A Leadership Crisis

Micah 3: 1….I said, “Listen, you leaders of Israel! You are supposed to know right from wrong, but you are the very ones who hate good and love evil.

Micah prophesied during the 8th century while Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah were kings. There are some who believe that Hezekiah fulfilled some of the passages in Micah’s prophecies but I am sure his references are to Jesus the King of kings. Hezekiah was a cut above and he probably seemed like a messiah after what Judah experienced in Ahaz. Jotham, the first king of Micah’s ministry was middle of the road, Ahaz was dreadful and Hezekiah was very good. Micah chapter three is probably in reference to the times of Ahaz when leadership was lacking. I have divided our message into three basic indictments against the poor leaders of Micah’s day.

FIRST

LEADERS ARE SUPPOSED TO KNOW RIGHT FROM WRONG.

Leaders should be moral. How can any leader be effective or lead in the right direction if he/she has no moral compass. It is basic common sense: good leaders should be moral and they should have integrity. David was a good leader and the bible says in Psalm 78:72 that David “shepherded them according to the integrity of his heart, and guided them by the skilfulness of his hands.” Notice a good leader has both integrity and skill. His heart and hands are good.

Most likely, Micah is referring to the period of Ahaz who in my opinion is one of the two worse kings in Judah’s history. The only argument would be who is the worse, Ahaz or Manasseh? Manasseh was wicked and a lot of innocent people died because of his cruelty but Ahaz sacrificed two of his sons to Molech. Child sacrifice should be abhorrent to any leader, especially a king. He didn’t just condone it, he participated in it.

Ahaz was having trouble out of Israel and Syria so he made a deal with Tiglath-pileser of Assyria. He goes up to Damascus to meet with the Assyrian king and while he is there, he sees a pagan altar that he likes. He sends a model to one of his priest and has him build the same altar. Then he removed the old bronze altar from its place in front of the Temple and puts his pagan altar in its place. He proceeded to remove everything that had to do with atonement. It was his way of saying, we don’t need a Savior, we don’t need atonement, we don’t need Jesus. Ahaz was trying to make his world politically correct.

No wonder Micah said that Judah’s leaders loved evil rather than good. Good leaders can discern between good and evil. Micah indictment is not that they didn’t know the difference but that they gave preference to evil. We have leaders today who talk about equality and justice but for who? Are they talking about the unborn? Of course not, the unborn are not human. Yeah, right, a first grader knows that the baby in the mother’s womb is human.

Have you ever noticed how liberal change the terminology to cover their evil tracks. They do no refer to the baby as a baby…they call the baby a ‘fetus’ [latin for offspring]. Over the years they have associated fetus with tissue. Thus their argument is that it is not a baby, it is a fetus and fetus is Latin for tissue, so the unborn baby is just a glob of tissue. I’ll be frankly honest with you: I do not know how any intelligent person can buy into this liberal garbage. Of course the liberal media gets to pick the terms that are used in reference to those who defend the rights of the baby…they are called “Anti-abortion”. Why don’t they refer to us as Pro-life? The baby killers are referred to as “Pro-choice” but whose choice. The father has no choice, the grandparents have no choice and the baby has no choice. Have you ever seen a happy abortion clinic? I can take you to the maturity ward at Huntsville Hospital where babies are being born and I can show you happiness but there is no happiness at an abortion clinic. The place reeks with death. It is not a great deal of comfort to have a president has absolutely no regard for the unborn. It seems that our leaders love evil more than good.

SECONDLY

LEADERS ARE SUPPOSE TO CARE ABOUT PEOPLE

You skin my people alive and tear the flesh from their bones. 3 Yes, you eat my people’s flesh, strip off their skin and break their bones. You chop them up like meat for the cooking pot….You rulers make decisions based on bribes; you priests teach God’s laws only for a price; you prophets won’t prophesy unless you are paid. Yet all of you claim to depend on the Lord. “No harm can come to us,” you say, “for the Lord is here among us.”
12 Because of you, Mount Zion will be plowed like an open field; Jerusalem will be reduced to ruins! A thicket will grow on the heights where the Temple now stands.

