A Graphic Description of Evil
By Neal Pollard
It would seem a fair assessment of character to say that those who have an unhealthy attitude toward sin quickly develop a healthy appetite for it. Where men cast off the unchanging values of the Bible, one finds a society of spiritual castaways. Peddlers of sin emit a bug light which first draws and then destroys the souls of unrighteous men. That which is beautiful and spiritual is denigrated as ugly and inhibiting. Set forth as glamorous and desirable is the putrid and deleterious.
Perhaps the literary prophet armed with the most fluid pen was Micah. Aware of the importance of his mission among the wicked, though chosen, people of God, Micah assessed his mission saying, "But truly I am full of power by the Spirit of the Lord, and of justice and might, to declare to Jacob his transgression and to Israel 0a sin" (Micah 3:8 NKJV) To deny Micah was inspired is to deny his express statement in this verse.
All writers of the Word wrote as they were moved by the Holy Spirit rather than by personal opinion (2 Pet. 1:21). Therefore, Micah's commentary on the lifestyle of evildoers reveals the mind of Almighty God. Notice how Micah described the evil of his day?
Woe to those who devise iniquity and work out evil in their beds! At morning light they practice it, because it is in the power of their hand (Micah 2:1).
Israel was in the process of caving in as a people, and Judah was running after her. Yet, how were these pitiful people acting? They made out a blueprint for their sinfulness, laid awake at night on their beds — maybe watching the hands on the clock — in breathless anticipation of morning light, and, then, because the hand of God and man prevented them not, they enacted their evil thoughts with evil deeds! Micah shows how terribly ugly is planned sin.
Nazi war camps and Rwandan slaughtering sites are ugly, but so are the world's abortion tables, brothels, bath houses, pornography stores, and betting brokerages. Anytime and anywhere anyone plots an act of sin, the very heart of God is kindled with righteous anger against them because of his great love for the lives of people.
"And I said, Hear now, O heads of Jacob, and you rulers of the house of Israel: is it not for you to know justice? You who hate good and love evil; who strip the skin from my people, and the flesh from their bone" (Micah 3 :1-2).
Remember the catalog of woes laid down in Isaiah five by that prophet? He said, "Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter" (Isa. 5:20).
What is wrong with calling something that is bad good and calling good bad? James responds, "Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so. Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening?" (James 3:10-11).
"Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?" (2 Cor. 6:14).
Obviously, good and evil are opposing forces. All inspired writers say that evil leads to spiritual death and damnation (Rom. 6:23; Gal. 5:21).
To hate good is to hate that whose source is God. To love evil is to embrace that which God hates. God's eyes are too pure to behold moral degradation, and he cannot look on filth, for he is God (Hab. 1:13).
The godly man is perished out of the earth, and there is none upright among men: they all lie in wait for blood; they hunt every man his brother with a net. Their hands are upon that which is evil to do it diligently; the prince asketh, and the judge is ready for a reward; and the great man, he uttereth the evil desire of his soul: thus they weave it together (Micah 7:2-3).
This conjures up a mental picture of something nasty and stinking. Who has never tried to get all the grocery bags in one trip, leaning into the trunk trying to pick up just one more sack and spilling everything on the ground? That is the idea. The sinner is pitiful. He is out of control, snatching and grabbing to fill his heart and mind with iniquity! Micah pictures an insatiable appetite for the unholy. Such hunger for slop leads from one level of depravity to another until nothing is sacred and unthinkable.
Solomon said, "Because the sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil" (Eccl. 8: 11). He is saying that in affairs of state if the criminal is not immediately punished, he will commit greater crimes. What is true of ordinary thugs is also true of every person who sets the eye on evil and his heart on sin. One wrong leads to another sin until there is no soundness left, and we are enslaved by our indulged lust.
In describing the evil men do, Micah, using Samaria and Jerusalem as object lessons, shows that sin controls and consumes waking thoughts. It confuses morals. It commits body and mind completely. Micah wants us to see how ugly sin is!