, but they wanted the cheap instead of the costly because of their pride and self-love.

These fake leaders would turn on the people the instant they didn’t respond the right way.

Thus saith the LORD concerning the prophets that make my people err, that bite with their teeth, and cry, Peace; and he that putteth not into their mouths, they even prepare war against him.

Micah 3:5 (emphasis added)

They liked to tickle ears, not ruffle feathers. As Billy Sunday and Vance Havner used to say, when the cat was going the wrong way, they just started rubbing in a different direction rather than making the cat turn around. When counterfeit spirituality and greed are present together, it is a sign that Satan is at work. The false leaders in Micah’s day were judged, but the people were punished, too. God often permits people to get the types of leaders they deserve.

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