The Indictment of the Lord
6 Hear what the LORD says:
Arise, plead your case before the mountains,
and let the hills hear your voice.
Hear, you mountains, the indictment of the LORD,
and you enduring foundations of the earth,
for the LORD has an indictment against his people,
and he will contend with Israel.
“O my people, what have I done to you?
How have I wearied you? Answer me!
For I brought you up from the land of Egypt
and redeemed you from the house of slavery,
and I sent before you Moses,
Aaron, and Miriam.
O my people, remember what Balak king of Moab devised,
and what Balaam the son of Beor answered him,
and what happened from Shittim to Gilgal,
that you may know the righteous acts of the LORD.”
What Does the Lord Require?
“With what shall I come before the LORD,
and bow myself before God on high?
Shall I come before him with burnt offerings,
with calves a year old?
Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams,
with ten thousands of rivers of oil?
Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression,
the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?”
He has told you, O man, what is good;
and what does the LORD require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?
Destruction of the Wicked
The voice of the LORD cries to the city—
and it is sound wisdom to fear your name:
“Hear of the rod and of him who appointed it!
Can I forget any longer the treasures of wickedness in the house of the wicked,
and the scant measure that is accursed?
Shall I acquit the man with wicked scales
and with a bag of deceitful weights?
Your rich men are full of violence;
your inhabitants speak lies,
and their tongue is deceitful in their mouth.
Therefore I strike you with a grievous blow,
making you desolate because of your sins.
You shall eat, but not be satisfied,
and there shall be hunger within you;
you shall put away, but not preserve,
and what you preserve I will give to the sword.
You shall sow, but not reap;
you shall tread olives, but not anoint yourselves with oil;
you shall tread grapes, but not drink wine.
For you have kept the statutes of Omri,
and all the works of the house of Ahab;
and you have walked in their counsels,
that I may make you a desolation, and your inhabitants a hissing;
so you shall bear the scorn of my people.”
Micah 6 Commentary
by Hank Workman
Standing in a courtroom are the people of Israel. God the Judge stands behind the desk. “Plead your case…” He opens up. “What have I done to you? How have I burdened you? Answer me.”
It’s a sobering picture of God asking for answers then reminding them of how He had been with them throughout their journey as a people and how He redeemed them from Egypt. Yet, even through the deliverance, their wayward hearts moved them further away, almost like taking advantage of His mercy.
“Remember your journey…” He says.
Indeed, a call for us as well. It’s a terrible thing we wrestle with – that being our selfish nature and willful wayward thoughts. When we contemplate the journey we’ve all been on, the way He has provided and given of Himself over and over again, are we like them who have gone and done as they pleased, forsaking their Deliverer? It is nothing more than sobering.
The reality was God continued to be good to His people. He continued to provide even though they were forgetful, their memories short, their lack of thankfulness is what would bring the hammer of His justice down. I think of the goodness of God and how this would be the last desire He had to see harm come to these whom He redeemed. But sometimes people force His hand in such a move.
Does it change the goodness and faithfulness of God? Absolutely not – but God out of His love and desire for His children, will bring about, will allow things to happen due to our own choices.
“And what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”
Act in a just way. Be fair with others. In essence, follow the Golden Rule. Love mercy, not just showing it but love to show it to others as a representative of Him. Personally, He states we must walk humbly before Him.
We tend to forget so too many times – He is God. Charles Spurgeon wrote that this walking humbly is done when we were spiritually strong, when there was much work to be done. We were to walk humbly in all our motives, in studying the word and to walk humbly even in our trials. But he went on to say we were to walk humbly in our relationships – between Believers and non-Believers.
This humble action is just that, an action. But it also begins with the heart and becomes a mindset.
God proved His case in that courtroom. Israel was under deep affliction because they neglected Him. Although His ways were not too difficult, they simply did not follow as they should. If we found ourselves in the same place as Israel did at that time, what would be the things God would state to us?
Micah 6 Commentary
by Brad Boyles
Micah uses a sarcastic exaggeration to illustrate the hardness of the people’s hearts.
What shall I bring to the LORD, the God of heaven, when I come to worship him? Shall I bring the best calves to burn as offerings to him? 7 Will the LORD be pleased if I bring him thousands of sheep or endless streams of olive oil? Shall I offer him my first-born child to pay for my sins?Micah 6:6-7 GNB
These offerings not only go far beyond what was required by the Law, but they also cross over to being sinful. To offer a child to God as a means of worship was to go against His Law. The reason Micah uses such strong language is to illustrate the severity of the people’s sins. In other words, he is asking rhetorical questions to illustrate just how ludicrous it is to try and pay for your double life of sin by offering the largest and most outlandish items to God. The goal is not to sin and then try and cover that sin will some kind of large-sum offering. The goal is to stop sinning!
No, the LORD has told us what is good. What he requires of us is this: to do what is just, to show constant love, and to live in humble fellowship with our God.Micah 6:8 GNB
Doing what is just, showing constant love, and living in humble fellowship would naturally lead to a holy life. But the people of Micah’s time were more content to keep sinning and paying for those sins through religious acts. It is not much different from people today who simply go to church to feel better about their lives but continue on through the week with no spiritual growth or maturity. This is the teaching we can apply to our lives today.
“True humility is thinking rightly of thyself, not meanly. When you have found out what you really are, you will be humble, for you are nothing to boast of. To be humble will make you safe. To be humble will make you happy. To be humble will make music in your heart when you go to bed. To be humble here will make you wake up in the likeness of your Master by-and-by.”Charles Spurgeon