“Do not preach, thus they preach. One should not preach of such things. Disgrace will not overtake us.”
Think about that verse. Let me read it one more time. “Do not preach, thus they preach. One should not preach of such things. Disgrace will not overtake us.” So this is the prophet Micah talking about people who are telling him not to preach what he’s preaching. Who were saying one should not preach of such things like you’re saying. Disgrace will not overtake us. In other words, judgment is not coming to us, so don’t preach about these things. And who’s saying that? It’s other prophets who are preaching.
The good news of the gospel becomes good news in light of the bad news of sin and judgment.
So see the picture here. In this simple verse, Micah 2:6, we see a picture of both true prophets and false prophets. True prophets who are preaching the word of God. In this case, Micah who is proclaiming the coming judgment of God and all of its seriousness. And then at the same time, you have false prophets and people who are saying to Micah, “Stop saying these things. We don’t want to hear them. Don’t give us bad news about disgrace overtaking us, about judgment coming to us. We want to hear good news.” Could it be that the same picture in Micah 2:6 is alive and well in our culture today and among God’s people today?
Don’t preach about judgment. And I think about a conversation like this last week. Somebody saying, “I just don’t want to hear how bad I am. I just want to hear good news. I just want to hear uplifting news. I don’t want to hear that I’m going to experience judgment for wrong things I’ve done.” This is commonplace, not just among people in the world, but people in the church from whom we just want to hear uplifting messages and yes, yes, let’s be sure. Ultimately, the gospel at the center of God’s word is good news. It’s the greatest news in the world, but it’s good news because it’s preceded by bad news that we deserve death and judgment for our sins and that hell is a reality. How often do we talk about hell?
Today in our lives as of Jesus in the church, how often do we talk about hell? Jesus talked about it a lot. We’re seeing in these Old Testament prophets over and over and over again, warnings of coming judgment. Apparently this is something we’re supposed to talk about even though it will never be popular to talk about. God help all of us as followers of Jesus to faithfully proclaim your word in all of its fullness. God please help us to be faithful to proclaim the bad news and the good news. Help us to proclaim the seriousness of sin and the wonder of mercy and your love and your grace.
God help us not to gloss over the seriousness of sin. The reality of coming judgment, the eternality of hell. God help us not to gloss over these things, help us to share these things, to speak about these things. And at the same time to speak about your grace and your love and your mercy that saves us from judgment. That saves us from hell. That draws us into relationship with you, where we experience life and the hope that we have a day when there will be no more sin and no more sorrow and no more suffering.
Yes, we praise you for the good news of the gospel that totally overcomes the bad news of our sin and the judgment we deserve. So God, we pray you’d help us faithfully proclaim it all. And that you would keep us from giving in to the temptation to proclaim only that, which we like from your word or we in some way prefer from your word or that, which is most popular from your word. God help us to proclaim it all. Keep us from being false prophets, from listening to false prophets. Help us to hear and believe and obey and proclaim all of your word, in Jesus name we pray. Amen.
Throughout the fall, we are following the McLean Bible Church Reading Plan. You can access the reading plan here.