Micah strikes a prophetic tone different to that of Hosea. Hosea’s appeal is love. Micah’s approach is with words of condemnation. They were speaking to different audiences. Hosea appealed to the cross-section of the populace. Micah spoke directly to national rulers, priests and prophets who used positions of influence and authority for person gratification. Prophets are the specific targets of Micah 3:5-12.
Micah made clear that prophets, those who claimed to speak as God, who prophesied for person reward would not receive visions or words from God. They would be left in darkness. put to shame and would not be given God’s word for their lips.
On the other hand, the prophets who faithfully and fearlessly spoke the truth of God would be given much power.
The only people Jesus ever condemned were the religious leaders whose influence and authority misled those who followed them. (Matthew 23:13-29)
—Rev. Jean Richardson
- Are they who hold special positions of influence in the church such as elders, deacons, teachers, executives, ordained ministers measured by God with a higher standard than others?
- Are all Christians equal under both the judgement of God and the love of God?
- Why did Micah select the prophets as a special audience for his messages of judgement?
How Do I Act?
- Most lay persons have no experience as pastors. All pastors have been lay persons. Ask your pastor to compare the pressures as a lay Christian with those of the pastor. Make a list of these comparisons and talk about which of those pressures are self-expectations and which are real expectations of the congregation.
- Select a candidate for the ministry to whom you will give personal support through regular prayers, verbal and written words of encouragement and financial assistance if needed. If your congregation or presbytery does not have a candidate, call or email Pam Phillips-Burk, the team leader of the Pastoral Development Ministry Team. She can find you a candidate to support.
- Ask your pastor what you can do to relieve some pressure s/he feels from unrealistic expectations.
- Select a public official for who you will pray and who you will encourage on behalf of issues which you believe contribute to the benefit of community, nation and world.