Today’s Bible reading* gives God’s people a few warnings about false teachers and false prophets.
If a man comes and utters empty lies —
“I will preach to you about wine and beer” —
he would be just the preacher for this people!
Micah 2:11 (CSB)
Micah judges these false prophets of his day,
This is what the Lord says concerning the prophets who lead my people astray,
who proclaim peace when they have food to sink their teeth into but declare war against the one who puts nothing in their mouths.
Therefore, it will be night for you — without visions;
it will grow dark for you — without divination.
The sun will set on these prophets, and the daylight will turn black over them.
Then the seers will be ashamed and the diviners disappointed.
They will all cover their mouths because there will be no answer from God.
Micah 5:3-7 (CSB)
This sounds similar to what Paul says, “For the time will come when people will not tolerate sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, will multiply teachers for themselves because they have an itch to hear what they want to hear. They will turn away from hearing the truth and will turn aside to myths. 2 Timothy 4:3–4 (CSB)
Further, Paul indicts the church at Corinth in 2 Corinthians 11:4, “For if a person comes and preaches another Jesus, whom we did not preach, or you receive a different spirit, which you had not received, or a different gospel, which you had not accepted, you put up with it splendidly! 2 Corinthians 11:4 (CSB)
God’s people tend to easily settle for false teachers and false prophets. Paul judges the false teacher of his day,
I am amazed that you are so quickly turning away from him who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— not that there is another gospel, but there are some who are troubling you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, a curse be on him! As we have said before, I now say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, a curse be on him!
Galatians 1:6–9 (CSB)
From Micah’s day to Paul’s day to our day, we need to be aware that not everyone who teaches, writes, or preaches is a true prophet. And all of us who what to be teachers, writers, or prophets, James warns us that God holds these people to a higher standard because they claim to speak for God. Not many should become teachers, my brothers, because you know that we will receive a stricter judgment. James 3:1 (CSB)
Each of us should depend on God for what we say and do.
Just as each one has received a gift, use it to serve others, as good stewards of the varied grace of God. If anyone speaks, let it be as one who speaks God’s words; if anyone serves, let it be from the strength God provides, so that God may be glorified through Jesus Christ in everything. To him be the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen.
1 Peter 4:10–11 (CSB)
* Chapters covered in today’s reading: