A Study in the Word – Micah 3:1-12


Micah 3 shows just how truly evil some leaders can become when they make practice of self-serving behavior. Accountability is a given for leaders; God holds leaders accountable for their callously self-centered sin (3:1-4). He first questions their grasp of duty concerning justice: “Ought you not to be familiar with justice?” A judge’s primary task was to restore justice, which is also true of rulers. The rulers Micah addresses have no personal understanding of that obligation. They accept high position but reject noble character. They hate good and destroy lives (3:2). They dehumanize people and silence their voices (3:3). Booker T. Washington said, “Most leaders spend time trying to get others to think highly of them, when instead they should try to get their people to think more highly of themselves.” Little wonder God turns a deaf ear to such leaders (3:4). They shall be taken from their “royal court” to the court of God’s justice.

Micah turns to judgment on prophets who prophesy only for what they can gain for themselves (3:5-8). False prophets serve their own interests exclusively. They are deliberate in misleading people; personal benefit is their personal ambition, so they turn against those who do not benefit them (3:5). God will silence their deceit. Since they shed no light for people, they receive no light from God (3:6), to their shame (3:7). In contrast, God empowers prophets who speak His truth fearlessly. His Spirit guides and informs the true and courageous prophet whose message seeks to restore true justice (3:8). Page Kelley writes, “What a difference a few persons like Micah can make in a community, persons who are not afraid to get involved, who take the trouble to become informed about the issues, and who have a burning passion for justice. We need persons like that to keep the spirit of justice alive and to make our society more compassionate.”

Micah 3:9-12 returns to the subject of sinful leadership. Insensitive and self-serving leaders eventually bring complete disaster. They can be recognized by what they do. They abuse their position and are masters of deceit (3:9). They are insensitive to human costs (3:10). They cater to the highest bidder. They are hypocrites of the first order and their office is only an abusive means to their personal ends (3:11a). They justify injustice by presuming on God’s Name and sanction (3:11b). The result is national disaster (3:12).

Dr. David Moore is a Baptist preacher in Pampa and an online instructor in Bible and theology for Taylor University and Nations University.  Email: dm5867se@outlook.com