“Don’t say such things,” the people respond. “Don’t prophesy like that. Such disasters will never come our way!”
Should you talk that way, O family of Israel? Will the Lord’s Spirit have patience with such behavior? If you would do what is right, you would find my words comforting. Yet to this very hour my people rise against me like an enemy! You steal the shirts right off the backs of those who trusted you, making them as ragged as men returning from battle.
You have evicted women from their pleasant homes and forever stripped their children of all that God would give them. Up! Begone! This is no longer your land and home, for you have filled it with sin and ruined it completely. Suppose a prophet full of lies would say to you, “I’ll preach to you the joys of wine and alcohol!” That’s just the kind of prophet you would like!
Micah spoke out against those who planned evil deeds at night and rose at dawn to do them. Those who oppressed others would later find the tables turned. If these messages seem harsh, remember that God did not want to take revenge on Israel; he wanted to get them back on the right path. The people had rejected what was true and right, and they needed stern discipline.
Micah’s experience is reminiscent of that of the prophet Micaiah (1 Kings 22), who was the only truth-speaking prophet in a roomful of false prophets. The people of Micah’s day liked the false prophets who told them only what they wanted to hear. Micah spoke against prophets who encouraged the people to feel comfortable in their sin. After all, judgment was still to come.
In our day, many preachers are popular because they don’t ask too much of us, and they might even tell us our greed or lust is good for us. But a true teacher of God speaks the truth, regardless of what the listeners want to hear.
If we only want God’s comforting messages, we may miss what he wants us to hear. Listen whenever God speaks, even when the message is hard to take. God doesn’t want us to just “feel good.” He wants us to be right with him.