Micah 6 (English Standard Version)
The Indictment of the LORD
1 HEAR what the LORD says: Arise,
plead your case before the mountains,
and let the hills hear your voice.
2 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.
God begs his people to remember his goodness towards them:
3“O my people, what have I done to you?
How have I wearied you? Answer me!
4For 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.
5O 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 saving acts of the LORD.”
What Does the LORD Require?
The people reply with a superior tone (at least that is how I hear it). “Yeah, as if anything we do for God is ever good enough! We could give him all kinds of things, and they would not satisfy him!”
6 “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?
7 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?”
And the prophet gently replies, “What God wants from you isn’t any thing. He wants you.”
8He 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?
from Experiencing God Day-by-Day,
by Henry T. Blackaby and Richard Blackaby
HE HAS SHOWN YOU
God never conceals His expectations from us. We never have to guess how we should live. In response to the misguided ways in which people sought to please God, the prophet Micah clearly explained what God does and does not expect. The people asked: Should we come to God with many offerings? Should we bring a thousand rams and ten thousand rivers of oil? Would God be pleased if we gave our firstborn child to Him to express our devotion? (Micah 6:6-7). Micah’s response was straightforward: “He has shown you, O man, what is good.”
Micah listed three things God desires. First, He wants us to show justice. The desire to receive justice is not enough. We must also be absolutely just in the way we treat others. If we have given our word, we should keep it with complete integrity. If we have people working for us, we should treat them fairly as Jesus would. We should act justly in every relationship.
Second, we are to love mercy. The knowledge that we have received undeserved mercy from God should motivate us to show mercy to others. We must resist the temptation to retaliate against those who have wronged us, choosing to show them mercy instead.
Finally, God requires us to walk humbly with him. God does not ask us for spectacular acts of service—He asks for humility. At times we try to make the Christian walk more complicated than it is. We may hide behind questions about the Bible or uncertainty about the second coming of Christ. We can allow ourselves to become distracted in order to avoid confronting what God has clearly told us to do today. If we strive to be completely obedient in the basics, the more complex assignments will become clear.
Destruction of the Wicked
9The 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!
10Can I forget any longer the treasures of wickedness
in the house of the wicked,
and the scant measure that is accursed?
11Shall I acquit the man with wicked scales
and with a bag of deceitful weights?
12Your rich men are full of violence;
your inhabitants speak lies,
and their tongue is deceitful in their mouth.
13Therefore I strike you with a grievous blow,
making you desolate because of your sins.
There will come a tragic end to those who acquire ill-gotten gains. All the things they have worked so hard to get will bring them no pleasure or satisfaction.
14 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.
15 You shall sow, but not reap;
you shall tread olives, but not anoint yourselves with oil;
you shall tread grapes, but not drink wine.
16For you have kept the statutes of Omri,
and all the works of the house of Ahab;
Omri and Ahab were the most evil of all the kings of Israel.
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: 8 is put to song in this clip from Northland, A Church Distributed (Joel Hunter, senior pastor) here in the Orlando area.
English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.