Mic. 6:1 Hear ye now what the LORD saith; Arise, contend thou before the mountains, and let the hills hear thy voice.
Mic. 6:2 Hear ye, O mountains, the LORDŐS controversy, and ye strong foundations of the earth: for the LORD hath a controversy with his people, and he will plead with Israel.
In these verses the Lord is calling for the mountains and hills to act as witnesses as in a courtroom setting. This is similar to some of the prophecy of Isaiah, who was contemporary with Micah. The Lord is basically establishing a public forum to cause His people to consider their actions before Him. He has an accusation to make and will reason with the people even as He makes accusation.
Mic. 6:3 O my people, what have I done unto thee? and wherein have I wearied thee? testify against me.
These two questions are basically rhetorical. There is no valid response in testimony against YHWH in consideration of His dealing with Israel. In spite of their rebellion and public disregard for the honor of His name, the Lord still references them as ŇMyÓ people.
Mic. 6:4 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.
Mic. 6:5 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.
In establishing the truth YHWH highlights some of the ways He has provided for them.
á He provided for their escape from Egypt.
á He released/rescued (from Hebrew for redeem) them from slavery.
á He gave them good leaders—not perfect leaders—in the persons of Moses, Aaron and Miriam.
á He protected them from cursing by Balaam and gave them blessing instead.
á Balaam did tell Balak how to lure the people into sin against God, however; and at Shittim they Ňcommitted whoredomÓ with the daughters of Moab and their false gods (Numbers 25). Because of their sin God judged them with a plague that killed 24,000. Still God determined to bring them into the Promised Land and at Gilgal the people were circumcised in an act of recommitment to the Lord.
All of GodŐs dealing with His people were and are righteous (right and just).
Mic. 6:6 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?
Mic. 6:7 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?
ItŐs like Micah is speaking on behalf of the people at this point. HeŐs wondering what it will take to appease God and will serve as an acceptable sacrifice for their sin. Will burnt offerings do? Will thousands of rams or a huge offering of the abundance of the land? Will He accept the service of my firstborn son or is the reference to human sacrifice? We know that Israel fell into practicing the pagan rituals of human sacrifice to appease their false gods.
2Kings 17:17 And they caused their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire, and used divination and enchantments, and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger.
2Kings 17:18 Therefore the LORD was very angry with Israel, and removed them out of his sight: there was none left but the tribe of Judah only.
2Kings 21:1 Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to reign, , and reigned fifty and five years in JerusalemÉ.2Kings 21:6 And he made his son pass through the fireÉ.
Jer. 32:30 For the children of Israel and the children of Judah have only done evil before me from their youth: for the children of Israel have only provoked me to anger with the work of their hands, saith the LORD.
Jer. 32:35 And they built the high places of Baal, which are in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire unto Molech; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.
Mic. 6:8 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?
The Lord makes it clear through the prophet that there was no excuse for their wicked actions. God had clearly explained what was good and what He required of His people—
Deut. 10:12 And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soulÉ.
Psa. 86:5 For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.
The Lord had declared through the prophet Samuel that obedience was far more pleasing to Him than sacrifice.
1Sam. 15:22 And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.
Obedience includes the desire to present Him with the sacrifices that He asks of us. Solomon declared the same truth in his proverbs.
Prov. 21:3 To do justice and judgment is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.
The prophet Hosea, who is contemporary with Micah, declares that God desires mercy more than sacrifice.
Hos. 6:6 For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.
A heart that is merciful is aligned with GodŐs heart. I think the point being made is that sacrifices without the proper heart attitude as reflected in oneŐs actions are empty of meaning.
Mic. 6:9 The LORDŐS voice crieth unto the city, and the man of wisdom shall see thy name: hear ye the rod, and who hath appointed it.
I think the CJB is a bit clearer translation.
The voice of ADONAI! He calls to the city — and it is wisdom to fear your name — ŇListen to the rod and to him who commissioned it.
When I looked at the Hebrew for rod, it referenced a branch, a tribe, and a rod used for correction. The wording indicates that the rod is a person that has been appointed to speak by God. I think this is a call to listen to Micah, GodŐs prophet, as he declares GodŐs message to the people. I think the city would have to be Jerusalem as the capital and representative of all of Israel.
(1/10) In reading this section again, my mind immediately connected to Jesus, the Branch, as referenced by the prophet Isaiah.
Is. 11:1 ¦ And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:
I believe Micah is a type of Christ in this regard. Jesus declared GodŐs truth boldly and faithfully as instructed by His Father.
Mic. 6:10 Are there yet the treasures of wickedness in the house of the wicked, and the scant measure that is abominable?
Mic. 6:11 Shall I count them pure with the wicked balances, and with the bag of deceitful weights?
Mic. 6:12 For the rich men thereof are full of violence, and the inhabitants thereof have spoken lies, and their tongue is deceitful in their mouth.
