The Indictment by the Crown
There was a King that chose one of his servants to be an ambassador of a certain area in his kingdom. The assignment was one that came with great honor and prestige. The manor was breath taking, everything was manicured and spotless. The layout was impeccable and built to function perfectly for the execution of the office.
The King issued many slaves to his ambassador with the expectation that much tribute would flow back to him. Not long after taking office his ambassador started spending more and more of the tribute on himself by way of extravagant parties. In hopes of maintaining his feasts and also meet the King’s expectations, he started abusing his slaves, cutting back on their food, working them longer hours and never giving them a day to be refreshed. Each time the captain of the slaves would send messengers to warn the ambassador of their pending problems, they would return home inebriated, and bring wine for all.
This continued for many years and seemed to be working quite well. The slaves rarely complained because they were extremely loyal and would give their lives to complete a task. However, the ambassador was unaware that the numbers of his slaves were dwindling, do to being over worked and the fact that the remaining slaves were maintaining the quota.
One night a band of rebels secretly slipped in and attacked the compound. The captain of the slaves sounded the alarm, which signaled to muster, but given his men’s condition, few heard and even fewer responded. In the morning the captain set up lines of defense and tried desperately to contain the rebels.
The captain advised the ambassador of the gravity of the situation in hopes of suspending quota. The ambassador, ignorant of battle tactics and consumed with self indulgences continued the quota although he did have a ‘case of scotch’ sent to the captain.
After a short period of time the ambassador begins seeing there is very little tribute flowing back to the King. Gravely concerned, he travels to the front lines of battle were he discovers the grim facts that he is going to be over run, loose his territory and his very life. In a last minute desperate act, he sends word to the King to send out the Royal Armies.
The people surrounding the territory who were watching the conflict erupted in laughter and made sport at the King’s expense. Their assessment of this King was one of weakness, and incompetence, certainly nothing to fear.
The King sends word back to his servant, “Did I not warn you in my ambassador manual of this very problem and how to overcome it? Believe and apply my instructions, don’t lean on your own understanding and I will grant you the victory. Take back my Holy Temple and stop holding me in contempt! Stop defrauding me and pay me my full tribute in worship that I have created you to return so that I can resume to pour out on you the full extent of my love and blessing!”
Micah 6:2-3 “Listen, you mountains, to the indictment of the Lord, and you enduring fountains of the earth,” because the Lord has a case against His people; even with Israel He will dispute. “My people, what have I done to you, and how have I wearied you? Answer Me.”
Malachi 1:6 “A son honors his father and a servant his master. If I am a father, where is the honor due me? If I am a master, where is the respect due me?” say the Lord Almighty. “It is you, O priest, who show contempt for my name.”
“But you ask, ‘How have we shown contempt for my name?’
“You place defiled food on my altar.
“But you ask, ‘How have we defiled you?’
“By saying that the Lord’s Table is contemptible. When you bring blind animals for sacrifice, is that not wrong? When you sacrifice crippled or diseased animals is that not wrong? Try offering them to your governor! Would he be pleased with you? Would he accept you?” says the Lord Almighty.
“Oh, that one of you would shut the temple doors, so that you would not light* useless fires on my altar! I am not pleased with you,” says the Lord Almighty, “and I will accept NO offering from your hands. My name will be great among the nations, from the rising to the setting of the sun. In every place incense and pure offerings will be brought to my name, because my name will be great among the nations,” says the Lord Almighty.
“But you profane it by saying of the Lord’s Table, ‘It is contemptible.’ And you say, ‘What a burden!’ and you sniff at it contemptuously,” says the Lord Almighty.
“When you bring injured, crippled or diseased animals and offer them as sacrifices, should I accept them from your hands?” says the Lord. “Cursed is the cheat who has an acceptable male in his flock and vows to give it, but then sacrifices a blemished animal to the Lord. For I am a great King,” says the Lord Almighty, “and my name is to be feared among the nations.”
Psalms 106:34 They did not destroy the peoples as the Lord had commanded them, but they mingled with the nations and adopted their customs. They worshiped their idols, which became a snare to them. They sacrificed their sons and their daughters to demons. They shed innocent blood, the blood of their sons and daughters, whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan, and the land was desecrated by their blood. They defiled themselves by what they did; by their deeds they prostituted themselves.
Psalms 105:6 “We have sinned even as our fathers did; we have done wrong and acted wickedly.”
Micah 7:2-4 The godly person has perished from the land, and there is no upright person among men. All of them lie in wait for bloodshed; each of them hunts the other with a net. Concerning evil, both hands do it well. The prince asks, also the judge, for a bribe, and a great man speaks the desire of his soul. So they weave it together. The best of them is like a briar; the most upright like a thorn hedge. The day when you pass a watchman, your punishment will come; then their confusion will occur.
Malachi 2:7 “For the lips of a priest ought to preserve knowledge, and from his mouth men should seek instruction - because he is the messenger of the Lord Almighty.”
Eze 34:1-10 Then the word of the Lord came to me saying: “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel. Prophesy and say to those shepherds: ‘Thus says the Lord God: Woe, shepherds of Israel who have been feeding themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flock? You eat the fat and clothe yourselves with wool; you slaughter the fat sheep without feeding the flock. Though who are sickly you have not strengthened, the diseased you have not healed, the broken you have not bound up, the scattered you have not brought back, nor have you sought for the lost; but with force and with severity you have dominated them.”
And they were scattered for lack of a shepherd, and they became food for every beast of the field and were scattered.
“My flock wandered through all the mountains and on every high hill and My flock was scattered over all the surface of the earth; and there was no one to search or seek for them, therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord.”
“As I live,” declares the Lord God, “Surely because My flock has become a prey, My flock has even become food for all the beasts of the field for lack of a shepherd, and My shepherds did not search for My flock, but rather the shepherds fed themselves and did not feed My flock; therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: Thus says the Lord God, “Behold, I am against the shepherds, and I shall demand My sheep from them and make them cease from feeding sheep. So the shepherds will not feed themselves anymore, but I shall deliver My flock from their mouths, that they may not be food for them.”
Make no mistake; the Lord God has indicted all, everyone who claims to be His disciple! For the disciples are commanded to feed His sheep. The flock has become prey for every kind of disease and sickness, they are broken and scattered. You call yourselves shepherds as you feed off the well-to-do sheep, but never give the flock the knowledge they need to be healthy. How can the blind help the blind?
Jer 7:23 ...but gave them this command: Obey me, and I will be your God and you will be my people. Walk in all the ways I command you that it may go well with you. But they did not listen or pay attention; instead, they followed the stubborn inclinations of their evil hearts. They went backward and not forward. From the time your forefathers left Egypt until now, day after day, again and again I sent you my servants the prophets. But they did not listen to me, or pay attention. They were stiff-necked and did more evil than their forefathers.
When you tell them all this, they will not listen to you; when you call to them, they will not answer. Therefore say to them, ‘This is the nation that has not obeyed the Lord its God or responded to correction. Truth has perished; it has vanished from their lips. Cut off your hair and throw it away; take up a lament on the barren heights, for the Lord has rejected and abandoned this generation that is under his wrath.
Jer 8:19 Listen to the cry of my people from a land far away: “Is the Lord not in Zion? Is her King no longer there?” “Why have they provoked me to anger with their worthless foreign idols?”
Jer 9:12 What man is wise enough to understand this? Who has been instructed by the Lord and can explain it? Why has the land been ruined and laid waste like a desert that no one can cross?