01/03/20 – Micah 2:6-11
Micah 2:6 – Prophesy ye not, [say they to them that] prophesy: they shall not prophesy to them, [that] they shall not take shame.
prophesy – drop; prophesy; preach. Used 3 times in this verse and 2 times in Vs 11 below.
“Do not prophesy (or say) such things (as have been said in Micah 2:3-5)!” they say to those who prophesy. “Do not preach at us like this! They should not prophesy of these things, for they (continually) bring shame and reproach!”
Amos 7:15-16 – 15 And the Lord took me as I followed the flock, and the Lord said unto me, Go, prophesy unto my people Israel. 16 Now therefore hear thou the word of the Lord: Thou sayest, Prophesy (naba’ = prophesy) not against Israel, and drop not (nataph = drop; prophesy; preach) [thy word] against the house of Isaac.
The people of Judah (probably the ones who Micah condemned in Micah 2:1-2) didn’t want to hear the ugly truth, that what they were doing was abhorrent to God, and that consequences were to follow (Micah 2:3-5). If Micah couldn’t say anything nice about them, then they would rather he just kept his mouth shut!
didn’t want to hear the ugly truth either!
1 Kings 22:5-9 – 5And Jehoshaphat said unto the king of Israel, Enquire, I pray thee, at the word of the Lord to day. 6Then the king of Israel gathered the prophets together, about four hundred men, and said unto them, Shall I go against Ramoth–gilead to battle, or shall I forbear? And they said, Go up; for the Lord shall deliver [it] into the hand of the king. 7And Jehoshaphat said, [Is there] not here a prophet of the Lord besides, that we might enquire of him? 8And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, [There is] yet one man, Micaiah the son of Imlah, by whom we may enquire of the Lord: but I hate him; for he doth not prophesy good concerning me, but evil. And Jehoshaphat said, Let not the king say so. 9Then the king of Israel called an officer, and said, Hasten [hither] Micaiah the son of Imlah.
Micah 2:7 – O [thou that art] named the house of Jacob, is the spirit of the Lord straitened? [are] these his doings? do not my words do good to him that walketh uprightly?
straitened – to be short; impatient. That is, “shortened” or no longer patient or long-suffering.
O you of the house of Jacob, is God no longer longsuffering as He has always been? Is this because God has become impatient with you? Has God changed how He behaves toward you? Is it God who is to blame for the evil which is to come upon you? Are not my words still good to those who do right?
It is not God who has changed but the house of Jacob (here Judah). God is no less longsuffering, but your evil is greater. It is not God’s fault that you have brought this evil upon yourselves. And if you had been good and upright, God would not have changed His goodness toward you.
God never changes, so if He appears to have changed in His behaviour toward you, then it is you who have caused it. If God seems far away, guess who moved!
Micah 2:8 – Even of late my people is risen up as an enemy: ye pull off the robe with the garment from them that pass by securely as men averse from war.
even of late – even recently; even in recent days
Even in recent days my people (nation; Judah) has arisen (in a hostile sense), for you pull off the outer garment (mantle – probably with violence) from them who pass by safely, from men of peace, from those who do not want to make trouble for those around them. This could be seen as being the consequences of the evil of the people now, rather than the current people wearing the sins of their ancestors. The ones who would suffer the coming evil would be the ones who brought it upon themselves.
Ezekiel 18:20 – The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.
Also note that it didn’t stop there. God came to His own people and they had rejected His authority, and the same was still happening many years later!
John 1:11 – He came unto his own, and his own received him not. The Jews of Jesus’ day maintained that they were still serving their God faithfully, but at the same time as they were doing to their people what Judah did in Micah’s day.
Barnes says: The שׂלמה s'almâh is the large enveloping cloak, which was worn loosely over the other dress, and served by night for a covering Deuteronomy 22:17. Eder, translated "robe," is probably not any one garment, but the remaining dress, the comely, becoming , array of the person. These they stripped violently off from persons, peaceable, unoffending, off their guard, "passing by securely, men averse from war" and strife. These they stripped of their raiment by day, leaving them half-naked, and of their covering for the night. So making war against God's peaceful people, they, as it were, made war against God.
That is, you picked on those whose only desire was to live in peace with their fellowman. You picked on these as soft targets for your bullying because they were not violent people. The implication is that they would not have done this if those peace-loving people had been more stubbornly aggressive in protecting their possessions.
