Reading: Micah 3; 2 Timothy 4:1-5
Micah does not preach to be honoured by human beings. He is an instrument of God’s Spirit.
He would have liked it much more to preach things that the people like to hear and to prophesy positive things. But he also knows that that is not the truth.
The people in this world don’t want to hear God’s Word. There will be people who listen to it and repent, but they are only few. Many will reject it and ridicule it.
But that is what we can expect. That is from the beginning the anti-thesis between Satan and his seed, and the people of God, the Woman and her seed. It should not surprise us.
But what makes it so terrible for Micah is, that he is preaching to his own people, to the people of God. Especially among God’s people, Satan is working hard to make the preaching of God’s Word powerless. In our time just as much as in the time of Micah. It is in that situation that Micah said, that his preaching does not come from himself, but that the Spirit of God made him speak these words. God, about Whom the people and the leaders of the people speak, in verse 11: Is not the LORD among us? No harm can come upon us.
God wants His people to receive salvation. To enjoy the full riches of His covenant with them. Micah, filled with the Spirit of God and the power of God, is a foreshadowing of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ came, filled with the power of the Spirit, and He prophesied, He spoke the truth. But He also was rejected by many of His people. Even though He was/is the Son of God Himself. But those who did believe Him received salvation.
The Spirit continues to work. God will never give His work up. Through the Spirit, the preaching of God’s Word continues. If it depends on us, human beings, then we would easily start preaching what people want to hear. As Paul says to Timothy, that there will be days that people will gather for themselves preachers who only preach what their itching ears want to hear (2Timothy4:2-4).
It was among God’s own people that those prophets only prophesied what was pleasing to the people. It was in the church, where people would not put up with sound doctrine, about which Paul speaks to Timothy, and where people will gather around them a great number of teachers. Especially in the church, the battle will be fought the fiercest. You will be constantly attacked by Satan and he will try to pull you away from the sound preaching so that you want to hear preaching that is pleasing to your itching ears and that confirms you in your feelings. Preaching that tells you that others are doing things wrong and that they should change. But that you are good.
That is, of course, nice to hear and it is, of course, good to be confirmed again in your own opinions. That is what the people in the days of Micah wanted to hear.
That is against which Micah is prophesying: their complacency. Their idea, that they are safe, that they are the true church and that they are good. Micah tells them that they close their eyes for their own sins and don’t want to listen to the true preaching of God’s Word, but only to those prophets who tell them what they want to hear.
It is God’s grace, that the Spirit continues to work. It is God’s grace, that the Spirit works through Micah, and other prophets in those days and throughout the whole history of the church. That God does not give up His work.
In verse 12 of chapter 2, we read that God speaks about gathering the remnant of Israel together. A remnant, indeed.
There will be a reformation and many of Israel will be rejected and they will be called ‘Not-My-people’ (Hosea 1:9) by God. But there will be a remnant. God will continue to gather for Himself a people. He will not give up His covenant and there will always be a people who will listen to the true preaching of His Word and the Spirit will continue to work. That is God’s grace.
Key Text: Micah 3:8: But truly I am full of power by the Spirit of the LORD, and of justice and might, to declare Jacob his transgression and to Israel his sin.
Mediation: How do we listen to the preaching: do we expect to hear something that pleases us and that we like to hear? Or do we expect to be confronted with what we actually are not so happy to hear and do we struggle to go to work with the preached Word of God? Do we criticise the preaching or do we let the preaching criticise us?