READING: Micah 1-4
“Woe to those who plan iniquity, . . .”
I probably don’t think enough about the depth of wickedness in the human heart. The prophet Micah spoke against wealthy leaders who were abusing the poor among them, and his words speak volumes about their hearts. Their choice to sin was not simply their response to an unexpected, tremendous power of temptation that overwhelmed them. Theirs was not an impulsive, hasty reaction toward others who made them angry or who hurt a friend. Rather, the scriptures tell us that they planned iniquity and plotted evil “on their beds” (Mic. 2:1). That is, even before they got out of bed they were considering ways to harm others by seizing their field and their homes. As morning broke, and in the increasing light of day, they apparently were carrying out their wicked deeds without regard for hiding their sin. Wickedness thus consumed them in the day and during the night—and It says a lot when one lies down at night and awakens the next morning with sin on his mind.
Also striking is the reason given for their actions. These folks abused the poor “because it [was] in their power to do it” (Mic. 2:1). Simply because they could, they “defraud[ed] people of their homes, they rob[bed] them of their inheritance” (Mic. 2:2). Seemingly, those who had the most wanted even more, and they had no concerns about taking from the weaker among them. They had the might and the opportunity to get whatever they wanted, so they felt it right to do so.
I pray that I would never follow that same pattern, but I am left with some practical application questions:
- Do I ever contemplate sin before I even awaken in the morning?
- Am I ever so comfortable with my sin that I publicly march into disobedience?
- Do I ever use the power of my position to get what I want?
- Do I ever see myself as better than others simply because I have more than they do?
- Might I ever find myself abusing the poor?
May the threat of God’s woe upon me cause me to repent any time I even lean in a direction that my heart should not go.
- Answer the above questions for yourself. Confess and repent as needed.
- Pray for the weak among your church and your community – and for any rich who might look down on them.
PRAYER: “God, help me never to plan iniquity in my heart. Help me. Please.”