We who believe God and trust in what He says to do because we love God are sick at heart when a fellow believer, we work alongside becomes increasingly more arrogant. We sometimes cringe and look the other way while they become full of themselves but still pretend to love God as if nothing is wrong. Their thinking and behaving progressively changes while we stand by wondering.
The pretense can go on for years, fooling and betraying others who follow this person’s teaching and believe all is well. But when the great pretender believes his/her own lies so much he/she can no longer hear God and believe that what they are doing is righteous and good merely because they are doing it, God must step in before many others are hurt by their lies and deception.
We must examine our hearts’ motivations daily to stay focused on our God who called us to live for Him, love like He loves us so others can see Him in us. Evil leads us to self-destruction. God leads us to all that is good for us—His best work in us! We choose daily who we will serve. We must choose wisely.
Micah has been called to expose the great pretenders in his day…
Micah 3, The Message
Haters of Good, Lovers of Evil
1-3 Then I said:
“Listen, leaders of Jacob, leaders of Israel:
Don’t you know anything of justice?
Haters of good, lovers of evil:
Isn’t justice in your job description?
But you skin my people alive.
You rip the meat off their bones.
You break up the bones, chop the meat,
and throw it in a pot for cannibal stew.”
4 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.
* * *
5-7 Here is God’s Message to the prophets,
the preachers who lie to my people:
“For as long as they’re well paid and well fed,
the prophets preach, ‘Isn’t life wonderful! Peace to all!’
But if you don’t pay up and jump on their bandwagon,
their ‘God bless you’ turns into ‘God damn you.’
Therefore, you’re going blind. You’ll see nothing.
You’ll live in deep shadows and know nothing.
The sun has set on the prophets.
They’ve had their day; from now on it’s night.
Visionaries will be confused,
experts will be all mixed up.
They’ll hide behind their reputations and make lame excuses
to cover up their God-ignorance.”
* * *
8 But me—I’m filled with God’s power,
filled with God’s Spirit of justice and strength,
Ready to confront Jacob’s crime
and Israel’s sin.
9-12 The leaders of Jacob and
the leaders of Israel are
Leaders contemptuous of justice,
who twist and distort right living,
Leaders who build Zion by killing people,
who expand Jerusalem by committing crimes.
Judges sell verdicts to the highest bidder,
priests mass-market their teaching,
prophets preach for high fees,
All the while posturing and pretending
dependence on God:
“We’ve got God on our side.
He’ll protect us from disaster.”
Because of people like you,
Zion will be turned back into farmland,
Jerusalem end up as a pile of rubble,
and instead of the Temple on the mountain,
a few scraggly scrub pines.
WHAT DO WE LEARN—HOW DO WE RESPOND?
When we fall for self, we are prey for the evil one to do what he does best—lie to us about how great we are.
Micah continued his prophecies to Judah and Jerusalem. He rebuked the present leaders but promised a perfect future leader, Christ. This leader would bring true justice, love, mercy and grace like that world has never seen before while living a life with no sin having dominion over him.
God promises that one day all weapons of war will be done away with and God’s people will live in total peace. He also told of how a tiny town in Judah would be the birthplace of the Prince of Peace? That truth is to come later in Micah 5!
I love how Max Lucado describes the love of God and what He desires for those who love Him back:
“One word describes heaven: perfect.
One word describes us: imperfect.
God’s kingdom is perfect, but his children are not, so what is he to do? Abandon us? Start over? He could. But he loves us too much to do that.
Will he tolerate us with our sin nature? Populate heaven with rebellious, self-centered citizens? If so, how would heaven be heaven?
He had a greater plan. “God was pleased for all of himself to live in Christ” (Colossians 1:19 NCV).
All the love of God was in Jesus. All the strength of God was in Jesus. All the compassion and power and devotion of God were, for a time, in the earthly body of a carpenter. No wonder the winds obeyed when Jesus spoke; he was God speaking.
No wonder the bacteria fled when Jesus touched the wounds; he was God touching.
No wonder the water held him as he walked; he was God walking.
No wonder the people stood speechless as he taught; he was God teaching.
And no wonder ten thousand angels stood in rapt attention as Jesus was nailed to the cross; he was God dying.
He let people crucify him, for goodness’ sake! He became sin for our sake. “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us” (2 Corinthians 5:21). What started in the Bethlehem cradle culminated on the Jerusalem cross.
Christians should pray for peace and harmony in the world. The Prince of Peace, born in a stable in Bethlehem just as Micah foretold, will one day bring perfect peace to our hurting world. In the meantime, he offers perfect peace to the hearts of those who love him. (Lucado, “Encouraging Word Bible”)
We are not perfect but we are perfectly forgiven. God made a Way.
Really believe, repent of pretense, love Him back, love others like He loves in Truth and be saved to live with Him now and forever!
Thank you for your prophets then and now who expose pretenders. Thank you for your Holy Spirit living in us to expose our own pretense in our times of blurred focus on you. Thank you for the Way back to you that gives life now and forever. I am forever grateful to you. Cleanse our hearts, renew our minds, refresh our souls while restoring the joy of your salvation at work within us. Thank you, Lord.
In Jesus Name, Amen