Micah 6:1-16 NIV
The Lord’s Case Against Israel
1Listen to what the Lord says:
“Stand up, plead My case before the mountains;
let the hills hear what you have to say.
2“Hear, you mountains, the Lord’s accusation;
listen, you everlasting foundations of the earth.
For the Lord has a case against His people;
He is lodging a charge against Israel.
3“My people, what have I done to you?
How have I burdened you? Answer Me.
4I brought you up out of Egypt
and redeemed you from the land of slavery.
I sent Moses to lead you,
also Aaron and Miriam.
5My people, remember
what Balak king of Moab plotted
and what Balaam son of Beor answered.
Remember your journey from Shittim to Gilgal,
that you may know the Righteous Acts of the Lord.”
6With what shall I come before the Lord
and bow down before the exalted God?
Shall I come before Him with burnt offerings,
with calves a year old?
7Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams,
with ten thousand rivers of olive oil?
Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression,
the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?
8He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humblya with your God.
Israel’s Guilt and Punishment
9Listen! The Lord is calling to the city—
and to fear your name is wisdom—
“Heed the rod and the One Who appointed it.b
10Am I still to forget your ill-gotten treasures, you wicked house,
and the short ephah,c which is accursed?
11Shall I acquit someone with dishonest scales,
with a bag of false weights?
12Your rich people are violent;
your inhabitants are liars
and their tongues speak deceitfully.
13Therefore, I have begun to destroy you,
to ruind you because of your sins.
14You will eat but not be satisfied;
your stomach will still be empty.e
You will store up but save nothing,
because what you savef I will give to the sword.
15You will plant but not harvest;
you will press olives but not use the oil,
you will crush grapes but not drink the wine.
16You have observed the statutes of Omri
and all the practices of Ahab’s house;
you have followed their traditions.
Therefore I will give you over to ruin
and your people to derision;
you will bear the scorn of the nations.g ”
6:1-5 The people are called upon to declare why they were weary of God's worship, and prone to idolatry. Sin causes the controversy between God and man. God reasons with us, to teach us to reason with ourselves. Let them remember God's many favors to them and their fathers, and compare with them their unworthy, ungrateful conduct toward him.
6:6-8 These verses seem to contain the substance of Balak's consultation with Balaam how to obtain the favor of Israel's God.
In order to God's being pleased with us, our care must be for an interest in the Atonement of Christ, and that the sin by which we displease Him may be taken away. What will be a satisfaction to God's justice? In whose name must we come, as we have nothing to plead as our own? In what righteousness shall we appear before him? They offer that which is very rich and costly. Those who are fully convinced of sin, and of their misery and danger by reason of it, would give all the world, if they had it, for peace and pardon. Yet they do not offer right.
The sacrifices had value from their reference to Christ; it was impossible that the blood of bulls and goats should take away sin. And all proposals of peace, except those according to the Gospel, are in vain. They could not answer the demands of Divine Justice, nor satisfy the wrong done to the Honor of God by sin.
Moral duties are commanded because they are good for man. In keeping God's Commandments there is a great reward, as well as after keeping them. God has not only made it known, but made it plain. The good which God requires of us is, not the paying a price for the pardon of sin and acceptance with God, but love to Himself; and what is there unreasonable, or hard, in this?
Every thought within us must be brought down, to be brought into obedience to God, if we would walk comfortably with Him. We must do this as penitent sinners, in dependence on the Redeemer and His Atonement. Blessed be the Lord that He is ever ready to give His grace to the humble, waiting penitent.
6:9-16 God, having showed how necessary it was that they should do justly, here shows how plain it was that they had done unjustly. This voice of the Lord says to all, “Hear the rod when it is coming, before you see it, and feel it. Hear the rod when it is come, and you are sensible of the smart; hear what counsels, what cautions it speaks.” The voice of God is to be heard in the rod of God.
Those who are dishonest in their dealings shall never be reckoned pure, whatever shows of devotion they may make. What is gained by fraud and oppression, cannot be kept or enjoyed with satisfaction. What we hold closest we commonly lose soonest. Their being the people of God in name and profession, while they kept themselves in His Love, was an honor to them; but now, being backsliders, their having been once the people of God turns to their reproach.