Micah 3

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015

BLESSING WILL FOLLOW JUDGMENT

INTRODUCTION:

We have seen Micah's first message in chapters 1-2 in which he declared that Judgment Will Come. We move on to his second message, which is found in chapters 3-5, that Blessing Will Follow Judgment.

II. Micah's second Message: Blessing will follow judgment - 3:1 - 5:15

In chapters 1-2 only two verses discussed God's future blessings on Israel and Judah, but in chapters 3-5 two whole chapters are devoted to God's future blessings on Israel and Judah.

God's purpose in informing people about what is going to happen in the future is to motivate them to change their lives and to live for Him.

We see -

A. Judgment on the nation's leaders - 3:1-12

First, there is the -

1. Judgment on the rulers, 3:1-4

According to verses 1-4, the unjust leaders showed about as much consideration for the people as butchers or hunters do for carcasses or as wild animals show for their victims!

The three major sections of the book are introduced with the word hear, which means listen, in 1:2, in 3:1, and in 6:1.

Micah 3:1 - And I said, Hear, I pray you, O heads [i.e. Listen, you leaders] of Jacob, and ye princes [i.e. you rulers] of the house of Israel [Inasmuch as Jacob and Israel are used interchangeably, these are two ways of saying the same thing.]; Is it not for you to know judgment? [i.e. Should you not know justice? You should know justice, shouldn't you.]

Micah 3:2 - Who [i.e. meaning, you leaders of Jacob and rulers of Israel, who] hate the good, and love the evil [i.e. who hate good and love evil, which is backwards from what it should be - people should love good and hate evil]; who pluck off their skin from off them [i.e. who tear off (or strip) the skin from my people], and their flesh from off their bones [It suggests that the leaders are taking advantage of God's people.];

Of course, those who hate good and love evil do not love the Lord. The Lord's people should do the exact opposite: hate what is evil and love what is good.

Proverbs 8:13 - The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward [i.e. perverse] mouth, do I hate.

Micah 3:3 - Who [i.e. which refers to the leaders of Jacob and rulers of Israel] - who also eat the flesh of my people, and flay [i.e. strip] their skin from off them; and they [i.e. the leaders of Jacob and rulers of Israel] break their bones [i.e. break my people's bones], and chop them [i.e. chop my people] in pieces, as [i.e. like meat] for the pot, and as flesh within the caldron [i.e. like flesh for the pot, as if they were preparing a stew. Again, these are two ways of saying the same thing.].

According to Micah, the leaders and rulers of Israel used unfair legal actions, bribery, theft, oppression, and bloodshed to render God's people helpless. Faithful leaders would look out for the welfare of their people and turn them to the Lord, but these unfaithful leaders did not do what they should have done.

Micah 3:4 - Then [i.e. at the time they are taken into captivity] shall they [i.e. the false prophets and leaders will] cry unto the LORD, but he [i.e. the LORD] will not hear them [i.e. the LORD will not hear the false prophets and leaders]: he [i.e. the LORD] will even hide his face from them at that time [i.e. the LORD will hide His face from the false prophets and leaders of Israel at the time they are taken into captivity. The LORD will make Himself unavailable to His people when they are taken into captivity.], as they have behaved themselves ill in their doings [i.e. because they (i.e. the heads of Jacob and rulers of the house of Israel) have been evil in their deeds].

Unfortunately, the majority of people followed the false prophets and leaders and would, therefore, experience the same judgment from the Lord.

As we continue to look at God's judgment on Israel's leaders, we see not only God's judgment on Israel's rulers, but we also see God's -

2. Judgment on the false prophets, 3:5-8

According to verse 5, when the false prophets had plenty to eat (plenty of food to bite with their teeth), they predicted peace and led the people astray.

Micah 3:5 - Thus saith the LORD concerning the prophets that make my people err [i.e. the false prophets who lead my people astray], that bite with their teeth [i.e. when the prophets had something to bite with their teeth or while they chew with their teeth, which implies when the prophets had plenty to eat], and cry, Peace [i.e. It implies, Who cry, Peace, while they chew with their teeth, implying while they have plenty to eat]; and he that putteth not into their mouths [implying, someone who does not give them something to eat], they even prepare war against him [i.e. the prophets prepare war against the person who puts nothing (to eat) into their mouths. The false prophets will prophesy peace for someone who gives them something to eat but will declare war on someone who will not give them something to eat.].