Thus. you treat your people as if they were your enemy simply because you are able to do so. They practise it, because it is in the power of their hand. (Micah 2:1)
Micah 2:9 – The women of my people have ye cast out from their pleasant houses; from their children have ye taken away my glory for ever.
women – The implication here is that they were women without a husband to protect them, therefore widows. Another implication is that these women may have been widowed when their husbands were killed by those leaders (note Vs 8 above).
children – children of those widows, therefore fatherless and likewise without such protection. Bullies do not like to hurt themselves taking on real opposition!
These evil ones were the classic bullies of their day; like all bullies they will not pick on those who might hurt them back in return. They are cowards, hiding behind their alleged authority, like the pharisees of Jesus’ day who made rules to protect themselves from lawful resistance. Those Christians of the NT Church were a threat to the rule of the pharisees, so they had to be got rid of. It mattered little that the Christians were not in any way a physical threat to the established religion of their day; rather it was because false religions and dictators cannot stand any competition of any sort. They must control, and those who stand in their way must still be controlled.
Thus they pick on women and children as soft targets. Like their counterparts many years later (the pharisees), they would throw defenceless widows out of their houses because they had little or no means to fight back.
Mark 12:38-40 – 38And he said unto them in his doctrine, Beware of the scribes, which love to go in long clothing, and [love] salutations in the marketplaces, 39And the chief seats in the synagogues, and the uppermost rooms at feasts: 40Which devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayers: these shall receive greater damnation.
However, if a widow were to fight back, to persist in her claims for justice, then possibly she could win her cause. yet most would have been soft targets for the bully-boy rulers and leaders.
Luke 18:2-5 – 2Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man: 3And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary. 4And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; 5Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.
Like King Ahab who wanted Naboth’s pleasant vineyard, so, because he could (via Jezebel), he did so!
And so, widows and their children were the victims of a repressive and arrogant religious system that bent all the rules to suit their own selfish needs.
The children could be seen as the future glory of their nation, the next generation, without which there could be no future nation. This could allude to the coming captivity in Babylon which followed around 125+ years after Israel went into captivity. Cambridge says: The prophet implies that the children of the widows have been sold into foreign slavery, which virtually annulled their glorious birthright. ‘How could they sing the Lord’s song in a strange land?’
Psalm 137:1-5 – 1By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion. 2We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof. 3For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song; and they that wasted us [required of us] mirth, [saying], Sing us [one] of the songs of Zion. 4How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a strange land? 5If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget [her cunning].
Some suggest that the children of widows were sold into slavery to save having to be responsible for their upkeep.
for ever – There was seemingly no intention of limiting their plundering of their nation in any way. What they did was intended to last. They took the people’s clothing, they picked on widows and their children, with no intention of ever giving back or restoring what they had taken. The law of Moses said that if you had a need to take essential property from your neighbour, it had to be returned by sunset
Exodus 22:26-27 – 26If thou at all take thy neighbour’s raiment to pledge, thou shalt deliver it unto him by that the sun goeth down: 27For that [is] his covering only, it [is] his raiment for his skin: wherein shall he sleep? and it shall come to pass, when he crieth unto me, that I will hear; for I [am] gracious.
Micah 2:10 – Arise ye, and depart; for this [is] not [your] rest: because it is polluted, it shall destroy [you], even with a sore destruction.
destruction – In Micah 2:5 this was translated correctly as a measuring line for their inherited land boundaries. Its various meanings are: cord; rope; measuring cord or line; a measured portion, lot, part or region; a band or company; pain; sorrow; travail; pang; union; destruction.
Translated “sorrows” in 2 Samuel 22:6 – The sorrows of hell compassed me about; the snares of death prevented me; (also Psalm 18:4)
So get ready to arise from your ill-begotten gains, your pleasant possessions, and depart your country. This land of Canaan was to have been their promised land, their rest after the trek in the wilderness, but now it had been polluted (become unclean) by their evil and would instead destroy (or ruin) them with a sore (grievous) destruction (or maybe this is your lot in life now!).
They have polluted their land by their oppression of their fellow countrymen (cf Paul in Romans 9:3) and have consequently lost their promised rest. Like some Christians today who would rather have the world now, with their salvation as a required backup when the world for them was no more. You just can’t have both the world and your salvation; you can’t serve both God and mammon (the world).
Matthew 6:24 – No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
If you live by the sword you shall die by the sword (see Matthew 26:52). And once upon a time your lot was to have a place of rest in this promised land, but now you have turned your rest into your destruction. Your lot is now therefore a grievous destruction.
Micah 2:11 – If a man walking in the spirit and falsehood do lie, [saying], I will prophesy unto thee of wine and of strong drink; he shall even be the prophet of this people.
in the spirit – or “in the wind”, that is, blown about by every wind of doctrine.
