The Book of Micah is prophesy of judgement for various wrongs. In Chapter Two, Micah says:
Woe to them that devise iniquity, and work evil upon their beds!
In one of my Bibles (The Matthew Henry Study Bible, Henderson Publishers), the chapter heading is “Wicked Deeds of the Rich.” Hummmmmm. Reading the chapter through, I don’t necessarily see the iniquities spoken of as devised by the rich. Why has this been added as a chapter heading? This reminds me of Jaro, who told me to only read the King James Version Bible, and only one without chapter headings. Jaro is quite a character. I met him in Dallas, Texas, a few years ago during the time when I “went into the Highways,” working for a long-haul flatbed trucking company out of Tulsa, Oklahoma. I was “stuck” in Dallas awaiting a load. Jaro was living in his car and, at the moment, staying in a truck stop. He said his mission was to bring truth to various people in ministry. He knew to whom he was being sent, and was awaiting the time to approach the current “assignment.” We talked for quite a while on Saturday about various things. I wasn’t quite sure why I had been brought together with him, as it seemed he didn’t exactly have ears to ear, but rather only a mouth to speak. He confessed he didn’t know he was going to meet me, so didn’t exactly know what message I should receive from him. He did say that, at first, he thought perhaps I was a person like himself; as he was the only real Christian he’d encountered. Part of our conversation was him baiting me with questions, refuting my offerings, and telling me his interpretation of the Bible. In the course our talks, I listened and came to understand I’d not really be giving him anything, so the journalist in me simply interviewed him, allowing him to get into his staunch beliefs. Eventually we parted company, cordially, though he gave me some things that I must do in order to achieve salvation. Yeah, well, one does meet a lot of interesting people along the road.
It does seem, however, that Jaro was correct on one point: don’t read the chapter headings. It’s that the chapter headings are misleading. Chapter headings seem to be subjective interpretations of the editor/publisher of a particular Bible. It’s the same way with the various comments that are often included. While the comments in this Bible are based on Matthew Henry Commentary, they are still edited for space. And just because Matthew Henry is from an earlier age, doesn’t mean he had it all correct, either.
In another Bible, the Book of Micah is introduced with a paragraph on the themes found in Micah. It says that Micah had a strong sense of the need for justice in society, courts, in the marketplace, and in political leadership dealing responsibly with power and authority. The bad times that had befallen Israel were a result of iniquities such as forsaking of justice. This seems like a fair viewpoint, too. Later in the introduction the words “social justice” are mentioned. Social Justice. When I hear social justice I think of all the preaching done over the last several years on the “Social Gospel.” Bringing justice to our world, our lives, is the theme of many churches in America these days. It coalesces nicely with “redistribution of wealth” that is being pressed upon us from some in leadership today. When we combine this thought process with the chapter headings that tell us that the rich are wicked, it leads up to a “Robin Hood” mentality. The rich are evil. Let us take from the rich.
What Micah cried against was iniquity PERIOD. He didn’t necessarily have a problem with the rich, it was with those who devise wicked schemes to take property away from people. Yes, some rich do this. Some in government have done this. Russia under Stalin. Germany under Hitler. Some are still doing this today. Some under the banner of social justice and others under the banner of religion. It is not social justice for a poor man to take a rich man’s car; it is theft, iniquity. If we applied social justice to our educational system, we would reduce an “A” earned by one student to a “B” so that a failing student can receive a passing grade that he/she didn’t earn. Is this what we’d call “Just”? No, that is iniquity.
And that’s Micah’s point. Iniquity was so entrenched that G-d allowed judgement to befall Israel.
Lord have mercy upon America.
Lord Bless, Keep, Shine upon y’all. . .