False Prophecy and Disappointment

January 6, 2014 at 12:34 pm | Posted in Micah | 6 Comments
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Micah was prophesying to a people with whom God had made a covenant. But He was letting them know that the fact of being in covenant with God does not excuse two sins in particular.

One was covetousness.

Woe to them that devise iniquity, and work evil upon their beds! when the morning is light, they practise it, because it is in the power of their hand. And they covet fields, and take them by violence; and houses, and take them away: so they oppress a man and his house, even a man and his heritage. Therefore thus saith the LORD; Behold, against this family do I devise an evil, from which ye shall not remove your necks; neither shall ye go haughtily: for this time is evil.

Micah 2:1-3

The second was false prophecy.

Prophesy ye not, say they to them that prophesy: they shall not prophesy to them, that they shall not take shame. O thou that art named the house of Jacob, is the spirit of the LORD straitened? are these his doings? do not my words do good to him that walketh uprightly?

Micah 2:6-7

Arise ye, and depart; for this is not your rest: because it is polluted, it shall destroy you, even with a sore destruction. If a man walking in the spirit and falsehood do lie, saying, I will prophesy unto thee of wine and of strong drink; he shall even be the prophet of this people.

Micah 2:10-11

Prophets who are truly sent from God are seldom popular. One of the marks of a false prophet is that, in telling people they are good, he is loved by the people. Satan had been at work in the false prophets being addressed by Micah. In the Old Testament, we can often identify Satan trying to do two things: one, trying to contaminate or kill off the line of the Messiah before His birth; two, trying to kill the Jewish people in general. The sins of covetousness/greed and counterfeiting God’s words (false prophecy) are two of Satan’s favorites. Micah did not bring God’s judgment upon the people. He foretold it. He was the messenger, not the destroyer.

Micah 2:7 asks if the Spirit of the Lord is “straightened?” The people didn’t want to hear any true prophecies. They only wanted prophecies that were “happy,” but God’s Spirit is not straightened just because people don’t want to hear Him. God can reveal Himself through means other than prophets. Christians should be so excited about God’s Word that we can’t help but tell about others about it, even though we are not receiving new, immediate, private revelations from God. The Bible itself, and its sufficiency, reveals God to us. Creation, and even the scientific study of it, should reveal God to us. Our consciences, when they are sensitive to the Spirit, will reveal God at work in us.

For the inhabitant of Maroth waited carefully for good: but evil came down from the LORD unto the gate of Jerusalem.

Micah 1:12

If we are waiting for “good,” and then we perceive that “bad” comes to us instead, it is a recipe for disappointment. We must be careful, for disappointment can be a form of blaming God. The Bible says that “evil came down from the Lord,” because the people were looking for good somewhere else besides God. We should we look for good to come from the Lord, and, even better, we ought to just to look for the Lord Himself to come. Whether He brings good or evil from our perspective, it will really be good, because it will be His will.

When God Makes Fun of Your Name

December 10, 2013 at 5:16 pm | Posted in Micah | 3 Comments
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The Old Testament prophet Micah’s name meant “Who is like God?” He was a contemporary of Isaiah, but he prophesied to the rural people in Judah, whereas Isaiah prophesied mainly to the courts in both Jerusalem and Samaria. Micah was from Moresheth, about 25 miles from Jerusalem. He warned of God’s judgment coming upon Israel (the northern kingdom) and Judah (the southern kingdom).

For, behold, the LORD cometh forth out of his place, and will come down, and tread upon the high places of the earth. And the mountains shall be molten under him, and the valleys shall be cleft, as wax before the fire, [and] as the waters that are poured down a steep place.

Micah 1:3-4

The people of Judah saw what the Assyrians had done to Israel, and it should have caused them to repent. The northern kingdom became openly idolatrous and competed with Judah’s “true” worship. The Assyrians and other gentile peoples brought in by the Assyrians intermingled with the Israelites and became the despised, half-breed Samaritans. Spiritual adultery – in the form of “watered-down” worship – is contagious, and the sickness of Israel began to infect Judah.

For the transgression of Jacob is all this, and for the sins of the house of Israel. What is the transgression of Jacob? is it not Samaria? and what are the high places of Judah? are they not Jerusalem?

Micah 1:5

You can call it worship, but if it’s idolatry, it’s idolatry. You can call it spiritual, but if it’s flesh, it’s flesh. Micah prophesied about the cities in Judah and God mocked their names. God has a way of taking what is nearest and dearest to you, and, if you disregard Him, taking it away, or turning it into a curse.

