Summary: What Constitutes Good Preaching? Micah 2:6-13 Intro A lot of preaching takes place each week. In America alone, five million sermons a year are preached. In large cities, in small towns, and in the country, people assemble to hear sermons. People
What Constitutes Good Preaching?
A lot of preaching takes place each week. In America alone, five million sermons a year are preached. In large cities, in small towns, and in the country, people assemble to hear sermons. People also listen to sermons on radio, television, and online. In the twenty first century there is no shortage of preaching in the land.
Perhaps we find this fact comforting. But before we take comfort, we need to ask what constitutes good preaching. Answers to that question would be diverse. Think of some criteria people have for preaching: short, long, conversational, loud, exegetical, topical, positive, negative, simple, profound, just to mention a few.
During Micah’s ministry he was confronted by critics of his preaching. Listen to the objections to Micah’s preaching, “’Do not preach’ – thus they preach – ‘one should not preach of such things; disgrace will not overtake us’” Micah was asked to stop preaching about Judah’s disgrace. He answered his critics with questions: “O thou that art named the house of Jacob, is the spirit of the Lord straightened? Are these his doings? Do no my words do good to him that walk uprightly? Micah contended that his preaching was authentic.
Today’s praching maybe abundant, but it also needs to be authentic. Let us look closely into Micah’s disclosures about good preaching. With his help we can make bad preaching good and good preaching better.
I. Authentic Preaching causes Opposition (v. 6)
a. Micah’s preaching produced opposition
i. Micah insisted that one’s relationship to God affected every area of life.
ii. Critics of Micah thought he should stick with religion and leave politics alone.
iii. Also, they thought he emphasized too much the judgment and wrath of God.
iv. The people wanted a preacher to emphasize solely the love of God.
1. Doesn’t that sound like to today’s world.
2. Micah was not the only one to arouse opposition with preaching.
3. Amaziah, priest of Bethel, send word to Amos to leave town. “O thou seer, go, flee thee away into the land of Judah, and there eat bread, and prophecy there. (Amos 7:12)
b. When God’s way is presented, opposition comes.
i. Micah was neither the first not the last preacher opposed.
ii. Many in today’s world want a preacher to talk about a sentimental God who does not take sin seriously.
iii. They want a preacher to emphasize Sunday religion but not be concerned about social, economic, and political matters.
iv. If preaching is to be authentic, opposition will come.
v. When God’s will and way are presented, an inevitable conflict occurs.
II. Authentic preaching declares God’s Word (v. 7)
a. Micah told his audience that the essence of true prophecy was the declaration of the Word of God.
i. Look at the probing question there in verse 7, that Micah ask the people.
ii. The substance of false prophecy was the proclamation of the words of the prophet’s masters.
iii. The real prophet of the Lord does not capitulate to the desires of people.
iv. The real prophet speaks God’s Word, and God’s Word is the only authentic word that does good to people.
b. Declaring God’s Word profits more than declaring what people want to hear.
i. The words of man maybe false, but the Word of God is always true.
ii. The word of man may soothe for awhile, but the Word of God will give long lasting results.
III. Authentic preaching denounces evil (vv. 8-10)
a. Micah condemned the evils of society.
i. Micah exposed the wealthy land barons and their oppression of the weak.
ii. Micah blamed these wealthy barons for the forthcoming evil.
iii. These exploiters seemed to be for the people, but actually they were against the people.
iv. They attacked fellow citizens as enemies
v. They acted like conquerors and drove women from their homes.
b. All preaching needs to include the bad news with the good news.
i. God’s word is not all good news; in the Bible there are many disclosures of bad news.
ii. Listen to some bad news: the whole world has sinned against God.
1. People lie, cheat, and steal.
2. People commit adultery and murder their fellow human beings.
iii. Whenever a true prophet observes the sins of society, the prophet needs to condemn the sins and announce the results.
IV. Authentic preaching differs drastically from false preaching (v. 11)
a. Micah described the kind of preacher the people wanted.
i. The people wanted a preacher who walked about uttering lies and who would condone their vices.
b. God’s authentic prophet emphasizes truth.
i. Consequently, the true prophet has substance in his sermons.
ii. The authentic prophet has the ultimate welfare of the people in mind, not reputation for himself.