Tag Archives: Micah 3:5-12

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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False Prophets?

Have you ever had one of those letters, or an email claiming that you’ve won an amazing prize?  And “all you have to do” to get your prize is ring a phone number that is on an extortionate tariff, or supply your bank details!

They turn out to be “prizes” that cost you way more than you ever get.

It seems the adage is true – if something sounds too good to be true – it probably is.

Micah, or perhaps more correctly God, is having trouble with false prophets. They seemed to be telling people what they wanted to hear – especially those who were paying them!  A nice payment produced a good prophecy, no payment meant a bad prophecy – not really what prophecy is meant to be about!

But God has had enough – they will no longer have any prophecies to proclaim. Chasing after false promises will no longer work.  They are despising justice and distorting what is right – but no more.

Micah points them to the true message from God.  Hating justice and turning right to wrong are not the right foundations to build on.

Seeking justice and following God’s true way is the right foundation – strong and firm.

Prophecy for money or favour is never going to be that reliable – they need to seek God’s true word.  It might not be so comfortable, but it will be the word that helps and strengthens.

We need to listen to what God is really saying, not what we’d like to hear.  We need to take the time to stop and really listen.

I love the simple words of this song:

Let God Speak Lyrics – lan Smale (Praise and Worship Lyrics & Chords by Higher Praise).

Let God speak and I will listen

Let God speak, there’s things I’m needing to put right

Let God speak and I will obey what He says

Please God, I want to hear Your voice tonight

Lord I want to hear Your voice

Lord I want to hear Your voice

Lord I want to hear Your voice Tonight, tonight

© 1982 Kingsway�s Thankyou Music

As we listen to God, do we hear what we want to, or what he’s really saying?

O Lord,

I long to hear your voice,

I need to know what it is you want to say to me.

Help me to truly listen,

with ears attuned only to you,

and your voice.