Declare ye it not at Gath, weep ye not at all: in the house of Aphrah roll thyself in the dust.

Micah 1:10

“Gath” meant “declare it” and “Aphrah” meant “house of dust.”

Pass ye away, thou inhabitant of Saphir, having thy shame naked: the inhabitant of Zaanan came not forth in the mourning of Bethezel; he shall receive of you his standing.

Micah 1:11

“Saphir” meant “beautiful,” “Zaanan” meant “come out,” and “Bethezel” meant “taking away.”

For the inhabitant of Maroth waited carefully for good: but evil came down from the LORD unto the gate of Jerusalem.

Micah 1:12

“Maroth” meant bitterness.

O thou inhabitant of Lachish, bind the chariot to the swift beast: she is the beginning of the sin to the daughter of Zion: for the transgressions of Israel were found in thee. Therefore shalt thou give presents to Moreshethgath: the houses of Achzib shall be a lie to the kings of Israel. Yet will I bring an heir unto thee, O inhabitant of Mareshah: he shall come unto Adullam the glory of Israel. Make thee bald, and poll thee for thy delicate children; enlarge thy baldness as the eagle; for they are gone into captivity from thee.

Micah 1:13-16

“Lachish” meant “team of fast horses,” “Achzib” meant “deception,” and “Mareshah” meant “conqueror.”

These were God’s covenant people, but being in a covenant does not excuse sin. The first sin addressed in Micah Chapter 2 is covetousness.

Woe to them that devise iniquity, and work evil upon their beds! when the morning is light, they practise it, because it is in the power of their hand. And they covet fields, and take them by violence; and houses, and take them away: so they oppress a man and his house, even a man and his heritage. Therefore thus saith the LORD; Behold, against this family do I devise an evil, from which ye shall not remove your necks; neither shall ye go haughtily: for this time is evil.

Micah 2:1-3

The second sin addressed is false prophecy.

Prophesy ye not, say they to them that prophesy: they shall not prophesy to them, that they shall not take shame. O thou that art named the house of Jacob, is the spirit of the LORD straitened? are these his doings? do not my words do good to him that walketh uprightly?

Micah 2:6-7

Arise ye, and depart; for this is not your rest: because it is polluted, it shall destroy you, even with a sore destruction. If a man walking in the spirit and falsehood do lie, saying, I will prophesy unto thee of wine and of strong drink; he shall even be the prophet of this people.

Micah 2:10-11

Prophets who are truly from God are seldom popular. One of the marks of a false prophet is that, in telling people they are good, he is loved by the people. Note how the sins of covetousness and false prophecy often go hand in hand.

The Raptor and the Captor

September 17, 2009 at 9:54 am | Posted in Biblical Parenting, Biblical Violence, Micah | 11 Comments
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Lemuel Briggs was a farmer in Mendocino County, California, in 1895. He had a lamb and two sons. Bald eagles were not as scarce in those days as they are today.

bald eagles

One day, a bald eagle left its nest in the mountains near Mr. Briggs’s farm, soaring on wings that measured over eight feet across, and carried off Mr. Briggs’s lamb. He was furious.

He sent his sons, Willie, aged 13, and Eddie, 11, up into the mountains to find the eagle’s nest. They obeyed.

However, as they went up the narrow mountain path, they neared the eagle’s nest before they realized it, and the eagle attacked. It circled around them, swooping in relentlessly, talons tearing and beak pecking. The attack ended with Eddie permanently scarred, having lost an eye.

One can only imagine the grief felt by Lemuel Briggs every time he saw his boy’s patched and scarred face. In the Bible, there was a tradition among the Jewish people of cutting off their hair or shaving their heads during times of devastating grief. As God’s people faced the chastening of God for their idol-worship and spiritual adultery, the prophet Micah used a bit of holy irony to drive home what would have been a sore point.

Make thee bald, and poll thee for thy delicate children; enlarge thy baldness as the eagle; for they are gone into captivity from thee.

Micah 1:16

The irony has to do with his description of their children as “delicate.” Parents who are not strict with their children when it comes to Bible study, church attendance, and Christian conduct, may gloss over the suggestion that they are spoiling them. However, when the enemy comes to take them captive, it will quickly become apparent that children who were too “delicate” to be subjected to discipline, are likewise too delicate to withstand the rough treatment they will experience at the hands of their captor.


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