Vs. 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.” Those that cry out are the political and civic leaders of Israel & Judah (vs. 1). The atrocities are grotesque (vs. 2-3), but fortunately are a metaphor for what their evil ways. They treated people no better than a butcher would an animal or a wild animal devouring its prey. They used their power for their own purposes, but God would not allow this injustice to go unnoticed (vs. 5-12). There were also the false prophets who were taking bribes of money (vs. 5). To make matters worse, they cover up their sins and pretend to put their trust in Yahweh.
Regarding application…Do You Hear God? Vs. 7, “The seers will be ashamed and the diviners disgraced. They will all cover their faces because there is no answer from God.” This chapter is not an easy one because of the prophecies of doom. Many of those Micah is addressing stated they believed in God, but their hearts were evil. They prayed with selfish hearts and wondered why God was not hearing them. Bill Hybels in one of his books on prayer stated that God answers our prayers in four ways: Go, No, Slow, Grow. For the leaders and prophets, they didn’t hear anything from God. For believers today, God does answer all of our prayers! We just need to be receptive and spiritually tuned into God to hear His response! Question: Do you hear God? Spend time in prayer and check your own heart so that God’s voice can be heard!
Vs. 32, “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” For those who walk in darkness, hearing the truth hurts. The other day, we were reminded how Jesus brings tests in our lives. When the Pharisee’s brought the woman caught in adultery, we are reminded the enemy also brings his own tests to us (vs. 1-11). Jesus masterfully handles it by posing a question regarding their own self-righteousness (vs. 7). Though Jesus is sharing how He is the light (vs. 12), those who heard were still following the light of the law. In Jesus’ response to His accusers, we see a beautiful picture of the relationship the Son has with the Father (vs. 12-30). Despite the evil intentions of some, notice how others were putting their faith in Jesus (vs. 30). This just reminds me how we must not grow discouraged by those who have no mind for the Lord. People cannot put their security in their families or the traditions of their lives (vs. 31-41). I find myself always surprised, yet encouraged by how Jesus does not pull any punches when it comes to saying what needs to be said (vs. 42-47). Even at the risk of death, Jesus stands His ground (vs. 48-59).
Regarding application…How’s Your Hearing? Vs. 47, “He who belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.” Yikes! In fact, Jesus calls them children of the devil (vs. 44). Yet, despite the fact that they heard what Jesus said, they really didn’t hear. Their spiritual ears were deaf. Question: How are your ears? I think we all could use some spiritual hearing aids to let the words of Christ cut deep into our souls. One of the dangers we can do to ourselves when reading Scripture is thinking that these particular events do not apply to us. If they didn’t apply to us, then we wouldn’t be reading about it. These have been hand selected by the Father in Heaven to ensure we are without excuse when it comes to knowing how to live this life. Part of communicating is listening/hearing. Let’s be people who are “doers” of God’s word! What road are you headed down? Jesus reminded us today, “Go now and leave your life of sin.” It doesn’t mean you won’t ever sin, but it does mean that you are going to make the effort to hear the voice of the Shepherd and turn from the road you are currently on. Follow His voice! Hear His voice!