Hearing and Speaking Truth
“‘Do not prophesy,’ their [false] prophets say. ‘Do not prophesy about these things; disgrace will not overtake us.’” (Micah 2:6 NIV)
After the reign of King Solomon, the nation of Israel was divided into two kingdoms, both of which were influenced by the pagan people around them and ended up following after their idols, thus incurring the wrath of God. The northern kingdom was the first that would be led into captivity, and Micah was warning the southern kingdom of Judah that they were going to face the same fate. There was corruption and greed everywhere. The leaders among them were taking bribes, and everyone was plotting to take everyone else’s land. The priests were not teaching the word of God and there were terrible rulers. We’re not talking here about the invading Assyrians or the Babylonians and other people that were soon going to converge upon Jerusalem. We’re talking about the rulers of God’s people. Moreover, the prophets were prophesying for gain. What they cleverly did is what is still happening today: they made up prophecies that the people wanted to hear. Micah would tell the people, “You had better turn to God; you had better serve God; he’s watching all this.” But the false prophets would, in turn, say, “Hey, don’t believe Micah. That’s very negative and old school. Listen, God loves you. Everything is going to be just great. Everyone is going to have all the wine they can drink and everyone is going to have a big house. Don’t believe the naysayers; don’t believe these gloom and doom prophets.” And they would collect money to tickle the ears of the people. But they were facing impending judgment, and they needed to hear the truth!
Always remember when you raise a child or you minister in any way in the body of Christ: don’t ever tell the person simply what they want to hear. In love, tell them what they need to hear. They may not find it pleasant, and they may resist you at first, but the Lord can use your words to keep them from falling into sin and shipwrecking their life. Think: When you go see a doctor, does he tell you what you want to hear, or what you need to hear? When you have a legal case, do you expect the lawyer to tell you merely what you’d like the outcome to be? Of course not! How about if you’re facing a building project? Do you want the developer to tell you that it will take only three months and cost close to nothing, when in reality it’s a three-year project with high costs? No, you don’t need someone like that. You want someone to tell you what you need to hear: the truth.
One way for a Christian to walk in truth and not get deceived by the many voices in the world today and by the schemes of the enemy of our souls is to stay connected to Jesus, who is the way, the truth, and the life. We need to be in God’s Word every day, not just as a mental exercise, but asking the Holy Spirit to make it real to our lives. Hearing and speaking truth is the way to walk in a manner worthy of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Read Micah 2:6-11.