II. Punishment of Leaders And False Prophets (Micah 3:1-12)

3:1 Here, Micah points to the sin of those in leadership. Even when the average person of the kingdom strays from practicing truth, it is expected that those in leadership will stand fast and do what is right. Micah says, Now listen, leaders of Jacob, you rulers of the house of Israel. Aren’t you supposed to know what is just? The obvious answer is yes.

3:6-7 The punishment for giving false light is experiencing darkness: It will be night for you—without visions (3:6). So, because these prophets were a discredit to God, God would discredit them and halt their prostitution of the office of prophet. Because they used their gifts (Micah never questions their power, just their motives) for debased purposes, God would debase them by cutting off their ability to communicate with him: There will be no answer (3:7). Those who refuse to speak God’s word will be abandoned by God.

3:8 In contrast to these profiteering prophets, Micah asserts the weight of his credentials. He is a genuine prophet of the kingdom. What’s his proof? I am filled with power by the Spirit of the Lord, with justice and courage to proclaim to his Jewish brothers and sisters their rebellion and sin. A kingdom man relies on the Spirit’s power (not his own) and is willing to speak boldly, calling sin what it is. Micah knew that he was called by and accountable to God; therefore, God’s opinion was the only one that mattered.

3:9-12 Micah presses the issue of injustice once more, condemning all three levels of spiritual leadership: leaders . . . priests . . . and prophets. They exercised their roles in exchange for cash (3:11). “The love of money,” the apostle Paul says, “is a root of all kinds of evil” (1 Tim 6:10). The leaders were corrupt, perverting everything that is right (3:9). Nonetheless, they assumed God was on their side and concluded that no disaster would overtake [them] (3:11). They couldn’t be more misguided: Jerusalem would become ruins (3:12).

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