Summary: A warning against false words and lives.
GOOD NEWS FOR SALE!
At shopping malls throughtout the country there are shops can literally put you on the cover of your favorite magazine. Through photography and computer technology, they can superimpose your face on the figure of your dreams. That’s right, you can be on Time, Glamour, Sports Illustrated, or virtually any other magazine. You can look famous!
There are also companies, often advertising in magazines, that will create a “dummy” front page of any major newspaper — with a story about you! You can be front page news! Cool!
But, let’s take this a step further. Suppose we could control the real news. In either broadcast or print formats, we actually decided what was reported. Suppose all you wanted people to hear or read was good news. If you had enough money, then good news was all that the people could receive. Hey, if there wasn’t any good news for the day, your people would simply make it up! Good news would be for sale — to the highest bidder.
Sound far-fetched? It isn’t. In the eighth century B.C., good news was for sale. If the right price was paid, you could be promised peace and prosperity. The only problem, the selling of good news back then was a scam, just as it would be today. Micah understood that. And in the text we have before us this morning, the prophet of God condemned those who treated the good news of God as merchandise. He condemned those who abused the power they held. His was a strong word of warning.
I believe that as we look at this text, we will find a word of warning for ourselves as well. Perhaps, as we look at what Micah had to say, you might wonder where you fit in. Well, let’s look at our text and see where we are, and what God would say to us.
I. Listen to God’s word of warning to false prophets and leaders.
A. Micah condemned the false prophets of his day (3:5-7).
1. These were guild prophets, professionals — part of Israel’s history, they were prophets for hire.
2. To these “peace” prophets, God would bring calamity.
B. Micah condemned the leaders of his people.
1. These leaders were against God’s purposes, preaching peace.
2. But, judgment was to come to those in power.
Transitional Sentence: What, you may think, does this have to do with us? Most of you would not claim the gift of prophecy, and none of you are governors, presidents, or kings and queens. So, how does this passage of scripture speak to us today? Well . . .
II. Consider God’s word for us.
A. In this passage of scripture, we have a warning to check our motivations for serving God.
1. These prophets might have had real gifts from the Lord, but they suppressed them, overruled them, to get their way.
2. Why do we serve God?
3. Folks, the only valid motivation for serving God, in my estimation, is loving gratitude and the “fear” of the Lord.
B. In this passage of scripture, we have a warning against arrogance and presumption.
1. The prophets and leaders truly believed that God was on their side — even while they fought his purposes.
2. Sometimes, our pride can stand in the way of truly serving the Lord.
3. We lose sight of the fact that we are in danger of judgment if we do not follow our God — we cannot afford to think we are doing right when our hearts are full of pride and even bitterness.
C. In this passage of scripture, we hear what God wants us to be (3:8)
1. Micah becomes the role model of what our lives should be.
2. Friends, we should live out our lives:
a. trusting God’s strength to see us through any difficulty;
b. leaning upon the Holy Spirit within us to guide us into the will of the Lord;
c. loving the truth, not using it as a weapon of attack;
d. if we follow this path, we need not fear the disciplining hand of our God.
The good news of life is not for sale. We cannot use the kingdom of God for our private purposes. We must not arrogantly proclaim God on our side, when our lives are not what they ought to be. Folks, we best heed the warning. We best surrender our lives over into the hands of our God and King. Will you seek his power, his leadership, his truth today? Let us decide to follow Micah’s example, not that of false prophets and leaders for sale. Come now.