Thus says the Lord concerning the prophets who lead my people astray, who cry “Peace” when they have something to eat, but declare war against those who put nothing into their mouths. Therefore it shall be night to you, without vision, and darkness to you, without revelation. The sun shall go down upon the prophets, and the day shall be black over them; the seers shall be disgraced, and the diviners put to shame; they shall all cover their lips, for there is no answer from God. But 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 and to Israel his sin. Hear this, you rulers of the house of Jacob and chiefs of the house of Israel, who abhor justice and pervert all equity, who build Zion with blood and Jerusalem with wrong! Its rulers give judgment for a bribe, its priests teach for a price, its prophets give oracles for money; yet they lean upon the Lord and say, “Surely the Lord is with us! No harm shall come upon us.” Therefore because of you Zion shall be plowed as a field; Jerusalem shall become a heap of ruins, and the mountain of the house a wooded height.
Food for Thought:
This passage of Scripture comes from the book of Micah. The Book of Micah is a prophetic book in Hebrew Scriptures and the sixth of the twelve minor prophets. It records the sayings of Michah, Mikayahu, meaning “Who is like Yahweh?”, an 8th-century B.C. prophet from the village of Moresheth inThe book has three major divisions, chapters 1–2, 3–5 and 6–7, each introduced by the word “Hear,” with a pattern of alternating announcements of doom and expressions of hope within each division. Micah reproaches unjust leaders, defends the rights of the poor against the rich and powerful, and preaches social justice, while looking forward to a world at peace centered on Zion under the leadership of a new Davidic monarch. Micah is a beautifully written book of the Hebrew Scriptures. The main word throughout the book is Hear.” What do you think of when you hear the word hear? I think of all the times in my life when I was unwilling or unable to hear what another person was saying to me even though it may have been very important. The word hear seems so interconnected to the word see, because if we fail to listen to those around us, it makes it very difficult to see them and vice versa. Think about someone in your life that you have failed to hear and listen to them today. Think about someone that you have failed to see (or society fails to see) and what can you do to TRULY see them today.
O God, your Spirit speaks through your prophets, protecting your people from those who would lead them astray. Raise up new voices in our time to speak with justice and power and to challenge the complacency that would have us rest easily with sin. Amen.