Just last week California had two major fires burning at the same time, and in the case of the “Camp” fire, they lost the entire town of paradise, and I believe Megalia. If they are alive, then they have something to be thankful for, but not much else.
Today 11/22/2018 is Thanksgiving day in America, and I have much tobe thankful for. But, I wonder how much worse it is going to get before that day when Jesus comes back for His church. I know many of you don’t understand that or care about it, but someday you will.
One of the primary tenets of a follower of Christ is hope. Hope works by faith and this hope is embedded in the fact that Jesus, a believable witness, told us that there is a life with the Father and that He would come back for His church. Moments after Jesus returns for His church the wrath of God will begin to be poured out upon the earth. This wrath will be happening at the same time as man’s wrath and greed, which are expressed in death and destruction as well.
You should understand something; we were not promised an escape from things like what we see in Micah. In John’s gospel chapter 16:33 we are told, in the world you have tribulation. We do ourselves and others a huge disservice when we call the time of God’s wrath the tribulation. Oh, no doubt, it will be a time of great distress, but it is all God’s wrath, and nothing to be compared with what we deal with on a daily basis. However, 1Thessalonians 1:10 and 1Thessalonians 5:9 tell us that we have been rescued from, nor are we destined for God’s wrath.
Micah 3:1 ERV Then I said, “Listen, leaders of Jacob and officers of the nation of Israel! You should know what justice is.
Immediately we know who God/Micah is addressing.
- The heads of Jacob
- The rulers of the house of Israel
What is the assertion? You, of all people, should know what justice is!
Justice is the Hebrew word mišpāṭ: A masculine noun meaning a judgment, a legal decision, a legal case, a claim, proper, rectitude. The word connotes several variations in meanings depending on the context. It is used to describe a legal decision or judgment rendered: it describes a legal decision given by God to be followed by the people. Word Study Dictionary
You have to assume from Micah’s words, that Jewish leadership knows what they did wrong. Isaiah denounced the house of Jacob on a previous occasion.
Isaiah 58:1 MKJV Cry aloud, do not spare, lift up your voice like aram’s horn, and show My people their rebellion, and the house of Jacob their sins.
However, the context for Isaiah 58:1 comes from Isaiah 57 verses 20, 21.
Isaiah 57:20-21 MKJV But the wicked are like the troubled sea, which cannot rest, and its waters cast up mire and dirt. (21) There is no peace, says my God, to the wicked.
Here Israel, the northern and southern kingdoms are told they are wicked.
Malachi 2:17 AMPC You have wearied the Lord with your words. Yet you say, In what way have we wearied Him? [You do it when by your actions] you say, Everyone who does evil is good in the sight of the Lord, and he delights in them. Or [by asking], Where is the God of justice?
Pay attention to the words of Malachi, but note the italicized words. Those words were added for clarity, and yet we have many in the Congress and the Senate of the United States still telling us that the brutal killing of unborn babies is appropriate, while conveniently putting someone in prison for life because they killed the mother of an unborn child. Which is it, we can’t have it both ways? Civility alone shouts out that you should not openly call for the assassination of the president, and yet these public officials do just that. I am intentionally vague here, but there is no doubt that we too are living in this wickedness now, especially is we, by our actions, say“Everyone who does evil is good in the sight of the Lord and He delights in them.” This will come to a violent end for those who choose to live in such perversion.
The one last passage before I move on. While it is clear that God is going to remove all the beneficial aspects, pay attention to verse 5 where it says, “the youth will storm against the elder and the inferior against the honorable.” Here in America, we have this stupidity called Antifa. These “youth” and they are not all youth; some are simply the down and out that want to make some fast money, are blockading roads and attacking people for reasons that change in accordance with the most recent sign one of them is carrying.
Isaiah3:1-5 NASB For behold, the Lord GOD of hosts is going to remove from Jerusalem and Judah Both supply and support, the whole supply of bread And the whole supply of water; (2) The mighty man and the warrior, The judge and the prophet, The diviner and the elder, (3)The captain of fifty and the honorable man, The counselor and the expert artisan, And the skillful enchanter. (4) AndI will make mere lads their princes, And capricious children will rule over them, (5) And the people will be oppressed, Each one by another, and each one by his neighbor; The youth will storm against the elder And the inferior against the honorable.
Micah 3:2 now paints an even more gruesome picture.
Micah 3:2 NET.
yet you hate what is good,
and love what is evil.
You flay my people’s skin
and rip the flesh from their bones.
Isaiah3:14-15 MKJV Jehovah will enter into judgment with the elders of His people, and their kings; for you have eaten up the vineyard; the spoil of the poor is in your houses. (15) What do you mean? You crush My people and grind the faces of the poor? says the Lord, Jehovah of Hosts.
Ezekiel11:6-7 MKJV You have multiplied your dead in this city, and you have filled its streets with the dead. (7) Therefore so says the Lord Jehovah: Your slain whom you have laid in her midst, they are the flesh, and this city is the pot. But I will bring you out of her midst.
Joseph Benson’s commentary claims that Micah 3:2 is “an allusion to lions bears, or wolves, which devour the flesh, and break the bones of the defenseless lambs.”
“Your slain whom you have laid in her midst, they are the flesh, and this city is the pot.”
Micah 3:3 NET.
You devour my people’s flesh,
strip off their skin,
and crush their bones.
