The sins of the leaders

Micah 2.6 - 3.12

This note was originally published on Tuesday 23 May 2017.

Hear this, you leaders of Jacob, you rulers of Israel, who despise justice.


Call to mind the people you lead – we all lead at work, by example, through friendship – give thanks for them, and ask God to bless them.


Micah 2.6 - 3.12


Who’s the best, most inspiring leader you’ve ever had? Mine inspired, encouraged and challenged me all at the same time.

Israel’s leaders were quite spectacularly bad. They were false prophets (2.6, 2.11, 3.5), violent (3.10), abusive (3.2-3), corrupt (3.11) and deceitful (3.9) thieves (2.8). Micah’s disgust is evident; his job was to challenge the bad leaders, to declare their sin (3.8).

In the middle of the condemnation of Israel’s leaders comes a little taster of what God’s leadership is like (2.12-13). Micah grew up in the open countryside, so it’s not surprising that his picture of leadership comes from there: a shepherd with sheep in a sheepfold.

I’m no farmer, but I like the sound of the safety and security of a sheepfold. But this only works with good shepherds. Bad shepherds, like the leaders in Israel, can use it to trap people and get want they want from them.

Instead, God, the ultimate good shepherd leads by gathering his people together (2.12) so he can open the way and lead them out (2.13). Whether we are feeding in the field or marching out, God is with us.


Picture again the people you lead. What part of Micah’s challenge do you need to hear? What one thing can you do to be more like God in the way you lead others?