Micah 3:1–12 (NKJV)
3:1 And I said:
“Hear now, O heads of Jacob,
And you rulers of the house of Israel:
Is it not for you to know justice?
2 You who hate good and love evil;
Who strip the skin from My people,
And the flesh from their bones;
3 Who also eat the flesh of My people,
Flay their skin from them,
Break their bones,
And chop them in pieces
Like meat for the pot,
Like flesh in the caldron.”
4 Then they will cry to the Lord,
But He will not hear them;
He will even hide His face from them at that time,
Because they have been evil in their deeds.
God speaks through Micah of the very physical nature of the judgment that is coming upon Israel and Judah. While some of this language is figurative, there is a very real threat to the people from foreign nations that will be fulfilled. God is trying to make this inherent danger real in the minds of His people.
5 Thus says the Lord concerning the prophets
Who make my people stray;
Who chant “Peace”
While they chew with their teeth,
But who prepare war against him
Who puts nothing into their mouths:
6 “Therefore you shall have night without vision,
And you shall have darkness without divination;
The sun shall go down on the prophets,
And the day shall be dark for them.
7 So the seers shall be ashamed,
And the diviners abashed;
Indeed they shall all cover their lips;
For there is no answer from God.”
8 But truly I am full of power by the Spirit of the Lord,
And of justice and might,
To declare to Jacob his transgression
And to Israel his sin.
The Lord calls out the false prophets of the land who proclaim vain words to the people of God, but truly have no prophecy for them. Their words flatter and reflect the ungodly leaders of the nation, but are not from God. Therefore, they will speak nothing, and the word of the Lord will be silent from these false prophets. However, the word from Micah will be the one true word from God in the moment. He will call Israel and Judah to repentance.
9 Now hear this,
You heads of the house of Jacob
And rulers of the house of Israel,
Who abhor justice
And pervert all equity,
10 Who build up Zion with bloodshed
And Jerusalem with iniquity:
11 Her heads judge for a bribe,
Her priests teach for pay,
And her prophets divine for money.
Yet they lean on the Lord, and say,
“Is not the Lord among us?
No harm can come upon us.”
12 Therefore because of you
Zion shall be plowed like a field,
Jerusalem shall become heaps of ruins,
And the mountain of the temple
Like the bare hills of the forest.
Once again, the Lord calls out the prophets, but includes the priests and even the political leaders in this next rebuke. They lead with money in mind, and they pervert truth and justice. Because of the lack of honest leadership, the nation is falling under judgment. “Zion shall be plowed like a field.” The city will sit in ruins and the people will be scattered. This is not God’s will or plan for Israel, but it is the result of the sinfulness of His people.
You cannot ignore God’s word and His commandments and expect to succeed. You may temporarily get by, or even have a modicum of success for a while by the grace of God. However, eventually God draws a line, and your deeds catch up with you. Nations should recognize the Lord. People should recognize the Lord. When they do, His blessings flow. When they don’t, judgment comes. When God judges a nation, everything changes. You won’t like the changes, I promise.