Lesson Info:

Lesson 6 Summer Quarter
Lesson Text: Micah 2:4-11
Golden Text: Psalm 37:18

Listen to Today’s Lesson

Introduction

Our lesson this week is going to take us back to the time prior to the Babylonians conquering the land of Judah and Jerusalem, and taking the Jews away into exile.  In recent weeks, we took a look at the time of the Jews return from their Babylonian captivity.  There is a prophecy that we will see here from the prophet Micah that was aimed at those who devised wickedness (Mic. 2:1).  This week’s lesson is being taught from Micah 2:4-11.

Woe to Devisers of Iniquity

Our lesson opens with a proverb against the devisers of iniquity that I am going to take a look at in a moment.  I want to first set the tone for our lesson by taking a look at the opening verse of this chapter.

Wickedness of the southern kingdom

Again, this chapter opens with the Lord saying through the prophet, “Woe to those who devise iniquity, and work out evil on their beds!  At morning light they practice it, because it is in the power of their hand.”  This scripture speaks to just how evil the people of the southern kingdom had become.  They would go to sleep at night thinking about wicked actions and they would wake up in the morning with wickedness on their mind; whether they realize their thoughts and their actions were of wickedness.

We are told that covetousness was in their hearts as they planned wicked actions to take what another one had (Mic. 2:2).  They would take one’s field through violence and the houses of another by seizing them.  By seizing the house they would oppress a man and his house and his inheritance as well.  So, they were wicked and mistreated their brethren which speaks to just how wicked they were if they could mistreat their own people.

God’s plan against the devisers of iniquity

The wickedness of the devisers of iniquity did not go unnoticed by the Lord.  The Lord said through the prophet that He was devising disaster for these evildoers (Mic. 2:3).

This is the point where our lesson for this week begins.  A proverb would be made about the evildoers – a lament with bitter lamentation.  The proverb would speak about how the Lord gave away the land of the Jews to others that would run (or rule) the land (v.4).  The Jews who once divided the Promised Land among themselves by tribe, would no longer have a say over the land promised to them (v.5).

This prophecy was fulfilled in the days of their exile in Babylon.  As you have heard me speak of before, the land was left desolate by the Babylonians with Jerusalem and the temple being burnt down.  Many of the Jews were taken away to Babylon, while others, like Jeremiah, ended up in Egypt.  There was remnant of the Jews that was left in the land of Judah, but they were outnumbered by others and had no power to even have a say over the land they once ruled.

Wicked ones thoughts of Micah’s prophecy

Now, the devisers of iniquity, definitely recognized that Micah’s prophecy was against them.  I want you to understand that they also knew that Micah was a prophet of the Lord.  So, how do you suppose they would respond to Micah’s prophecy from the Lord?

Their response, as expected, was one that showed a disregard of God’s word.  They said to not just Micah but to other prophets of the Lord, “Do not prattle (speak or preach) (v.6).”  They did not want to hear what the prophets of God had to say because the message from the Lord always stood against them.

This reminds me of what Jesus said about the world’s hatred towards those that are His.  “The world will hate you,” is what Jesus said to all of us who follow Him.  “If you were of the world,” He said, “the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you (John 15:19).”  What is it that the world would hate about you?

The world will hate those that speak against their way of wickedness and choose not to live in the same manner of wickedness.  Jesus said, “If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin (John 15:22) … If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would have no sin; but now they have seen and also hated both Me and My Father (John 15:24).”

Micah and other prophets were despised because their words spoke against the majority of the people in the southern kingdom.  Not only that, but the prophets also spoke to the consequences of the sins of those that devised wickedness.  The last thing that people want to hear is that they have done wrong and will be punished for the wrong that they have done.  So, they said to Micah, “Don’t prophesy to us about being punished because nothing is going to happen to us.”

Micah stands firm

For the child of God who offers their rebuke to anyone, it can be quite difficult because of the response of those that have done wrong.  As we see here, people will lash out when they are confronted about wrong that they have done; people get defensive.  The wicked ones, especially in this case, will not only get defensive but they may argue back, threaten even, or go into a shell and try to hide and ignore the truth in their rebellion against the Lord.

Prophets like Elijah had their lives threatened or were even killed when they prophesied against wickedness.  Jeremiah was often frowned upon and ignored when he prophesied and it seems that Micah experienced the same kind of response in that the people chose to deny the words from the Lord.

Now, some who work on behalf of the Lord may choose to give up or give in due to the response of others.  However, we will see that Micah stood firm and continued pushing forward with his prophesy to the people; these people needed to know what the Lord’s plans were towards wickedness.

I would tell you today that preachers like me are some of the most ignored people on the planet because of the message that we have to share.  Our call on repentance goes ignored along with our call for faith.  Some will give in and start preaching a word that is sweet to the ears of those that choose to ignore – this is what the devisers of iniquity desired from Micah.  Yet, I tell you that no child of God should cater the word of the Lord to please the wicked ones – the word must be spoken truthfully and boldly.

Micah essentially asks the people, “Do you think the Lord is not going to punish your iniquity?  Is this not the way of the Lord?  Does the Lord reward those that do good but punish the wicked (v.7)?”  Let us remember, the Lord is a faithful and just God who is merciful to those that love Him but does not ignore the iniquity of those that oppose Him (Ex. 34:6-7).  That is an old saying that goes back to the day that the Lord passed before Moses.

Another warning against wickedness

With that statement being made, Micah again reiterates what awaited the devisers of iniquity.  Since the people were blind to their wicked works, Micah tells them again of their wickedness so that they could not say that they didn’t know of their wickedness.

Micah gets very specific with the sins of Judah.  They would steal the clothes off the backs of people walking by (v.8).  They would throw women out of their homes and away from their children (v.9).  The Lord said of the wicked ones that they had risen up like enemies of Him and those who would simply be trying to do right.  Something you have heard me say before is that the Lord does not desire for us to tear each other down; God wants us to live peaceably with one another!

So, these people truly were unruly and wicked.  God said to these wicked ones, “arise and depart, for this is not your rest; because it is defiled, it shall destroy (v.10).”  The Lord essentially told the wicked ones to get out and that the land would not be their place of rest because of how they had corrupted, polluted, and destroyed it!  This was a very firm message that came from the Lord against the wicked.

The Lord still has a very strong message for the wicked today and the wicked must be made aware of the Lord’s message.  Just as Micah, we have to be firm in speaking about God’s call for repentance and the judgment that awaits the wicked.  Just know that this message is not going to be well received by those that enjoy living in wickedness.

To close out this lesson, we see the Lord speak to how the wicked would not enjoy this message because it spoke against them.  Yet, if this prophecy was one that supported their wickedness, they would be all ears (v.11).  This, again, relates to what I spoke of earlier when Jesus spoke about the world hating Him and those that love Him.

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