Micah had the same experience as the other prophets who came before him, and those who followed him. The people did not want to hear what he had to say.
People rarely want to be told of judgement, they seldom want to be warned of what is happening. They prefer not that someone interprets the events unfolding on an international scale and show that God is intervening in men’s affairs.
Note this as well: Often those who can predict prophecy and interpret, who would bring a message from the Lord, find that it is like pulling teeth to get people to listen to warnings. Accordingly Micah finds it necessary to use a dramatic means of conveying his message.
He goes around Jerusalem weeping and wailing, barefoot and partially clothed. He howls like a Jackal and moans like an owl. It must have been exciting to have Micah around!
I have a very good friend in a Third World country, a Rhodes Scholar, an absolutely brilliant man. He was the Pastor of the largest Church of his denomination. I remember he once debated a leading Political figure on National Television on the issue of legalized lotteries and gambling. He totally routed him. It was a national humiliation for that dignitary.
The young Pastor friend was particularly concerned that the people of his homeland were not listening to the Word of the Lord. As long as he told them what they wanted to hear, it was great. As long as he preached that all was good and bright, that they would be prosperous and peaceful, that was super.
But the young Pastor was convinced that things were bad in his country and something needed to be done about it. People needed to be brought to repentance and take God seriously.
He felt as if he had been hammering his head against a brick wall. So one day he came into church late for the Sunday morning service, to get the people’s attention. He came in the back door instead of the front. That also aroused their attention. Instead of wearing his pulpit gown, he dressed himself in sackcloth and ashes. Instead of carrying a Bible he carried a bell. He came in ringing his bell, dressed in sackcloth and ashes.
As a result they fired him as their pastor and put him in a home for the mentally unstable. One day I talked to him and asked, “Did you have a nervous breakdown?” “No” he said. “They decided that was what what I had, but in actual fact I was trying hard to get their attention. I got it,” he went on “and when they gave me their full attention, they locked me up. They didn’t want to know.”
Such has always been the lot of the prophet. The person who tells the people what is really happening in the world is not always welcome. When a prophet comes with a hard message, he is bound to be unpopular.
A prophet is one who warns of God’s impending wrath. If people refuse to heed the message, if they refuse to repent, if they remain complacent, then the judgement eventually will fall.
By Stuart Briscoe