Micah 2:11 – If a man should go about and utter wind and lies, saying, “I will preach to you of wine and strong drink,” he would be the preacher for this people!
In the middle of Micah’s rebuke of Israel, he exposes something in the hearts of the people that is a valuable lesson for us all. He describes how the people would eagerly follow anyone who preaches to them prosperity, happiness, and freedom to sin before God. They would willingly sacrifice following God and hearing truth for pleasant lies.
The question that we ought to ask ourselves is whether we would prefer a hard truth to an easy fiction. Would you rather hear what is really happening to your soul, or would you prefer to be told that everything is OK? No one who is intelligent would want their physician to lie to them, telling them everything is ok if it was not. Instead, when we go to the doctor, we want him to tell us the truth, painful as it may be, so that we can then respond to it with action.
Micah’s indictment of the people of Israel is not lost on our generation. Many churches are filled with people who would prefer not to hear hard truth, but would rather gather for themselves teachers to say what they want to hear. Paul also wrote to Timothy about such people in . . .
2 Timothy 4:3-4 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.
So, clearly, the Lord has always known that there will be people who pretend to his worship, but who only desire to hear from him the things that are easy. They will gladly hear about grace, mercy, and love; but they want to hear nothing about holiness, the glory of God, justice, wrath, or sin.
If you catch yourself hearing messages from God’s word, and wanting to skip them to something easier, watch out. Beware being the person who complains that the Bible sounds too negative. It could be that you have fallen prey to the sickness of the people of both Micah’s and Paul’s days. It could be that you are preferring a friendly fiction to the truth about your own soul.
Let us devote ourselves to hearing the word of God in all truth. Let us never settle for the easy when the hard truth is there too. Let us learn as much about God’s wrath as about his love. Let us be open to hear both where we have done well and where we have failed. Let us make it a point to hear the whole counsel of God as given in his holy word, and let us receive nothing less than the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
Dear Lord, I recognize that the human heart tends to shy away from hearing what is true in your word. I know that it is easy to hear compliments, and it is very difficult to hear criticism. However, I pray that you will lead me to your truth in your word, whether it be easy or hard. Help me to speak your truth to others, in love, for the glory of your name. Help me to hear your truth in your word and from others who have studied your word so that I might better honor you. I do not want my ears to be tickled. I do not want to follow any teacher preaching a false and deadly prosperity gospel. Instead, I want to hear your revealed truth, which is far better than any fanciful fiction.