Prophets for Hire

Adam Stout

READ : Micah 3:5-12

Its heads give judgment for a bribe; its priests teach for a price; its prophets practice divination for money. (v. 11)

The judges and religious leaders in Micah’s time were corrupt. They were getting chummy with a false god named Mammon, the god of riches. For the love of this god, judges traded fair judgment for bribes. Priests taught a watered-down word. Prophets prophesied only for those who paid. All this was done in the name of the Lord (v. 11b).

As a pastor, I can relate. Probably more than I realize, I am tempted to “teach for a price” and tell people what they want to hear. After all, the congregation pays my rent! But if I do that, I miss out big time. I will still feel empty inside, even as I kick up my feet on a new recliner and watch my plasma TV.

Micah spoke out against Israel’s sin. He probably lost a lot of sponsors due to his unwavering call to repentance. However, he was “filled with power, with the Spirit of the Lord” (v. 8). This is the reward Micah got: the presence and power of God’s Spirit.

God promises his presence when we follow his son Jesus. And Jesus put it simply: “You cannot serve God and money” (Luke 16:13). Is there any part of your life in which you have “sold out”? If so, we serve a God who specializes in redeeming broken people. We are given a chance to know God’s presence and power today.

PRAYER

Lord, help us to realize that your presence is greater than anything money can buy.