Knowing the Truth

Is how we think we are living and acting always the reality?

Are we kidding ourselves, or trying to convince others?  Or just telling people what they want to hear rather than how it really is?  Who are we fooling?  Who are we letting down?

Micah brings harsh words:

Micah 3:5-12 (CEV)

You lying prophets promise
security for anyone
    who gives you food,
but disaster for anyone
    who refuses to feed you.
Here is what the Lord says
    to you prophets:
“You will live in the dark,
far from the sight of the sun,
    with no message from me.
You prophets and fortunetellers
will all be disgraced,
    with no message from me.”

But the Lord has filled me
    with power and his Spirit.
I have been given the courage
    to speak about justice
and to tell you people of Israel
    that you have sinned.
So listen to my message,
    you rulers of Israel!
You hate justice
    and twist the truth.
10 You make cruelty and murder
    a way of life in Jerusalem.
11 You leaders accept bribes
    for dishonest decisions.
You priests and prophets
teach and preach,
    but only for money.

Then you say,
“The Lord is on our side.
    No harm will come to us.”
12 And so, because of you,
Jerusalem will be plowed under
    and left in ruins.
Thorns will cover the mountain
    where the temple now stands.

It’s easy to say the thing that makes you popular, the pronouncements that apparently bring reward and win friends.  But that is not what God is asking.

He asks his people to stand for truth and justice, to stop those causing misery, to not just tell people what they want to hear, but challenge what needs challenging in our communities – as we say in Yorkshire, to call a spade a spade, and not pussyfoot around issues.

It is not fair to let people carry on without challenging them and pointing out the better way.  It is not right to allow suffering without challenging it. To not challenge wrong is to collude.

This is not an excuse to go around proffering our opinion, sitting in judgement on people’s personal lives without looking at our own; it is a call to challenge institutional injustice.  This passage is particularly a call to the leaders to live and act in the right way, for  the prophets to say what God says, not what they think or are comfortable with.  If we don’t challenge, there is no opportunity for things to change.

What challenge should I be making about injustice, cruelty and living God’s ways?  And what about my life?  Am I doing and saying what God asks me, or busy sharing my opinions?

Lord,
you call me
to live your ways,
not be taken in
by what is popular
or profitable.

Lord,
you call me
to challenge injustice,
cruelty,
to stand by the truth.

I ask for your wisdom
to know which is which,
what to do,
how to act
and your strength
to do it.

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