A Major Message From The "Minor" Prophet
- Category: Religion
- Published: Tuesday, 30 April 2013 13:19
- Written by Pastor Joe Flores
There is a little-known prophet in the Holy Scriptures by the name of Micah. He is considered a “minor” prophet. However, Micah the minor prophet had some pretty major things to say that speak just as powerfully today as they did in 700 B.C. when he began his prophetic warnings to Israel and Judah.
Much of Micah’s writings are foreboding prophesies of judgment and punishment, followed by reassuring promises of justice and divine deliverance. What makes his writings relevant and applicable today are the descriptions he uses to characterize the transgressors that attracted God’s wrath against His own people, Israel and Judah.
In Micah 1: 5, the minor prophet draws a bull’s-eye around the source of the transgression with a question. “What is the transgression of Samaria?” He answers his own prophetic inquiry. “Is it not Samaria?” Although God’s people are divided into Israel and Judah, he spares neither for their part in the behavior that has incurred God’s holy wrath and divine retribution. He continues by asking, “What is Judah’s high place? Answering himself again, he declares, “Is it not Jerusalem.”
Micah points to the capital cities of the divided kingdom as the point of origin for the transgressions that have infuriated God, Samaria for Israel and Jerusalem for Judah. The source of the divided kingdom’s problem begins with its spiritual and political leadership. The power brokers who are positioned in the country’s seats of authority have engaged in the oppression of the poor, severe illegal usury of their middle class and so dirtied the leadership pool that no one clean could be found.
The wealthy governing elitists of Israel and Judah imposed systematic injustices, manipulated land robbery, promoted blatant idolatry and their spiritual rebellion became contagious beyond their ability to repair. Their prophets, princes and heads masked their depraved treachery with empty religious rituals, hypocritical piety and God was not pleased. Chapter 1: 9 of Micah’s prophetic oracle depicts Israel and Judah’s wayward condition as “an incurable wound”.
Although these words were intended to pierce the hearts of the divided Kingdoms of ancient Israel and Judah, they aim to pierce contemporary America as well. Micah’s prophetic oracles are both ancient and current, for sadly and unfortunately America is a divided kingdom.
America is divided not by geography, but by party; not by kings, but by ideologies; not by tribe, but by race, cultures and peoples. The transgressions of Israel and Judah are the sins of America also. America’s fractured morality, compromised principles and idolatrous purchasable faith, that’s been bastardized and commercialized to an embarrassing degree, equal to or possibly even surpassing Israel and Judah’s breach of the commands of God. Just as Judah’s source of contamination was Jerusalem, likewise America’s source of contamination is Washington. Just as Israel’s root of ruin was Samaria, America’s root of ruin is our Courts and Congress.
Poor and middle class Americans elect representatives to sit in Congress and state legislatures with an expectation of integrity in leadership. We watch as our faith is grossly betrayed by an absence of compassion, of common sense and reckless, ignoble leadership. A contemporary interpretation of the prophet’s cry would be America would be, “Sinful! Shameful! God is not pleased!”
What is the transgression of America? Is it not Washington? What is the high place of our government’s decision making ability? Is it not our Courts and Congress?
The darkened silver lining of the Newtown Connecticut shootings was a glimmer of hope to enact reasonable protections against such a horrific bloodbath ever taking place again. Our Congress sinned against God, the people and most of all the children when they said no to forward progress on this critical matter. The opportunity presented itself for America’s Congress to exhibit strength and wisdom by providing additional gun ownership check points but our Congress chose to deify the demagoguery of the NRA and do nothing.
Their idolatrous worship of the NRA and love for their seats of authority has created a monstrosity of leadership, pride that has swallowed compassion for children and protection of the people. At the end of the day what was a reasonable proposal exited our body of representatives as dung. Measures that would have shown us to be sane about gun access, responsibly compassionate toward our children and respectfully honoring gun violence victims were denied by Congress. Our ideological divisions prevailed.
The vote ran mostly along party lines with all Republicans voting against the measure, joined by 6 Democrats. Could Micah’s prophesy have reached into today in proclaiming America’s wound incurable?
The legalized fraud perpetrated by the collusion of banks, mortgage companies and a host of peripherally associated financial institutions on regular working people would make you believe so. The not-so-clandestine efforts by many state legislatures to institutionalize voter disenfranchisement and diminish the peoples’ will to participate in our democratic process would make you believe so. The strategic dismantling of the workers ability to bargain collectively and negotiate as a group for fair wages and safe work environments would make you believe so. The manufacturing of war for the enrichment of industry, corporations and a fraction of 1%-ers at the expense of innocent American lives would make you believe so. The lack of due diligence invested in regulating hazardous, potentially explosive and or toxic plants, facilities, manufacturers and workers sites would make you believe so. The battle to reverse laws that would ensure health care for more poor and middle class people and children than ever before would make you believe so.
Micah’s prophecies against Israel and Judah warned of a Godly vengeance against their kingdoms for their transgression against covenant, unbridled malice, discriminatory injustice and general unrighteousness. The consequences were too numerous to delineate here but they included such ominous declarations as raising up enemies to remove them from their homeland, level mountains, turn cities into vineyards, to smash and break into pieces their graven images and idols, to expose and destroy their corruption and to lay them desolate because of their greed, idolatry and harlotry.
Who has been more greedy, idolatrous and prostituted themselves more than our members of the United States Congress and Senate? Is it not a sin when members of Congress and Senate are purchasable to the highest bidder? The blood of Newtown’s men, women and children are dripping from the hands of every Congressperson Republican and Democrat that voted the way of the NRA instead of voting for the protection of our children against senseless gun violence. America, isn’t Micah talking to you? The injustice of the Congress, particularly the Republicans of our congress, against our own poor and middle class is sinful. The overt malice against our President borders on treason. America Micah is talking to you.
Each cycle of Micah’s prophetic oracle began with, “Hear ye oh ye people, hear ye… “
It is as if God is pleading with Israel and Judah through the minor prophet, Micah, for them to repent, to change, to fix it, to honor the covenant of His divine protection and to become the great people He called and ordained them to be.
America, Micah is prophesying to you! Congress Micah is prophesying to you! Government, Micah is prophesying to you! People Micah is prophesying to you and we the people, may be the only chance America has for redemption. “Hear ye oh ye people, hear ye, what Micah says to America!