Scripture reading for September 21st: Micah 3-5
The false prophets of Micah’s day were in business for the money. If you fed them, then they would give you a good word. If you did not, then they were against you! (Micah 3:6) God promised that these false prophets would enter a time of darkness where God would not answer them. He likened them to fortune tellers who gave readings for money! (Micah 3:11) They claimed to speak for the Lord and prophesied peace because God was in the midst of His people.
Micah, on the other hand, was filled with the Spirit of the Lord and power. He was motivated to stand for justice and truth and declared plainly to Israel and Judah their sins. “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, to Israel his sin.” (Micah 3:8) He plainly rebuked Israel for distorting truth and despising justice. He laid out a case against Judah for bloodshed and wickedness, bribery and money grabbing religion. The result was God’s judgment on the land and the destruction of Jerusalem. Micah was declaring the true fortune of the people who were in sin and rebelling against God.
Micah also declared the future state of Jerusalem after the time of exile. “In the last days the mountain of the Lord’s temple will be established as chief among the mountains; it will be raised above the hills, and peoples will stream to it. Many nations will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of Jacob. He will teach us his ways , so that we may walk in his paths.” God has plans for Jerusalem in the future. It will be established as the central site of God’s rule in the last days. God’s law and word will go out from there and God will judge between many peoples and establish a reign of peace.
The one who would bring this peace would be born in Bethlehem from the tribe of Judah! (Micah 5:2) This ruler would have origins from ancient times. He would shepherd the flock in God’s strength and His greatness would go to the ends of the earth! Micah was prophesying the future plans of God for rulership of the earth under Jesus Christ! Now that’s real fortune telling!