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CORRUPT LEADERS

Bible Background Micah 3-6 | Printed Text – Micah 3:1-3, 9-12, 6:6-8

 

We live in a society that is full of chaos and corruption.  Many people in our society are more concerned with their own welfare than with the welfare others. This is especially tragic when people who are in leadership roles use their position of authority to enrich themselves instead of helping the people they were appointed to lead.  God is not pleased with that type of behavior. So, back in Micha’s time, which is the time of the divided kingdoms of Israel, God sent His Profit to let the people of Judah and Israel know that instead of greed and corruption, God requires them to do what is right.  They should love mercy, value justice and walk humbly with thy God.

The Book of Micah is found in the Old Testament of the Bible between Jonah and Nahum. Micah is considered one of twelve Minor Prophets because of the size of the book, not because its message is less important than the Major Prophets. Micah is a contemporary of Isaiah, Amos and Hosea and he was born in Judah.  He prophesized from 737 BC to 696 BC and he is the author of the book. God gave Micah a message to give to the leaders of Israel and Judah. Unfortunately, they failed to adhere to the message of God.

In Micah 3:1, we find that the Prophet is addressing leaders of both Israel and Judah. These leaders include priests, prophets, business owners, leaders of government and more.  From the printed text we also see that corrupt leaders were figuratively cannibalizing God’s people by preying on them. Micah says that they are committing sins not only against man but against God. When one hurts Gods people, they are hurting God. 

In Micah 3, we also find false prophets are offering messages of hope and peace without pointing out sin and challenging the people to repent.  Those prophets are becoming rich while failing to tell God’s truth.  Essentially, false prophets were prophesying for profit. They would say whatever they thought the people wanted to hear.  Likewise, they would say and do whatever would bring them the most compensation.  It was all about making money for themselves and their constituents. In that day, a false prophet could care less about what God said and what God’s people’s needed to hear and know.  False prophets got rich and the true message from God was delayed and twisted so that the people didn’t know that they needed to repent to avoid the coming conquest and captivity of Israel and Judah by the Assyrians and Babylonians.

In that day, in order to stimulate the economy to prepare for war, leaders of government instituted laws based on greed, exploitation and senseless taxes. The elderly, oppressed, and less fortunate suffered most from those laws.  Micha tells corrupt leaders, they should know right from wrong, but instead of doing what is right, they hate good and love evil. Micah’s message to both nations is that God is not pleased with their corrupt and sinful behavior and because of it Mount Zion will be plowed like an open field and Jerusalem will be reduced to ruins.

As we have learned from previous lessons, God kept his word.  The Nations of Israel and Judah did not adhere to God’s message from Micah. Because of the behavior of corrupt leaders, sin seeped into both societies and corruption grew and infested the entire Nation of Israel.  Eventually, God in his righteousness allowed Assyria and Babylon to conquer Israel and Judah.  The Assyrians conquered Israel first in about 722 BC and Judah was later conquered in three stages.  The final conquest of Judah took place around 548 BC.

 

In next week’s lesson, we will learn about leading justly.

 

The Sunday Teacher

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