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Micah Chapter Three, Blind Justice

In our study of Micah chapter three, we look at what happened to Israel and Judah when their leaders turned a blind eye to the ways of God and we will apply the teaching to the present and future. As we saw in chapter 2, God has a plan for each and every one of us but He also gives us the freedom to accept that plan or to try our own ways. Here, we will see what can cause men to make the wrong choice as well as the consequences that will result from that choice.

Micah 3:1 & 2a

Then I said, 'Listen, you leaders of Jacob, you rulers of Israel. Should you not embrace justice, you who hate good and love evil;'

Micah gets specific here as he begins to speak to the leaders of the people. The Hebrew word that is translated as "leader" here is "ro'sh" and it simply means head or the ones that were in charge. This would be the political leaders of the nation. The word that is translated as "rulers" is "qatsiyn" in Hebrew and it specifically refers to those that make decisions about guilt and innocence. They would be what we call our judicial system leaders or our Supreme Court. He basically begins by asking them how it was possible that they could not recognize the widespread corruption that was happening in the land. The prophet immediately answers the question himself by explaining that their way of thinking was not in line with the ways of God as they "hate good and love evil". They knew that what was happening was wrong but they did not stop it and merely turned a blind eye to the words of God and the fact that the nation had abandoned them. If that does not describe our court systems in this world today, then, I don't know what does. The judges of Micah's time were ignoring the laws concerning people's personal property while our judges have went even beyond real estate laws to matters of life and death. So what is wrong with our political and judicial systems today? The same thing that was wrong in Micah's day which is the leaders "hate good and love evil". It is a reminder that, when we choose to ignore the path that God has laid out for us individually as well as nationally, we can end up in a place that is commonly called moral bankruptcy.

Micah 3:2b & 3

'who tear the skin from my people and the flesh from their bones; who eat my people's flesh, strip off their skin and break their bones in pieces; who chop them up like meat for the pan, like flesh for the pot?'

Micah compares the way that the leaders were treating the people with a cannibal that hunts people to feed on. Although they were not actually hunting the people down to kill and cook them, they were preying on them in their business dealings. They would cheat the people out of their home and land so that the people had no way to support themselves or their family. Under the Law, if the people of Israel became poor and had to sell their land for food, the land was only to be sold until the next year of jubilee. During that year, all of the land of Israel was to be returned to the clan that it was given to by God. This was not being done and the "judicial leaders" knew that it was wrong. In the meantime, the rich landowners got richer while the poor became more in number and poorer than ever. This blind eye towards justice was killing the people in the same way that a cannibal would track down his prey and destroy them. The same type of thing is happening even more in our world today as we see those that have the money and power do not have to obey the same laws as the common man.

Micah 3:4

Then they will cry out to the Lord, but he will not answer them. At that time he will hide his face from them because of the evil they have done.

The prophet goes on to say that those who had showed no mercy to the common man would cry out to God for mercy when they were faced with the judgment that was coming. Their call would not be answered by God because they had turned their backs on His words. This shows us that we should not ask God for what we are not willing to pass on to others. As Christians, we are to be a conduit for His mercy and grace to the people of this world instead of being hoarders.

Micah 3:5

This is what the Lord says: 'As for the prophets who lead my people astray, they proclaim "peace" if they have something to eat, but prepare to wage war against anyone who refuses to feed them.'

As Micah was warning the people of the coming judgment of God, the prophets in Jerusalem were assuring the leaders that there was no danger. They did not inquire of God about anything as they looked around, saw the prosperity of the land, and assumed that God was happy with them. The same type of thing happens today with nations as well as with groups of believers. Just because a nation has many resources, it does not mean that they are a nation that pleases God. There are many nations that have grown very wealthy through selling oil among other things and yet they reject Jesus Christ as the son of God. There is no way that God can be happy with a nation that rejects His Son. The same type of thing happens with believers as we can get caught up in living and have everything that they need. They might speak of how God has blessed them but, like the prophets of Jerusalem, they never pray to see what God has to say.

Micah 3:6 & 7

'Therefore night will come over you, without visions, and darkness, without divination. The sun will set for the prophets, and the day will go dark for them. The seers will be ashamed and the diviners disgraced. They will all cover their faces because there is no answer from God.'

Because the prophets did not seek God's guidance or even follow the previous guidance from the Lord, He would not reveal anymore to them. When the time came that they needed answers (when they were facing the judgment), they would get no answers from the Lord. This is a reminder to us, as Christians, that we have a full-time relationship with our heavenly Father. If we practice communicating with Him during the good times, we will be prepared to hear from Him during the bad times. The best preparation for hard times, is having a healthy relationship with our Father during the good times.

Micah 3:8

But as for me, I am filled with power, with the Spirit of the Lord, and with justice and might, to declare to Jacob his transgression, to Israel his sin.

Micah compares himself with the false prophets and is quick to point out that it all goes back to the power of God. In contrast to the corrupt judges and other leaders, he points out that God's justice is not blind and that his job was to tell them the truth about their sin. We notice that he uses both names for the people (Jacob and Israel) and we are reminded that Jacob was the name when he was doing things his own way while Israel was the name given when he decided to accept God's plan.

Micah 3:9-11

Hear this you leaders of Jacob, you rulers of Israel, who despise justice and distort all that is right; who build Zion with bloodshed, and Jerusalem with wickedness. Her leaders judge for a bribe, her priests teach for a price, and her prophets tell fortunes for money. Yet they look for the Lord's support and say, 'Is not the Lord among us? No disaster will come upon us.'

Micah's message to the leaders is clear as he lays out the fact that they are corrupt. The rich were building up the land but at the price of the common folks. The priests were twisting the words of God to make it seem right and the prophets were saying that all was coming up roses. They did all of this with the misplaced confidence that God would overlook it because of the fact that they were His chosen people.

Micah 3:12

Therefore because of you, Zion will be plowed like a field, Jerusalem will become a heap of rubble, the temple hill a mound of overgrown thickets.

Micah makes it clear that God will not overlook this corruption and that all they had built-up in their own way would be torn down. This would all be fulfilled when the Babylonians under Nebuchadnezzar destroyed Jerusalem and took the people into exile. (see 2 Kings 25) This is a reminder that the justice of men can be corrupted but God cannot. The fact that the world has not been judged yet does not mean that God has turned a blind eye to the things that are being done today.

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