I think the NLT expresses the heart of these verses well.
Will there be no end of your getting rich by cheating? The homes of the wicked are filled with treasures gained by dishonestly measuring out grain in short measures. And how can I tolerate all your merchants who use dishonest scales and weights? The rich among you have become wealthy through extortion and violence. Your citizens are so used to lying that their tongues can no longer tell the truth.
Mic. 6:13 Therefore also will I make thee sick in smiting thee, in making thee desolate because of thy sins.
ŇThereforeÓ – Because of the indictment of the previous chapters and versesÉ
God is going to strike His people with judgment; they will suffer grief and pain and will become weak. In fact, they are going to be stunned at the devastation and destruction that God inflicts upon them because of their sin. They have erroneously assumed that they were immune as His covenant people to such devastating judgment. They had no scriptural basis for that assumption; in fact, God was clear that disobedience to Him would result in judgment.
Deut. 11:26-28 Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse; A blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you this day: And a curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside out of the way which I command you this day, to go after other gods, which ye have not known.
Deut. 29:22-26 So that the generation to come of your children that shall rise up after you, and the stranger that shall come from a far land, shall say, when they see the plagues of that land, and the sicknesses which the LORD hath laid upon it; And that the whole land thereof is brimstone, and salt, and burning, that it is not sown, nor beareth, nor any grass groweth therein, like the overthrow of Sodom, and Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboim, which the LORD overthrew in his anger, and in his wrath: Even all nations shall say, Wherefore hath the LORD done thus unto this land? what meaneth the heat of this great anger? Then men shall say, Because they have forsaken the covenant of the LORD God of their fathers, which he made with them when he brought them forth out of the land of Egypt: For they went and served other gods, and worshipped them, gods whom they knew not, and whom he had not given unto them:
Deut. 30:15-18 See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil; In that I command thee this day to love the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the LORD thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it. But if thine heart turn away, so that thou wilt not hear, but shalt be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them; I denounce unto you this day, that ye shall surely perish, and that ye shall not prolong your days upon the land, whither thou passest over Jordan to go to possess it.
Mic. 6:14 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.
Mic. 6:15 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.
Again, I think the NLT expresses the heart of the message.
You will eat but never have enough. Your hunger pangs and emptiness will still remain. And though you try to save your money, it will come to nothing in the end. You will save a little, but I will give it to those who conquer you. You will plant crops but not harvest them. You will press your olives but not get enough oil to anoint yourselves. You will trample the grapes but get no juice to make your wine.
Mic. 6:16 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.
Omri and Ahab, his son, were evil kings.
1Kings 16:25-26 But Omri wrought evil in the eyes of the LORD, and did worse than all that were before him. For he walked in all the way of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and in his sin wherewith he made Israel to sin, to provoke the LORD God of Israel to anger with their vanities.
1Kings 16:29-30 And in the thirty and eighth year of Asa king of Judah began Ahab the son of Omri to reign over Israel: and Ahab the son of Omri reigned over Israel in Samaria twenty and two years. And Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the LORD above all that were before him.
This is a terrible indictment from God. He is declaring that His people have chosen to follow the example of these evil kings rather than obey Almighty God. Because of their wickedness and rejection of Him, He is going to bring the nation to ruin and make His people an object of shame and derision among the nations.
I canŐt help but want to make application to America today. No matter how the revisionist historians try to paint it, we were founded as a Christian nation, a people that honored God. We have steadily and purposely chosen to follow a path of rejection of God and His Word through the leadership of our government and judicial system. God is not going to allow our rejection of Him and our disregard for His word to go unpunished. He will hold us accountable just as surely as He held Israel/Judah accountable. I personally believe we are already feeling the effects of judgment, but I also believe that there is much worse to come. I am also reminded that the Lord established a principle in His dealing with Israel, and itŐs found in the book of Chronicles.
2Chr. 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
This verse has been echoing in my thoughts a lot recently. The principle is that if GodŐs people, we who claim His name, who call ourselves Christian, will—
--then God will hear, forgive and heal the land.
The call is to GodŐs people, not those who have rejected Him. I canŐt help but wonder how many of us are quick to condemn the heathen in our nation without consideration of our own responsibility and where we are falling short. Have we as Christians truly humbled ourselves to make God the Lord of our life? Are we fervent in prayer with a burden for the church and our nation and its leaders? Do we seek GodŐs face in asking Him to identify where we need to change and what we need to do differently? Do we seek His face as to how we can encourage other Christians to yield to Him as Lord? Are we willing to give up our own sins—no matter how minor we might consider them to be? Do we discern what is wicked and what is good according to GodŐs word rather than the worldŐs standards? Do we justify compromises in the name of tolerance and political correctness? The Lord has really been speaking to my heart about this.