Micah 3:5-8 Sermon - God's Two Responses To The Prophet's Of Micah's Day.
As we read our text today we find that the prophets had declared war upon the poor and the disadvantaged. They had declared war with the righteous, the godly and the upright. Those who could not give them what they wanted, or who would not give them what they wanted, they sought to destroy. But those people who would give them the things that they declared “Peace” upon. As a result of this, some were embroiled in a battle and all others were led astray far from the Lord not knowing that this would cost them their life (Proverbs 7:23).
Those who did not give these false prophets a bribe would immediately find themselves facing an army of people who were set against them. We see this in verse five, “...but (they) declare war against him who puts nothing into their mouths.”
The battle has become one man against the many. It was a group of powerful people, against an individual.” And once this person is isolated they become easy prey for the predator unless the Lord intervenes. This is how David prayed when he faced such an adversary in Psalm 25:16, “Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted.”
In some ways these men are like snakes and vipers. This is because at the end of verse 5, when we read, “...who puts nothing into their mouths”, this wording often has to do with snakes in scripture. This is the meaning in 10 of 11 of the times that it is mentioned in scripture. These men, like snakes, are deceptive and deadly. Like malicious, murderous, sinister serpents they kill their victims to feed themselves. (Exegesis of Micah, Waltke, p.159)
Therefore, these men are like those that Jesus spoke of in Matthew 23: 32-34 saying, “Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers. You serpents, you brood of vipers, how are you to escape being sentenced to hell? Therefore I send you prophets and wise men and scribes, some of whom you will kill and crucify, and some you will flog in your synagogues and persecute from town to town, so that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah.” (32-35) These men in Micah’s day and the ones that Jesus addressed here were deadly serpents who persecuted and killed godly people.
Notice how bold these men are in their ungodliness and greed when they declare war against such people. That word, ‘declare’, in verse 5 speaks of declaring aloud and announcing before all the people that a war has begun.
Boldness such as this is often seen in the gospels and in the book of Acts. With these words they seek to stir up the emotions, passions and fervor of the people; so that, the people will turn against their victim. In this way, theses rulers can often be used to fulfill the wicked rulers desires while they are able to keep their hands clean in a sense (Matthew27:23). Let’s look at two examples.
Consider Matthew 27:20-23,
“Now the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas and destroy Jesus. The governor again said to them, ‘Which of the two do you want me to release for you?’ And they said, ‘Barabbas.’ Pilate said to them, ‘Then what shall I do with Jesus who is called the Christ?’ They all said, ‘Let him be crucified!’ And he said, ‘Why? What evil has he done?’ But they shouted all the more, ‘Let him be crucified!’”
Consider Acts 21:27-31,
“When the seven days were almost completed, the Jews from Asia, seeing him in the temple, stirred up the crowd and laid hands on him, crying out, ‘Men of Israel, help! This is the man who is teaching everyone everywhere against the people and the law and this place...Then the city was stirred up, and the people ran together. They seized Paul and dragged him out of the temple, and at once the gates were shut. And ...they were seeking to kill him.”
These false prophets have multiple victims in verse 5. These men are using their office and power (2:1) to enrich themselves and to harm others. And they lead God’s people astray leading them also to their own demise (You lead my people astray). We see this also in Jesus’ words in Matthew 23:15, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel across sea and land to make a single convert, and when he becomes a convert, you make him twice as much a child of hell as yourselves.”
So, in our t