You chop them up like flesh in a pot —
like meat in a kettle.
“All these words (we see in Micah 3:3) are metaphorical expressions, to signify the oppression of the people by their heads, or great men; and, how they, by one means or another, deprive them of their substance and divide it among themselves.” “So, even though it is written for the purpose of expressive style, the overall impact is still the same, as it is a horrendous depiction of how they treat people; God’s people.”
I wanted to think these words were entirely symbolic, but what did Saul, the Pharisee do? He pursued the Jewish converts, reasoning that he was doing the Lord’s work. He had people locked up in prisons; and, he held the cloaks of those stoning Stephen, which made him an accomplice to their crime of murder.
Acts 22:3-4 KJV I am verily a man which am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, and taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers, and was zealous toward God, as ye all are this day. (4) And I persecuted this way unto the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women.
When Pilate wished to free Jesus Christ because He had done nothing contrary to Roman law, it was the Jewish council that persisted until the Romans carried out their wishes. Because of their hatred and tenaciousness Jesus had the skin flayed from His back, ribs, and legs. It was the Jewish high priest that put the perfect lamb on that cross that day.
Micah3:4 MSG The time’s coming, though, when these same leaders will cry out for help to GOD, but he won’t listen. He’ll turn his face the other way because of their history of evil.
The NASB says it like this:
“Then they will cry out to the LORD, But He will not answer them. Instead, He will hide His face from them at that time Because they have practiced evil deeds.”
This usage of the phrase, “they will cry out,” leaves you hanging as you try to figure out, once again, to whom he is speaking. This is a good reason to have other translations, and, as you can see Eugene Peterson sorted it out and declared that “these leaders will cry out for help to God, but He won’t listen.”
“Instead, He will hide His face from them at that time Because they have practiced evil deeds.”
We make the assumption that all of Israel has practiced evil deeds, when that may not be true. When Elijah cried out that he was the only one left, the Lord told him, no, I have reserved other. So the idea that they have all practiced evil is not right. Is it possible then that Jewish leadership has bullied most of Israel into a false belief and misunderstanding of God? Absolutely.
“Thus says the Lord concerning the prophets who lead my people astray.”
Obviously, this happens; it is happening today, all around us.
Micah 3:5-7 NASB Thus says the LORD concerning the prophets who lead my people astray; When they have something to bite with their teeth, They cry, “Peace, “But against him who puts nothing in their mouths They declare holy war. (6) Therefore it will be night for you–without vision, And darkness for you–without divination. The sun will go down on the prophets, And the day will become dark over them. (7) The seers will be ashamed And the diviners will be embarrassed. Indeed, they will all cover their mouths Because there is no answer from God.
“When they have something to bite with their teeth, They cry, “Peace,” But against him who puts nothing in their mouths They declare holy war.”
One might read this and interpret it as people who are no longer starving. How easy it is for them to cry peace. I am not sure this makes sense, but these same people are declaring a holy war against the one who did not put food in their mouths.
The Amplified translation adds some clarity as it refers to the false prophets and leaders.
“Thus says the Lord: Concerning the false prophets who make My people err, when they have anything good to bite with their teeth they cry, Peace; and whoever gives them nothing to chew, against him they declare a sanctified war.”
This entire scenario has a soap opera feel to it, as these characters are willing to chew up those who do not take care of them in some lucrative manner.
Perhaps I can understand this idea of biting with their teeth from Ezekiel’s words.
Ezekiel13:19 NASB “For handfuls of barley and fragments of bread, you have profaned Me to My people to put to death some who should not die and to keep others alive who should not live, by your lying to My people who listen to lies.”
Breton’s is a translation that I do not refer too often, but in this case, it gives clarity.
Ezekiel13:19 Brenton And they have dishonored me before my people for a handful of barley, and for pieces of bread, to slay the souls which should not die, and to save alive the souls which should not live, while ye speak to a people hearing vain speeches.
The “they” in this sentence is Jewish leadership. The essence of the passage wreaks of graft and collusion. In this verse they are doing it for barley and bread; in a sense, food in their mouths while most are struggling to survive. Keep in mind that the Northern Kingdom, Israel, and the Southern Kingdom, Judah, had been under attack for some time; first at the hand of the Assyrian and then the Babylonian kingdoms.
“Therefore it will be night for you–without vision, And darkness for you–without divination. The sun will go down on the prophets, And the day will become dark over them.” Micah 3:6
Albert Barnes commentary
“In the presence of God’s extreme judgments, even deceivers are at length still; silenced at last by the common misery, if not by awe. The false prophets had promised peace, light, brightness, prosperity;” and yet, what befell them all, trouble, anguish, darkness, and fear.”
This idea of the day being dark over them, may not lend itself entirely to things like uncertainty, perplexity, and big troubles. The prophet Joel adds to our understanding.
Joel 2:1-2 NASB Blow a trumpet in Zion, And sound an alarm on My holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, For the day of the LORD, is coming; Surely it is near, (2) A day of darkness and gloom, A day of clouds and thick darkness. As the dawn is spread over the mountains, So there is a great and mighty people; There has never been anything like it, Nor will there be again after it To the years of many generations.
Certainly much of this prophecy is metaphorical; however, even though much has been fulfilled, it will again see fulfillment at some point. For the day of the Lord is coming!