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The Book of Micah
The Prophet's Third Message denounces leaders for their sins . . . first, the princes; second, the prophets, who were the spiritual leaders; and last but not least, all the leaders of Jerusalem, including the princes, the prophets, and the priests.
Sins Of The Princes Micah 3:1-4
This section begins with the call to hear, as does every major division of the Book of Micah.
Micah 3:1-2 And I said, Hear, I pray you, O heads of Jacob, and ye princes of the house of Israel; Is it not for you to know judgment?  Who hate the good, and love the evil; who pluck off their skin from off them, and their flesh from off their bones; (KJV)
Israel’s leaders were supposed to know right from wrong, like our leaders today; BUT . . . but they are the very ones who hate good and love evil. Micah said they skin my people alive and tear the flesh off their bones. This is a vivid illustration of their barbarous conduct against the poor. Micah exposed the sins of the leaders. They were responsible for teaching the people right from wrong. But these leaders, who knew the law, had set it aside and had become the worst of sinners. Times have NOT changed much, have they? All sin is bad, but sin that leads others astray is the worst of all.
“Is it not for you to know judgment?” . . . When the people were found guilty of a crime, they were brought before these men for judgment. These leaders certainly SHOULD know what judgment and justice are, the same as in today’s world. Romans 2:1 Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things. (KJV)
It is amazing how we can see another man’s sin but overlook our own. This is the reason God says to these leaders in Israel, “You have judged others for their misdeeds, but you are doing the same things.” This applies to our day too. It is ridiculous when congressmen investigate the wrongdoing of someone in politics. Probably every one of them sitting there judging the other fellow has a skeleton in his own closet. It takes men of character to judge fairly. Micah is saying to the leaders: “You are not acting in ignorance; you have judged men who were guilty; now you are guilty.”
“Who hate the good, and love the evil” . . . The leaders actually hated the good and loved the evil. People like that are NOT fit to be leaders, then or now. If a leader in a high position in government is unfaithful to his wife, is he fit to make laws relating to marriage? I know one thing for certain . . . ALL these leaders (past and present) who do wrong to the people they are supposed to govern, will one day stand before The Awesome Judge, and there will be NO excuses for what they have done. They shall be punished! God’s vengeance shall be revealed!
Micah 3:3 Who also eat the flesh of my people, and flay their skin from off them; and they break their bones, and chop them in pieces, as for the pot, and as flesh within the
This is a very difficult message that Micah brought the leaders from God. In plainer words, these leaders were like unfeeling cannibals in the way they treated the poor. They were corrupt and merciless, as are most of our leaders today.
Micah 3:4 Then shall they cry unto the Lord, but he will not hear them: he will even hide his face from them at that time, as they have behaved themselves ill in their doings. (KJV)
Micah is still talking to the leaders in Israel. They had NO sympathy, NO love. Now they are in trouble because a power greater than they has come down upon them. Micah told them that they would beg the Lord for help, but He won’t even look at you! Micah asked them: “Do you really expect him to listen? After all the evil you have done!”
There shall be many who shall cry out to the Lord, but He will NOT hear them. These leaders would cry out to God. WHY is it that when trouble comes, people cry out to God? They do NOT know or recognize Him when things go right, but when troubles plague them, they cry out: “God help us!” That is interesting because they did NOT want anything to do with Him before! God is NOT mentioned much today. It’s against the law to mention our Lord in schools, government, businesses, etc. The only time His Holy Name is permitted is in cursing, blasphemy or obscenities. That is allowed! How long do you think the Almighty will tolerate this? He certainly is a VERY patient God!
God’s love and grace are still abundant, and He is SO rich in mercy to those who will humbly bow before Him and accept His Son as Saviour, and keep His commandments.
Sins Of The Prophets Micah 3:5-8
Micah 3:5 Thus saith the Lord concerning the prophets that make my people err, that bite with their teeth, and cry, Peace; and he that putteth not into their mouths, they even prepare war against him. (KJV)
The false prophets were like vicious animals or serpents with fangs that would poison. They used smooth, lying words to comfort the people, assuring them that peace was coming. Man CANNOT achieve peace by his own resources. Wanting peace and saying that it is coming, will NOT bring peace. Micah makes it very clear that it is not a surface problem, but a problem of the human heart. Isaiah, a contemporary of Micah, wrote, “There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked” (Isa. 57:21). The real problem was wickedness of the human heart (Jer.17:9).
People insist that we should continue to try to bring peace in the world. They are constantly praying for peace! My friend, there will be NO worldly peace until Jesus returns (John 16:33; Jer.6:14; 8:11). In my opinion, to pray for peace is to call God a liar, because He says there shall be NO peace to the wicked. The only peace a TRUE believer can have is spiritual peace coming from Jesus (John 14:27). How many wicked are there in comparison to the righteous? Matthew 7:13-14 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. (KJV) . . . You decide!
We too today, listen to the smooth words of false prophets who predict peace. Many are the calamities which are coming because of this.
Micah 3:6 Therefore night shall be unto you, that ye shall not have a vision; and it shall be dark unto you, that ye shall not divine; and the sun shall go down over the prophets, and the day shall be dark over them. (KJV)
The judgment which is coming is called darkness; no more prophesying. There will be 400 years between the O.T. and the N.T. where God was silent. The sun had gone down. Malachi, the last prophet, foretold that the sun would come up again . . . Malachi 4:2 But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall. (KJV) . . . Malachi would not have prophesied of the sun arising if the NIGHT had not been coming, and it did come. The people of Israel entered the long night of 400 years until the coming of Christ. This is the same picture that Micah presents. People cannot expect to do evil, and receive good. Those who deceive others are arranging for their own downfall.
