Recognising a True Leader, Priest and Prophet

Her leaders judge for a bribe,
her priests teach for a price,
and her prophets tell fortunes for money.
Yet they look for the Lord’s support and say,
“Is not the Lord among us?
No disaster will come upon us.”
Micah 3:11 (NIV)

In Micah’s day, the leaders, priests and prophets were all corrupt for money. They neglected justice, taught for a price and spoke only good news that people wanted to hear.

As I was reading this, it reminded me so much of what is happening today in our society and church. Let me break it down and may we learn from their example.

Leaders judge for a bribe.

Leaders do what’s best for themselves to get more money. In fact, they pander to the rich who can give them more money. The poor is often ignored as they can’t give anything to them. In the Bible, leaders are often compared to shepherds who should love and take care of their flock. We have much to learn from Jesus, the True shepherd, who died for His flock.

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”

John 10:11

Priests/pastors teach for a price. 

I wonder how many of our pastors would continue if they were no longer paid. I think many would quit immediately. They see it as a normal job and not a calling.

I’m also disappointed by many Bible teachers who hold conferences and seminars but charge exorbitant fees. I agree that their messages and talks would be useful but if you have a message from God that’s worth sharing, why limit it to those who can pay? Why not give it away free of charge?

This is due to man’s greed. There is a lack of faith in preachers who cannot trust God to provide for their needs. You are only a steward of God’s message. That is one reason I write this blog – to share God’s word faithfully and freely. I’ve written about this more extensively in another post.

Prophets tell fortunes for money.

I’ve noticed an unhealthy obsession with hearing the latest Word from God or the hottest news from Heaven. Many people want a direct word from a prophet to speak to them as evidenced by the multitudes who line up to be prayed over. This is good but cannot be our main source of spiritual feeding. The Bible is our definite Word from God.

Prophecy has devolved somewhat into a form of crystal ball gazing or palm-reading where your fortunes and future are told. And usually, the prophecies are generic and people-pleasing.

In contrast, most prophesy I read in the Bible are rebuking the people for their sins! Where has this gone to? I believe many prophecies are not real and “bad news” is avoided. Congregations would be hesitant to invite a “bad news” prophet back.

Are we like King Ahab who hated “bad news” prophecies even though he knew they were true?

The king of Israel answered Jehoshaphat, “There is still one prophet through whom we can inquire of the Lord, but I hate him because he never prophesies anything good about me, but always bad. He is Micaiah son of Imlah.”

1 Kings 22:8

The truth always hurts but it always heals if we let it sink deep into our soul. The Word of God must be spoken against sin and this is sorely lacking today in our sinful society.

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