Thursday after Judica
Scripture: Micah 3:9-12 (NKJV)
9 Now hear this, you heads of the house of Jacob and rulers of the house of Israel, who abhor justice and pervert all equity,
10 Who build up Zion with bloodshed and Jerusalem with iniquity:
11 Her heads judge for a bribe, her priests teach for pay, and her prophets divine for money. Yet they lean on the Lord, and say, “Is not the Lord among us? No harm can come upon us.”
12 Therefore because of you Zion shall be plowed like a field, Jerusalem shall become heaps of ruins, and the mountain of the temple like the bare hills of the forest.
Our reading for today has Micah proclaiming what God has given him to speak regarding faithlessness of Israel’s leaders and the destruction of Jerusalem. With another “Hear this” he announces to the wicked leaders the punishment God has in store for their crimes of cruel extortion, slave labor, injustice, bribery, and witchcraft, and then claimed immunity for themselves on the grounds that they were God’s people. Sadly, they never reflected that the Lord demands sanctification of life and punishes sin.
Micah proclaims because of their sins, and their lack of repentance, Jerusalem would be laid in ruins. The palace grounds on Mount Zion would become tillable soil, the rest of the city a pile of broken stones, the height on which the temple stood like the hills of a forest covered with brush.
Some church leaders today have built up great fortunes by exploiting God’s people, establishing fine buildings and institutions for the benefit of self-recognition. Sadly it is accomplished at the cost of the salvation for the public. Too often only a social gospel of love is proclaimed, and a clear lack of God’s Law that challenges the immoral lifestyles practiced today. As a result, the people’s hearts and souls are never convicted of sinfulness, nor see the need of receiving the forgiveness of sins through the means of grace.
Now especially there is a need to have the Word of God proclaimed in its truth and purity, and the sacraments administered according to Christ’s institution.
Let us pray: Grant that I Thy Passion view with repentant grieving nor Thee crucify anew by unholy living. How could I refuse to shun every sinful pleasure since for me God’s only Son suffered without measure? Amen. (TLH 140, vs. 4)