Sunday School Material 7-12-15: No Tolerance for Corrupt Officials

(Micah 3:5-12; 7/12/15)

Introduction:A key idea in today’s Sunday School material is that God will punish the false prophets and those who disobey His will. Prayerfully, we will be challenged to live by God’s will, so we can be blessed.

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Read Micah 3:5-7

I. Corrupt Messengers. The Lord speaks. The prophets are said to lead God’s people astray. In our Sunday School material they talk about peace, when they get paid. And they talk about war, when they don’t get paid. Darkness is on the way.

Applications –

- When the Lord speaks. Notice in vs. 5 that the Lord speaks. Whenever the Lord speaks, especially the people of God should listen and obey.

First, the best source of hearing what God is saying is to prayerfully study God’s word – the Bible. Pastors, wise Christian counsel, and other sources are good, as long as they don’t contradict what the Bible teaches.

Second, we are called to hear and obey the word of God. Knowing without obeying leads to extra punishment for not obeying. Let’s work on hearing and obeying God’s will for our lives.

- Motives. Notice in vs. 5 that the Prophets’ motives were wrong. First, no believer should simply say whatever the people want to hear about God, in exchange for money, and declare that this is what God wants to be declared.

We should always share what we believe to be God’s will to be shared. What the people request is advisory. What we believe God wants us to share is authoritative.

Second, even though the people of God should take care of the man/woman of God, the man/woman of God should stay true to God’s agenda and trust Him for provision.

We should never compromise on God’s agenda for the sake of anything that people can offer. Let’s work on staying true to God’s message and motives.

- Divine silence. Notice in vss. 6-7 that the promised punishment will be divine silence. It is difficult for those who have always been able to go to church and listen to Christian programming on the radio and television to really understand the darkness of divine silence.

Especially as American believers, it is difficult for us to image no Bibles to read; no religious broadcasts on radio, television, or internet; no church services; and no assembly of the saints. Let’s work on being obedient to God, so we don’t have to experience divine silence.

Read Micah 3:8-12

II. Courageous Messenger. Micah notes his allegiance to God and His will. In our Sunday School material Micah talks about the sin of God’s people, especially the sins of the leaders. Great destruction is on the way.

Applications –

- Following God, not just the crowd. Notice in vs. 8 that Micah is pictured as one who followed God, instead of following the crowd of false prophets. Every believer is called to follow God’s will for his/her life, instead of simply doing what everyone else is doing.

We should remember that it is a broad way to destruction, but a straight and narrow way to God’s will. Thus, we should be suspicious when we are in absolute agreement with what everyone else is saying in the world. Let’s make sure we are committed to following God’s will, instead of simply following the crowd.

- God’s agenda. Notice in vs. 8 that when Micah followed God’s will, it was God’s will to preach about the sins of the people. There are too many today who think that preaching about sin is too harsh and lacks the encouragement that people need.

However, whenever there is consistent encouraging and positive messages with no mention of the sins of the people, God is not pleased.

When over half of the church robs God of His time, talent, treasure, and even praise, the amount of encouraging and positive messages will be tremendously lessened.

Encouragement and positive messages are for those who are at least showing signs of trying to live by God’s will. Let’s work on sharing what God wants shared, in spite of what people want us to share.

- Leadership issues. Notice in vss. 9-11 that all leaders are not good. In fact, even among the religious leaders there are those who live in sin.

First, we should not make any human being our little god. We have all sinned and fallen short of God’s glory. Only God is worthy of unconditional loyalty.

Second, if God has blessed you with the privilege to serve as a leader (i.e., one who influences others) then you should do it to the best of your ability. Serve as if God is watching all that you say and do.

Serve as if you will have to give an accounting to God. Incidentally, God is watching and we will have to give an account.

Third, if you are not a leader, pray especially for those who give leadership in your life. Strive to cooperate with God’s work through them.

Let’s work on avoiding the sin of putting too much confidence in human leaders, being the best leaders that we can be, and praying for those who give leadership in our lives.

- Punishment of sin. Notice in vs. 12 of our Sunday School material that sin leads to great punishment. Especially as leaders, we should never think that sin is no big deal. God punishes sin. It is bad enough that each of us have to give an account of our individual sins.

But it is even worse, when we are the cause of others being punished by the Lord. Let’s live according to God’s will, so we can experience His blessings, instead of being punished for our disobedience.

Conclusion: Let’s work on obeying God’s will, so we can be blessed. God has so much for those who obey Him.

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