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August 4, 2013

Text:  “Do not preach — thus they preach — one should not preach of such things; disgrace will not overtake us.  Should this be said, O house of Jacob ?  Has the Lord grown impatient? Are these his deeds? Do not my words do good to him who walks uprightly”  Micah 2:6-7

The prophet Micah of Moresheth lived in the kingdom of Judah about the same time that Isaiah lived in Jerusalem. The northern ten tribes were just about to be taken captive by the Assyrians and Judah would later be taken into captivity by the Babylonians. All of this was about both  nations forsaking the covenant they made with God at Sinai. They had forsaken the Law and corrupted the worship of God.  God had told them what would happen if they disobeyed, and yet they had gone headlong into sin. Their political leaders were corrupt. They worshiped idols. The rich prospered and the poor perished. Now it was time to pay the piper.

For pronouncing the sins and warning of captivity of the two nations many of God’s prophets were unpopular. Jeremiah was threatened for predicting the fall of Judah, and Amos for the northern kingdom. There were also prophets there who proclaimed error and preached a future of peace and plenty.

Micah persisted and was told, “Do not preach.” The false teachers disliked his negative preaching.   They wanted only messages that soothed the populace, so they said to Micah, “This is not the time nor place to speak of such things,” Further, they said, “We shall never be overtaken by destruction and disgrace.”  Nevertheless, God insists, “Do not my words do good to him who walks uprightly?”

Good or bad, positive or negative, preaching brings opinions.  Some tell the preacher they dislike his message, some compliment him, still others complain  to everybody else but the preacher. How many times someone has said to me, “Preacher, you sure stepped on my toes today.” Bad shot. I was aiming for his heart.  But preaching is imperative for both lost and saved.  Jesus commanded it for the lost. (Mark 16:15) Paul insisted it was necessary for the saved. (2 Timothy 4:1-2)

Why do some people resent being “preached to”? Do they think they are perfect after sitting and listening (maybe resentfully) for 40 years?  Some think,  “I’ve heard all this before. I’d rather be somewhere else.” Others complain of boredom, or the preacher’s “holy whine”. Think! Peter wrote, “…long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation…”  I Peter 2:1-2 If you’re are still alive and a Christian, you need this nourishment.  

Listen to what God says to Judah: “Do not my words do good to him who walks uprightly?”  This is a rhetorical question. The expected answer is “yes”.  God’s words do good to persons who live obedient lives. 

God’s words are: saving, sanctifying, promising, instructive, revelational, comforting, cheering, encouraging, and lead to eternal life.  God’s words are profitable to Christians and non-Christians alike. To be sure, you need preaching every day. Pay attention to God as he instructed the Israelites about his word. “And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your houses and on your gates.” Exodus 6:6-9

Preach on, preacher. I’m listening!

One Comment
  1. Larry permalink

    Yes! I haven’t heard words like that in a long time. How we need to hear!

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