The prophet had ardent love for God and for the souls of men. He had deep concern for God’s glory and the people’s salvation. And Micah, like other true prophets, had great zeal against sin.
Micah 3:7 Then shall the seers be ashamed, and the diviners confounded: yea, they shall all cover their lips; for there is no answer of God. (KJV)
They prided themselves on having a moustache and beard. To cover it was a token of shame and sorrow (Lev.13:45; Eze.24:17,22). Micah is saying that there shall be such gross darkness that the false prophets will make fools of themselves because their prophecies will not come to pass. The false prophets were speaking smooth, lying words to comfort the people. The people had itching ears, and the prophet would scratch those ears by saying what the people wanted to hear. Then they in turn would scratch the ears of the prophet by telling him how wonderful he was. “My, what a great preacher you are because you say such nice things. Everything must be all right.” They were living in luxury, but the level of immorality was frightening . . . just like today!
Micah 3:8 But truly I am full of power by the spirit of the Lord, and of judgment, and of might, to declare unto Jacob his transgression, and to Israel his sin. (KJV)
Micah, in contrast to the false prophets, is full of power by the Spirit of the Lord (Luke 1:17; 24:49; Acts 1:8). Micah brought God’s Words of judgment to these people. He did not speak to please men, but to denounce punishments accordingly. He spoke the Truth no matter what (2 Tim.1:7).
He boldly declared their sons; he did NOT flatter the sinner as the false prophets did. It took great courage and boldness to be an unpopular preacher delivering a message the people hated, but Micah could say, “I know that the Spirit of God is leading me to say what I am saying.” Micah is separating himself from them.
Thank you Micah, for giving me boldness to continue in my work.
Sins Of The Leaders Of Jerusalem Micah 3:9-12
Micah 3:9 Hear this, I pray you, ye heads of the house of Jacob, and princes of the house of Israel, that abhor judgment, and pervert all equity. (KJV)
The rulers of Israel hated justice and turned right into wrong. They twisted all that was right, corrupting it into wickedness. So much corruptness and unrighteousness, and just plain wickedness, in so many of our leaders today.
Micah 3:10-11 They build up Zion with blood, and Jerusalem with iniquity.  The heads thereof judge for reward, and the priests thereof teach for hire, and the prophets thereof divine for money: yet will they lean upon the Lord, and say, Is not the Lord among us? none evil can come upon us. (KJV)
Here, Micah turns specifically to Jerusalem. Before he had been speaking to the northern kingdom of Israel; but now he bundles together the prophets, the princes, and the priests of the southern kingdom, and pronounces judgment upon ALL of them.
He says, “Listen to me, I have something to say to you.” Then he details their sins. He says: You rulers govern for the bribes; you priests teach God’s laws only for a price; you prophets won’t prophesy unless you are paid. Yet all of you claim you rest and depend on the Lord. No harm can come to us, you say, for the Lord is here among us. That was the terrible idolatry, even in the day of idols! GREED! Covetousness.
Today we don’t have idols around like then, but idolatry is still rampant! An idol is anything or anyone you place before God. Superstition is growing in leaps and bounds (horoscopes, palm readers, fortune tellers, etc.). Covetousness and greed is still widespread, and it IS idolatry!
Micah brings into focus Israel’s real sin: idolatry, since covetousness is idolatry (Col.3:5). The judges were judging for reward (bribes); the priests were teaching for hire; and the prophets were divining for money. They ALL were doing it for what they could get out of it. Not once did they take God into consideration, not once did they take the people into consideration. They walked all over them. No wonder the charge was made: “You are like cannibals because of your greed and love of money.” When the leadership of a nation . . . both civil and religious . . . is evil, NO form of government will work. This is Micah’s message to us.
Micah 3:12 Therefore shall Zion for your sake be plowed as a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps, and the mountain of the house as the high places of the forest. (KJV)
Micah predicted that for their sins there would be a complete destruction of the city of Jerusalem. Jeremiah quotes Micah as having said this (Jer. 26:18), which simply confirms the prophecy. The destruction DID take place when Nebuchadnezzar destroyed Jerusalem. In the first chapters of the Book of Nehemiah, we see the consequence of it. When Nehemiah went back to Jerusalem, it was a mess. It was nothing but trash, ashes, rubbish and utter ruin. It seemed like a hopeless task to rebuild the city. The Talmud, which is a Jewish writing, records the fact that at the destruction of Jerusalem by Rome in a.d. 70, an officer of the Roman army (Rufus, by name) actually plowed up the foundations of the temple with a plow. Many scholars reject that tradition, although other Jewish historians Jerome also noted it. Both Nebuchadnezzar and Titus the Roman were certainly capable of bringing about such devastation. I don’t know if that particular tradition is correct or not, but Jerusalem even today bears the scars of the precise fulfillment of Micah’s prophecy. Jerusalem WAS destroyed just as Samaria was (Micah 1:6).
Although Micah blamed the corrupt leaders, the people were NOT without fault. They allowed the corruption to continue without turning to God or insisting on justice. Maybe we should take what happened to them, as a lesson of what COULD happen to this country.
Book of Micah
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