Ephesians 4:14 – That we [henceforth] be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, [and] cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
James 1:6 – But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
falsehood – or “deception”
If a man blown about by the desires of this people tells lies (to satisfy their desires), saying, “I prophesy good times, wine and strong drink (barbecues and parties etc),” then he will be the prophet the people want to hear. (See Micah 2:11)
Jeremiah 5:30-31 – 30A wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land; 31The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love [to have it] so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?
As mentioned before, King Ahab preferred to hear positive things prophesied. Positive was good; negative was bad – he didn’t worry if the truth were left out of the equation. Like the politician who was said to have stumbled on the truth one day; brave man that he was, he got up and kept on as if nothing had happened!
1 Kings 22:10-14 – 10And the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah sat each on his throne, having put on their robes, in a void place in the entrance of the gate of Samaria; and all the prophets prophesied before them. 11And Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah made him horns of iron: and he said, Thus saith the Lord, With these shalt thou push the Syrians, until thou have consumed them. 12And all the prophets prophesied so, saying, Go up to Ramoth–gilead, and prosper: for the Lord shall deliver [it] into the king’s hand. 13And the messenger that was gone to call Micaiah spake unto him, saying, Behold now, the words of the prophets [declare] good unto the king with one mouth: let thy word, I pray thee, be like the word of one of them, and speak [that which is] good. 14And Micaiah said, [As] the Lord liveth, what the Lord saith unto me, that will I speak.
And so Judah has ended up with the prophets that she wanted: those who promised good times to come. Note that Jeremiah was hated by a lot of his people merely because he told the unacceptable truth. How can people enjoy themselves if the future is not good? Like people with possible cancer: they refuse to see the doctor in case they find out that they have cancer and thus have no more enjoyment for the rest of their days!
Note the seeker-sensitive church of today. It is said that Rick Warren surveyed his church to see what they wanted and then gave them just that. His reasoning, apparently, was that the more you get in the door the better. He was also reputed to have said that if he had known the drawing power of rock music he would have used it far more and earlier. Of course, many see the position of pastor as the doorway to success, to making money, getting a nice house, car, boat, caravan etc. And a nice cushy retirement package as well. All you need are many people to put money in the offering plate. They claim that God blesses their service for Him, and that the riches are the measure of their service (commonly known as the prosperity gospel). Even those who claim to be strait-laced fundamentalist pastors (such as MacArthur, Piper) are not above building their bank balances into mini-fortunes that the first disciples would have been ashamed of.
People today have itching ears that seek to deny biblical truth (because it offends their level of self-esteem), people who would rather find pastors who say the things that make them feel good, pastors who teach fables rather than the truth.
2 Timothy 4:2-4 – 2Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. 3For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4And they shall turn away [their] ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
In fact, that time has well and truly come today!
Churches of today do not want the Micahs and Jeremiahs to prophesy doom and gloom because the numbers drop, the money isn’t as good, and ministry work becomes a burden that is hard to bear at times. Churches preach the riches of serving God now, rather than the sufferings (that we are called to) before the glory. They would rather just jump straight to the glory and bypass the suffering. Yet Paul wrote: Romans 8:18 – For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time [are] not worthy [to be compared] with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
No wonder “Christians” of today would rather listen to the pastor than read their Bibles for themselves! Their pastors say nicer things than God says!
Most “Christian” religions work on the promise that the more faithful you are, the better your reward (and not in the world to come, but now while you can still spend it in the world). This soothes itchy ears like magic. Dollar-sign Brian you-need-more-money Houston of Hillsong has plenty of cash in the bank, and the people just keep rolling in to give him more and more. Why would he drop the “riches-for-faithfulness” gospel if it meant losing his high-living lifestyle? And most people want to be blessed now, not later. They want their possessions now, not later! They cannot wait to get what they have been promised in the future; they just want it now. Paul said that our current suffering was not to be compared with the glory that would be ours one day. The sufferings are the present; the glory is the future.
So the people of Judah wanted their good times to go on and on and never cease. And Micah was Mr Unpopular for daring to say exactly what God was really saying. They accused him of trying to spoil their fun, a real wet blanket at the party! Today we have so many so-called reality shows, yet not one of them is really the reality! Micah was merely speaking boldly the word of God; he spoke the real reality! And like most churches today, no-one really wants to know the awful truth that one day there will be an accounting. Let the party continue, eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die. Yet when they die, they will face an accounting that they will never be able to escape. The reality will really bite one day!
2 Corinthians 5:10 – For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things [done] in [his] body, according to that he hath done, whether [it be] good or bad.