Our readings today are from Micah Chapter 2 and 2 Corinthians 12:11-21. I am looking at the Micah passage.
I have preached many sermons – mostly they have ben appreciated, except by one very offensive church attender and trouble maker. After two years of ministry he described my preaching as “two years of death and hell”. (I took that as a compliment – at least someone was hearing what I was saying!)
I suppose that it was something like that for Micah, and we can understand why. After all, Micah got stuck into the well-to-do – probably the ones who were the “good givers”. You can’t say “God is going to get you” to the community elite and expect to be urged to keep on preaching. No doubt many a good minister/pastor has lost the confidence of some in his congregation, or even his job because some didn’t like what he had to say.
Even Micah’s fellow prophets tried to rein him in, “Do not prophecy about these things” they told him in verses 6-7. Micah was being called on to give sermons that comfort, not confront. Let’s have positive preaching, not negative. Many of us have heard things like that.
Micah was incensed. You could hear him mutter, “If a liar and deceiver comes and says, “I will prophesy for you plenty of wine and beer, he would just be the prophet for this people”. They wanted someone who would just tell them just what they wanted to hear, not what God wanted to say.
Often God doesn’t have comforting words to say. Often he confronts. Often he demands. Often he forces us to look at our lives and look at the society that we live in. We often don’t want to do that and yet God says to us, through Micah, “Do not my words do good to him whose ways are upright?”
If we are committed to God and his ways, of course his words will do us good.
But they did not do good for the people to whom Micah was preaching. They did not good because the people of Israel and Judah were not willing to take God’s words to heart, and to act on them. But if you and I do take God’s uncomfortable words to heart, and act on them, they will do us good.
Have a great day,