"And I said, Hear you heads of Jacob and rulers of the house of Israel! Is it not for you to know justice - you who hate the good and love the evil, who tear the skin from off my people, and their flesh from off their bones, who eat the flesh of my people and flay their skin from off them, and break their bones in pieces and chop them up like meat in a pot, like flesh in a cauldron. They will cry to the LORD, but he will not answer them; he will hide his face from them at that time, because they have made their deeds evil."Micah uses the imagery of cannibalistic savagery to graphically highlight the depraved character of leaders who do violence against the oppressed instead of justice. He says brutal oppressors in Israel perpetrate horrors on the people because they love evil and hate good. As a result of what they have done, when they cry out to God in need, he will turn a deaf ear. The rulers and heads of the house of Israel have betrayed their trust in such a vile way that he will ignore their day of anguish.
Such a stunning picture of corrupted hearts reminds me of the imperative God's leaders have been given to love his people the way he does. They are never to knowingly abuse, neglect, deceive or harm them in any way. To the contrary, they are to do unparalleled good to and for the people because they are near God's heart. While such is a tall order requiring a manner wisdom and love only taught by the Holy Spirit, it is the invitation to any leader desiring to do God's redemptive, freeing work.
We all recognize what terror and suffering can result from leaders who do evil in the sight of God. What blessing and good come from leaders who love him, and because they love him, they love what he loves. When that happens men and women are freed and enabled to be God's people in the world for his pleasure and glory. They become unlocked, inspired and surrendered to his heart - a Jesus-following leader's deepest passion for people.
May the leaders of imagine/Northampton, and all of the leaders who love and serve him in the Pioneer Valley be such men and women of the good.
May the desire to do good characterize all of us in a way that unlocks the Pioneer Valley for the Kingdom.
May our collective ministries be characterized by uncommon love, wisdom, graciousness, kindness and humility; breaking down walls of ingrained cultural distrust and indifference.