November 9, 2021
“Here is what the Lord says in regard to the prophets who cause my people to go astray, who cry, ‘Peace’ as soon as they are given food to eat but prepare war...”
“Here is what the Lord says in regard to the prophets who cause my people to go astray, who cry, ‘Peace’ as soon as they are given food to eat but prepare war against anyone who fails to put something into their mouths; ‘Therefore you will have night, not vision, darkness and not divination; the sun will go down on the prophets, over them the day will be black.’” Micah 3:5-6
When I was 20 years old, I humbled myself before the Lord. With my whole heart, I confessed my sin to God and professed that I believe Jesus is the Messiah. I told Him I believe Jesus rose from the dead and is alive, offering salvation to all who would turn from their sin and follow Him. At that moment, I received salvation by God’s grace.
In addition to that prayer of salvation, I also asked the Lord to teach me what it means to be a disciple, or “disciplined follower” of Him. Shortly afterward, someone handed me a copy of the New Testament. At the time, I figured Christians believed the New Testament, and the Jews believed the TANAKH (Old Testament). Thus, I began my early journey of discipleship, reading the New Testament and disregarding the Old. But before that “New Testament only” philosophy took deep roots, the Lord “hid” me, as it were, by placing me in a great Bible study group that stressed reading the entire Bible, not just the New Testament. Over time, I grew in Scriptural knowledge to the point where I could discern between sound doctrinal teaching and destructive/heretical teachings present among the church-at-large.
What if I had found myself, as a young believer, in a group of heretics - men who appeared to teach God’s Word, but in fact, were perverting the truth for their own profit? This was the case with Israel at the time of Micah. Israel was full of “for-profit” prophets & priests.
Eventually, for the good of His Kingdom, the Lord afflicted Israel, first by war with Assyria and later by the Babylonians and eventually the Romans. These “afflictions’ caused them to be scattered throughout the nations. God was rebuking them for their sin. But for redemptive reasons, He also acted as a “gang-buster,” protecting the greater community from centralized heretical teaching.
The reason there is a “New Testament” and an “Old Testament,” per se, is because God silenced significant prophetic vision among Israel for 400 years. This was to “cleanse the palate,” so to speak. Micah (and other righteous prophets) prophesied this would happen.
When we recognize the reason for the “silence” or “black-out” period, we view the Old & New Testaments from a different perspective. Put into perspective, the Bible, in its entirety, is one completely connected and continuous message. And what is that message? It is the story of the Messiah, the redeemer of creation from before creation (Micah 5:2; Revelation 13:8), continuing throughout history (1 Corinthians 10:3-4) and extending into eternity (Revelation 11:15). (See also: John 3:16-17)