These leaders lost their faith [walk with God] but they never lost their religion. Micah told them in so many words, your religion is not going to help you. You are sowing an evil harvest and you are going to reap.

Let me ask you a question: we are all common citizens and as such, do you know anyone is Washington who really cares about you? I can honestly say that I do not know a soul in D.C. that I could relate to, someone that really understands where we are coming from in the daily grind. We should be able to trust them to look out for our interest but can we? What did they do with the Social Security Trust Fund?

Micah said, “Our leaders are skinning us alive” [3:2]. He said they are tearing the flesh from the bones, chopping up the meat and throwing it into the pot. Whenever some one skins something, separates the bones and throws the meat into a pot, it means they are having dinner. Micah said, “Your politicals are sold to evil and instead of caring about you that are having you for lunch.” Instead of worrying about your welfare they are profiting from your misfortune.

Let me ask another question: Are you better off now than you were four years ago? I already know the answer. We are not better off: gas and groceries have doubled and our salaries have not. We have much less than we had four years ago. The top eight in congress are worth more than 100 million dollars. Nancy Pelosi and John Kerry are among the top 8 which is made up of 5 democrats and 3 republicans. In the top 12 there are 9 democrats and 3 republicans. Even the liberal New York Times reported that between 2004-2010 that Congress had a net gain in total worth of 16% while the richest of Americans held steady while the general population declined 8%. Do you think Richard Shelby, Jeff Sessions and Robert Aderholt are losing sleep because you and I are seeing an unparralled decline in our net worth. Can you call them and talk about it? No, they are not accessable to the general public, only lobbyist who have the money to bribe them. It is a sad, sad state of affairs. Our leaders have little skill and no intergity.

How do politicans continue to get fatter while we get leaner–they are having us for lunch.  They are skinning us alive. They are profiting at our expense–this is the way big government works. What kind of a leader would I be, if I profited at your expense? Our Congress practices the golden rule, “He that hath the gold makes the rules.” Our leaders are suppose to be shepherds not vultures pecking at our flesh. We have a crisis of leadership in America because our leaders either don’t know right from wrong or else favor evil over good and they do not care about us; they care only for themselves.

THIRD AND FINAL POINT

LEADERS ARE SUPPOSE TO LEAD–IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION

This is what the Lord says: “You false prophets are leading my people astray! You promise peace for those who give you food, but you declare war on those who refuse to feed you. [Micah 3:5]

The leaders were leading in Micah’s day but in the wrong direction…”You false prophets are leading my people astray.” [Micah 3:5] Judah had only five good kings and Micah would live to see one of the five. Hezekiah was 25 years old when he became king and he did not waste time. His father had completely corrupted the Temple and Yahweh worship. Hezekiah went straight to work on cleansing the temple, restoring the bronze altar and all the other things that his wicked daddy had taken out. Hezekiah did not let up until he had things restored like they were in the time of David. He had the priest and levites working, morning and evening sacrifice, Passover, and all the other feast days.

Hezekiah literally lead Judah into a revival by simply restoring worship. Folks, perhaps that is the key to revival, restoring worship. One of the things Hezekiah restored was the singing. After the first Passover celebration, there was joy in all of  Jerusalem. Hezekiah lead them in obedience and the joy is a by product of obedience.

I believe in was Vance Haver that said, “We ought to just show up at the house of God and pretend we are having revival…who knows if we all show up it could happen.” I think our folks have system where they call each other because we are never over 50% in attendance. It is a mystery. How is it that we never all show up at the same time? I believe in 90% showed up we would have revival.

CONCLUSION

This is what the Lord says: “You false prophets are leading my people astray! You promise peace for those who give you food, but you declare war on those who refuse to feed you.   6 Now the night will close around you, cutting off all your visions. Darkness will cover you, putting an end to your predictions. The sun will set for you prophets, and your day will come to an end. ” [Micah 3:5-6]

Micah told the false prophets that their sun was setting; they were in the twilight of their career and didn’t know it. Truth is eternal but evil and wickedness have a life span, they days are numbered.

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