There is a warning throughout
Scripture about anyone in leadership. 
This warning must be remembered today: there is much expected of those
of us in leadership.


This second oracle of
judgment begins like the first one: a call to hear what the prophet is
saying.  Here, this one is directed at
the leaders of Judah and Israel.  It was
not a good day for their leaders.  They
were being “called on the carpet” for their lack of Godly leadership.


Micah 3:1–12 (NIV)

1 Then I said, “Listen, you
leaders of Jacob, you rulers of Israel. Should you not embrace justice,

2 you who hate good and love
evil; who tear the skin from my people and the flesh from their bones; who
eat my people’s flesh, strip off their skin and break their bones in pieces;
who chop them up like meat for the pan, like flesh for the pot?”

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.


is what the Lord says: “As for the prophets who lead my people astray, they
proclaim ‘peace’ if they have something to eat, but prepare to wage war against
anyone who refuses to feed them. Therefore night will come
over you, without visions, and darkness, without divination. The sun will set
for the prophets, and the day will go dark for them.

seers will be ashamed and the diviners disgraced. They will all cover their
faces because there is no answer from God.”


as for me, I am filled with power, with the Spirit of the Lord, and with
justice and might, to declare to Jacob his transgression, to Israel his sin. Hear
this, you leaders of Jacob, you rulers of Israel, who despise justice and
distort all that is right; 10 who build Zion with bloodshed,
and Jerusalem with wickedness. 11 Her leaders judge for a
bribe, her priests teach for a price, and her prophets tell fortunes for money.
Yet they look for the Lord’s support and say, “Is not the Lord among us?  No disaster will come upon us.”


12 Therefore
because of you, Zion will be plowed like a field, Jerusalem will become a heap
of rubble, the temple hill a mound overgrown with thickets.


These political leaders had mistreated God’s people.  The very ones, who should be practicing
justice and mercy, were instead haters of good and lovers of evil.  So harsh was their treatment of the poor, the
prophet says he was ripping them apart (verses 2 and 3).  Their mistreatment of these people was so
horrible, the Lord would
“not answer them” when they cried
out for help.  He will
His face because of the evil they have done.”


Making matters worse, the religious leaders also mistreated them!  Verses 5-7 relates the message of the
so-called “prophets” who were leading God’s people astray with promises of
peace and prosperity because of the bribes they have received.  When they were not given the bribes, they
would curse (
“wage war”) against them.  But even these corrupt religious leaders
would find a day when the
“sun will set” on them and “the
day will go dark”
.  Soon, Micah
tells us, their shame would be exposed for the void it is.      


Then Micah turns a corner reminding his hearers (readers) that his words
“filled with power” from the Lord instead of the lies given the
people by their political and religious leaders (verse 8).  Based on this prophetic power, he declares in
verses 9-12 that the leaders’ corruption has now become the ruin of the entire
nation.  Their lips said, “God is our
king” while their actions declared the exact opposite.  Verse 11 presents one of saddest verses in
this section:
“Her leaders judge for a bribe, her
priests teach for a price, and her prophets tell fortunes for money”


Any theology we are tempted to espouse that glosses sin is not a
Biblical theology.  The covenant God’s
people had with Him was based on His holiness. 
They knew how they were to live but their knowledge made no difference.  The ones who were supposed to lead others in
the ways of righteousness were the cause of the corruption of the nation.  


The destruction of the nation that was prophesied happened “because
of the sins of her prophets and the iniquities of her priests”
4:13, NIV).  May we as Christians never
forget, our privilege brings accountability. 
It was James, the half-brother of our Lord, who wrote, under the
Spirit’s inspiration,
“Not many of you should become teachers,
my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more
  (James 3:1, NIV).


Verse 1

Jesus I’ve

The words that You
have spoken

Promises that
burned within my heart

Have now grown dim


With a doubting
heart I follow

The paths of
earthly wisdom

Forgive me for my

Renew the fire



Verse 2

I have built an

Where I’ve
worshipped things of man

I have taken

That have drawn me
far from You


Now I am returning

To Your mercies
ever flowing

Pardon my

Help me love You



Verse 3

I have longed to
know You

And all Your tender

Like a river of

Ever flowing
without end


So I bow my heart
before You

In the goodness of
Your presence

Your grace forever

Like a beacon in
the night



Chorus 1

Lord have mercy

Christ have mercy

Lord have mercy on

Lord have mercy

Christ have mercy

Lord have mercy on



“Lord, Have Mercy”

© 2000 Integrity’s Hosanna! Music (Admin. by EMI Christian Music

Steve Merkel

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