The false prophets were giving the people false hope by telling them that they will not experience any calamity as a judgment from God for their sin.

The false prophets told people whatever they wanted to hear if they fed them; but if someone did not feed these false prophets, they were ready to wage war against him. They were looking out for themselves rather than for the nation of Israel or for the people of the nation of Israel.

Micah 3:6 - Therefore night shall be unto you [i.e. unto you false prophets], that ye [i.e. that you false prophets] shall not have a vision [i.e. you will have night without vision - you will be given no vision or revelation from God during the night to declare to the people]; and it shall be dark unto you, that ye shall not divine [i.e. and you will have darkness without divination - it means that you will receive no divine revelation from God.]; and the sun shall go down over [i.e. on] the prophets, and the day shall be dark over them [i.e. the day will be dark for them] [i.e. no spiritual light will be given to the false prophets in their time of need.].

Darkness or nightfall signals impending doom. The prophets have been telling the people that they were all OK and should go on living the way they were living. However, when judgment comes, the prophets will have no answer from God for the people.

Micah 3:7 - Then shall the seers [i.e. the false prophets] be ashamed, and the diviners [i.e. another reference to the false prophets] confounded [i.e. the false prophets will be embarrassed or disgraced]; yea, they shall all cover their lips [literally, they will cover their mustaches, suggesting they will cover their mouths. They will be humiliated because they will have no message from God to say to the people.]; for there is no answer of God [i.e. God will be silent. There will be no message from Him.].

The people will figure out that the prophets were actually false prophets and had been lying to them all along.

Micah 3:8 - But truly I [i.e. Micah is speaking of himself] - I am full of power by the spirit of the LORD, and of judgment [i.e. and of justice], and of might [i.e. and of strength, suggesting of courage], to declare unto Jacob his transgression, and to Israel his sin [These are two ways of saying the same thing. It is an example of Hebrew parallelism, of saying the same in two different ways.].

Verse 8 means that Micah was speaking in the power of the Holy Spirit and telling the truth to Israel.

As we continue God's judgment on Israel's leaders, we see not only God's judgment on their rulers and on their false prophets, but we also see God's -

3. Judgment on all the naive leaders - 3:9-12

Micah 3:9 - Hear this, I pray you, ye heads [i.e. you leaders] of the house of Jacob, and princes [i.e. you rulers] of the house of Israel, that abhor judgment [i.e. who despise justice], and pervert all equity [i.e. and who twist or distort all that is right].

Micah 3:10 - They build up Zion with blood [i.e. they are building up Zion with bloodshed], and Jerusalem with iniquity [i.e. with injustice or wickedness. It suggests that their method of building up Jerusalem is actually destroying it.].

In verse 11, we see that everyone - heads (or leaders), priests, and prophets - had his price because money was his god.

Micah 3:11 - The heads thereof [i.e. the nation's leaders] judge for reward [i.e. pronounce judgment for a bribe], and the priests thereof [i.e. the nation's priests] teach for hire [i.e. teach for pay], and the prophets thereof divine [i.e. the nation's prophets prophesy] for money: yet will they lean upon the LORD [i.e. they claim to lean (or depend) on the LORD or they talk as if they lean (or depend) upon the LORD], and say, Is not the LORD among us? [They are trying to assure the people that the LORD is on their side, but He is not on their side.] none evil [i.e. no harm, no disaster, or no calamity] can come upon us [The nation's leaders are erroneously teaching that they are immune from calamity, but they are not immune from it. It's already on its way and will soon be here.].

Micah 3:12 - Therefore shall Zion for your sake will be plowed as a field [i.e. because you leaders, you priests, and you prophets serve the people only for money, because of you, Zion (or Jerusalem) will be plowed like a field] and Jerusalem shall become heaps [i.e. Jerusalem will become heaps of ruins or Jerusalem will become a heap of rubble], and the mountain of the house [i.e. and the mountain of the temple] as the high places [i.e. like the bare hills] of the forest.

The leaders, priests, and prophets were guilty, but so were the people who followed the teaching of their leaders. As a result, Jerusalem will be destroyed.

The notes on Micah 3 found in the Bible Knowledge Commentary were especially helpful in preparing this lesson.

Scriptures
Series

This sermon is the 3rd part of the series, Study of Micah. Other sermons in this series are: