Today's reading contains two sobering warnings. The first warning points out the reality that God will not answer the prayers of unrepentant sinners, especially those in leadership. Pointedly the prophet accuses them of hating good and loving evil (v.2) and decrees that, though crying out to the Lord for help, "He will hide his face from them at that time" (v.4). Leaders, i.e. those with influence, power, and the ability to enact justice, must be above reproach in their dispensation of judgment--not ruling for personal gain or by their own agendas but leading in righteousness.
The second warning is directed toward the prophets and teachers who support such unrighteous leaders. To these prophets concerned with self-gain, the Lord promises only darkness, silence, and a lack of true visions from heaven. They will doubtless continue to preach, but their teaching will be false, their words shall not be inspired by God but come only from themselves for he has become mute to them as a result of their sin.
Whenever leaders (secular or sacred) abandon holiness, justice, and righteousness for self-serving gain, fame, riches, comfort, etc. their leadership loses authority and authenticity. We must be wary of such charlatans. Sadly, they have widely infiltrated both the church and the state.
As disciples living in a fallen and sinful world, we are lambs sent out in the midst of wolves. The world is a dangerous place, and alone we are defenseless against the wiles of the devil. Fortunately, we are not alone. Christ says to us, "they all have me as their Shepherd: small and great, people and princes, teachers and students. I will be with you, help you, and deliver you from all evil" (Cyril of Alexandria, Commentary on Luke). Therefore, we need not fear but may go out boldly, proclaiming the saving message of God in Christ Jesus for the world. We also need not fear rejection, for the rejection of the world is not primarily its rejection of us, but "Whoever who hears you hears me. And whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me" (v.16). Let us thus be bold in Christ!