Today: [Micah 6]

Today: [Micah 6] God Pleads with the Nation. In this chapter, the prophet rehearses the history of God’s goodness toward His people, and their continued disobedience. Because the nation has refused to obey, there is a line of demarcation drawn, the end of which will be captivity for the people and the destruction of the nation.

[Mic 6:1-16 KJV] 1 Hear ye now what the LORD saith; Arise, contend thou before the mountains, and let the hills hear thy voice. 2 Hear ye, O mountains, the LORD’S controversy, and ye strong foundations of the earth: for the LORD hath a controversy with his people, and he will plead with Israel. 3 O my people, what have I done unto thee? and wherein have I wearied thee? testify against me. 4 For I brought thee up out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed thee out of the house of servants; and I sent before thee Moses, Aaron, and Miriam. 5 O my people, remember now what Balak king of Moab consulted, and what Balaam the son of Beor answered him from Shittim unto Gilgal; that ye may know the righteousness of the LORD. 6 Wherewith shall I come before the LORD, [and] bow myself before the high God? shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old? 7 Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, [or] 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? 8 He hath shewed thee, O man, what [is] good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God? 9 The LORD’S voice crieth unto the city, and [the man of] wisdom shall see thy name: hear ye the rod, and who hath appointed it. 10 Are there yet the treasures of wickedness in the house of the wicked, and the scant measure [that is] abominable? 11 Shall I count [them] pure with the wicked balances, and with the bag of deceitful weights? 12 For the rich men thereof are full of violence, and the inhabitants thereof have spoken lies, and their tongue [is] deceitful in their mouth. 13 Therefore also will I make [thee] sick in smiting thee, in making [thee] desolate because of thy sins. 14 Thou shalt eat, but not be satisfied; and thy casting down [shall be] in the midst of thee; and thou shalt take hold, but shalt not deliver; and [that] which thou deliverest will I give up to the sword. 15 Thou shalt sow, but thou shalt not reap; thou shalt tread the olives, but thou shalt not anoint thee with oil; and sweet wine, but shalt not drink wine. 16 For the statutes of Omri are kept, and all the works of the house of Ahab, and ye walk in their counsels; that I should make thee a desolation, and the inhabitants thereof an hissing: therefore ye shall bear the reproach of my people.

After extending Messianic promise to the people in chapter 5, the prophet speaks by the Spirit of the Lord to confront the tribes of Israel with their sins. He begins by calling the very foundations of the earth as witness to the controversy before God of the contradiction between His merciful dealings with His people and the negative response of their disobedience. In verse 3, after convening the courts of heaven and earth, the opening argument of God is questioning just how the Father has allegedly wearied the people, that they have abandoned Him to the degree that they have.

In verse 4, the people are reminded how that they were redeemed from bondage in Egypt and graced with the leadership of Moses, Aaron and Miriam. Verse 5 cautions the people to remember that Balak of Moab was counseled by Balaam the prophet to seduce the people to idolatry. From that time until this, centuries later, idol worship has continued unabated among the people, even though it has occasioned much destruction and judgments against them for doing so. Having spoken for the Lord so stridently, Micah breaks in on the utterance with his own exasperation, remarking how could he come and bow before the Lord with sacrificial worship when the people were so polluted in their idolatries. Verse 7 asks the question, will God be pleased with 1000’s of rams offered up when the hearts of the worshippers are not in it?

In verse 8 we see an echo of the “greatest command” teaching of Jesus, condensing the law to the simple requirements of God to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly before God. To this wisdom the voice of God cries out to those who would hear, so they would realize the reason that the rod of correction was coming across the backs of the nation. In spite of the warnings given by the prophet Micah, verse 10 questions the fact that the people have not deviated from their dishonest dealings, because their homes are still filled with the treasures of ill-gotten gains. Apparently, there was an expectation that that outward worship of Jehovah would mitigate the fact (v. 11) that they were still enriching themselves with “wicked balances” and “deceitful weights”.

In our own culture, we can see the inequity of how we vilify those we don’t agree with, yet overlook the egregious sins of those who we consider on our side. This is an unjust weight and a deceitful measure, when we overlook as a people the wickedness of those we feel are working to our advantage, and yet cry out with righteous indignation against the faintest corruption in the lives of those who do not champion our causes. This kind of thinking causes us to experience great frustration, even when getting our way (v. 14) says we will eat and not be satisfied, and get our way but ultimately not be benefited. We can look back in the history of our nation, and see the veritable miracle of seeing the national debt completely paid off, and unprecedented prosperity beyond anything in our history, yet from the same time period until now there is no peace in our land. Even today, when the Dow is breaking records almost weekly, it is barely mentioned in the news, due to the tremendous upheaval and turmoil in our country, as the blessings we are receiving are spoiled by the controversies gripping the nation.

In verse 16 the people are charged with following in the footsteps of Omri and Ahab, two the most wicked rulers in all of Israel’s history. For this reason, the nation will be made desolate, and the people will become a pariah among the nations, an example of squandered blessings and lost favor. The entire chapter is an indictment against the children of Abraham for having been so greatly blessed for centuries, they have failed to walk humbly before God in appreciation for all that they have enjoyed. For us in reading this chapter it is a reminder to walk humbly, and to do justice toward those around us, and show mercy as our default response to those less fortunate, lest we as a nation experience the same outcome as Israel and Judah did after refusing to heed the words of Micah.

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