"..Yet in My Flesh I Will See GOD" [Job. 19.26]

Monday, August 30, 2010

Micah: Justice and Judgment

Micah spoke with the leaders and rulers of Israel (Micah 3.1). Some versions render it both “leaders” but leaders and rulers is interesting. Even in churches today, there are leaders and rulers.

Church leaders, like pastors, are supposed to lead the church. God-called and God-anointed leaders in the bible led God’s people. God talked to them, not to the people. The people were supposed to obey them to the letter. They were not supposed to question or dictate to them. Whenever people rebelled against God’s leaders God saw it as rebellion against Him.

But church leaders today are often mere dummies because there are rulers in church who really call the shots. These are influential and moneyed people who donate and give big tithes and offerings. When they don’t get their way in church they threaten the church leadership with withdrawal of support. And pastors fear them more than they fear God and submit to their every whim.

But one day, after they discover the present Move of God in their lives, rulers “will rule with justice” once their “king (pastor) reigns in righteousness” (Isa.32). When the church becomes God’s Flesh on earth.

Anyway, back to Micah, these leaders and rulers knew nothing about God’s justice. It’s garbage to be in leadership and yet know nothing about God’s justice. And many church leaders—pastors and their boards—are often ignorant of this.

You Skin My People Alive

When leaders do not know God’s justice, they skin God’s people alive (Micah 3.2). In fact, it’s impossible to work for God without knowing God’s justice—and it’s impossible to get saved, too. Jesus said he was sent by God, first of all, to “proclaim justice to the nations” (Matt. 12). The Gospel is not just Good News of salvation; it is equally Good News about God’s justice. And if you keep preaching the Good News without bringing both God’s salvation and justice, you “skin my people alive.” This preaching preaches rebellion.

No wonder God often sees His people skinned from head to feet. “From your feet to head there is no soundness. Only open sores, wounds, and welts, 
uncleaned and unbandaged, not even soothed with oil,” (Isa.1.6).

God’s Justice

God’s justice is vital to being God’s flesh on earth. It’s knowing good and evil. “Should you not know and hate evil and love good?” It’s about right and wrong. More precisely, it’s knowing and doing what God wants done in life and in the church. If you can’t tell what’s right from wrong, how can you preach salvation? And how can you get saved?

Just to give you an example, how can you preach on holiness and live in sin? Or, how can you preach on God’s plan and will if you’re denominational? God’s plan and will, said Jesus in John 17, is for all true believers to be completely united. Denominations have been preventing this from happening. Denominationalism is rebellion against God. Their differing doctrines keep the body dismembered.

Thus, if you preach about God’s will and plan and are denominational, you don’t know right from wrong. You do not preach God’s justice. You skin His people alive.

God’s Justice Means Judging

God’s justice means we judge—judge rightly between right and wrong, good and evil. If we don’t judge correctly we don’t have God’s justice. Without God’s justice and judgment the church is powerless and useless, like tasteless salt thrown on the street and walked over by people. 

Some will quip that we should not judge so as not to be judged. They miss what Jesus was saying here. He said we should not judge when we ourselves are guilty of sin. We first get rid of sin from our lives (taking out the plank of wood from our eyes), and then judge correctly (taking out the speck of dust from our brother’s eye).

“Her leaders judge for a bribe,” (Micah 3.11). This is what happens when influential rulers in church rule the leaders and the leaders refuse to judge right from wrong. When they preach they judge in favor of the rulers—they dread offending them because they might withdraw their financial support, or leave the church. They judge for a bribe.

You see that? If you don’t judge correctly, you are guilty of spiritual bribery in God’s eyes. Not only that, people in church bite each other. They tear each other’s skin, tear flesh from each other’s bones and break them, chop each other and eat each other (v.2-3).

Powerless Prayers, Preaching Divination

Lacking God’s justice also results to a powerless prayer life. No matter if your church do overnight or non-stop prayer meetings and wail and weep and beat their breasts, no answer will be given. “God will not answer them” (v.4).

Moreover, preaching will become mere divination (v.6). Imagine feeding your congregation each Sunday with nothing but divination. No wonder they chop and eat each other’s flesh.

When you claim to work for God, you cannot do away with God’s justice and judgment. You must judge correctly. We’ve got to put a stop to the proliferation of powerless churches.