Prattling

Prattling is usually attributed to children who, lacking depth of thought, twaddle on about inconsequential, trivial foolishness just to be saying something, what could only be described as immature in an adult. It is easy to see why this term would be especially offensive when directed to a prophet of God who, merely holding to the truth, is accused of “majoring in the minors.” Such was the plight of Micah, who preached against the social injustices rampant in Jerusalem to a wealthy, comfortable audience unwilling to give priority to God’s will.

Micah’s synopsis of his generation was a one-liner: “For this is an evil time” (Micah 2:3). His reason for this blanket condemnation originated with a poor attitude toward God’s Word, which rejected any message that was not pleasant to the ear. Micah’s reminders were becoming burdensome to this rebellious people who looked down their well-to-do noses and disrespected him. “‘Do not prattle,’ you say to those who preach” (Micah 2:6).

It can be extremely discouraging for elders, teachers or preachers to hear this colorful response, in its many shades and textures. It betrays an unwillingness in an audience to prioritize God’s Revelation. Worse, when there is a void of God’s truth, the replacement is always detrimental. “If a man should walk in a false spirit and speak a lie, saying, ‘I will prophesy to you of wine and drink,’ even he would be the prattler of this people” (Micah 2:11). Oh, the danger of that sweet-talking liar!

Unwitting “children,” who prefer personal pleasure to prophetic perspective, can expect an unnecessarily painful and disappointing life, followed by eternal destruction. God, through the preacher asks, “Do not my words do good to him who walks uprightly?” (Micah 2:7, this is a rhetorical question implying the evil that will befall all those who ignore God). God loves us and His words of warning are for our own good.

“Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and depart from evil. It will be health to your flesh, and strength to your bones” (Proverbs 3:7-8). This is not prattling.

Jeff Sweeten