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Bible Commentaries

Charles Box's Commentaries on Selected Books of the Bible
Micah 6

 

 

Introduction

God Had a Quarrel Against His People

- Micah Six -

It was God"s desire that the entire world hear Him as He spoke about the controversy that He had against His people. He told Micah to speak as if He was in a court of law pleading God"s side of the case. He wanted the people to understand what was right and what was wrong. God challenged the people to testify against Him and prove any bad thing that He had done against them. He asked them what He had done to have made them tired of Him.

God could not understand why they were so rebellious against Him. He had been so good to them. He had delivered them from the slavery of Egypt. He provided leadership through Moses, Aaron and Miriam. Even when Balak king of Moab hired Balaam to curse God"s people, God turned his curse into a blessing. (Numbers 22-24) Still the people rebelled by not appreciating and honoring God. God had blessed His people from "Shittim unto Gilgal." "Shittim" was the place of Balaam"s wicked counsel. "Gilgal" was the place of Israel"s first encampment in the Promised Land. (Joshua 5:2-11) The Lord saved His people many times, but still they were ingrates.

God message seemed to somewhat get the attention of the people. Some asked, "Wherewith shall I come before the Lord?" They appeared to be willing to offer an immense number of sacrifices, or very expensive offerings or even to offer their own children. They said that they were willing to give anything that God wanted. There was really no need for them to ask what God required. He had shown them a long time before this. "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 soul." (Deuteronomy 10:12) God wanted the people to love and obey Him, and to show justice and mercy to their fellow man!

The people were dishonest, deceitful, violent and full of lies. They would now see the words of Leviticus 26:26 fulfilled. "And when I have broken the staff of your bread, ten women shall bake your bread in one oven, and they shall deliver you your bread again by weight: and ye shall eat, and not be satisfied." God warned them that they would sow but would not reap. The curses came straight out of Deuteronomy 26 and Deuteronomy 28. God was saddened that the statutes of Omri were kept. Omri was father of Ahab. It was he that had arranged the marriage of Ahab to Jezebel. Those were the two that brought Baal worship into Israel. Therefore the statutes of Omri were statues of Baal.


Verses 1-5

The Lord"s Challenge to His People -- Micah 6:1-5 : God called upon Israel to present any complaints that they might have against Him in the presence of everyone. Micah moved from his prediction of the remnant returning from the captivity to again discuss God complaint against Israel because of their unfaithfulness. He called upon Israel to defend her conduct before the whole world. The Lord"s message to the people was, "Come and present your case to the hills and mountains." The Lord"s complaint against Israel would be made just as publicly as any defense that Israel could make. The sad truth is that there is no defense that this ungrateful nation could make. God called upon His people to name any way that He had mistreated or wearied them. Of course they could name only good things that God had done.

Israel could offer no legitimate complaint against God. Instead they could only name things for which they should have been grateful. After 430 years in Egypt, a part of which time was spent in servitude, God brought them out as a free people. He gave them good leadership in the wilderness in the form of Moses, Aaron, and Miriam. Moses dealt with the application of God"s Law. Aaron was the spokesman. Miriam encouraged the people with her songs. God likewise reminded them how He had turned the evil conspiracy of King Balak of Moab and Balaam son of Beor into something good for Israel. Near the end of the journey through the wilderness Israel was confronted by these two evil men. Balaam was a prophet that had become wicked. He hired out to Balak to curse God"s people. However, God turned his curses into blessings. Each time he tried to curse the people God caused him to bless them instead. What complaint could Israel have against God?


Verses 6-8

God required true obedience -- Micah 6:6-8 : Not many in Israel had any interest at all in being an honor to God. It seems, however, that some few in Israel asked, "What offering should I bring when I bow down to worship the Lord God Most High? Should I try to please him by sacrificing calves a year old? Will thousands of sheep or rivers of olive oil make God satisfied with me? Should I sacrifice to the LORD my first-born child as payment for my terrible sins?" We would all do well to remember that outward sacrifice means nothing if the heart remains corrupt. Israel did not need to ask or wonder what God required. He had previously said, "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 soul." (Deuteronomy 10:12)

The requirements of God are simple, (1) See that justice is done, (2) love mercy and let it be a major concern in your life, and (3) humbly obey your God. The presence of these attitudes would then have allowed their animal sacrifices to have been acceptable to God. God showed man "what is good." The Law provided many shadows of the coming Messiah. This good should have kept Israel focused on God. Justice and mercy are valuable characteristics to God. Through the prophet Hosea He said, "For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings." (Hosea 6:6) What could be more valuable than a humble walk with God where one prays, serves and watches. Jesus said to the Pharisees, "Ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone." (Luke 11:42)


Verses 9-11

God was displeased with cheating and violence -- Micah 6:9-11 : A wise man will listen to and obey the voice of Jehovah. He is the Lord and it makes sense to respect His power. He has power to bless and He has power to punish. He especially appealed to Jerusalem to hear and learn from the chastening rod of the Almighty. God charged them with talking about honoring Him and at the same time storing up things gotten by dishonest means. "Are there not still treasures gained by wickedness in the house of the wicked, and a false measure for grain that is abominable and accursed?" Amos said the people want the worship to quickly be over so that they could get back to their dishonest business dealings. They said, "When will the new moon be gone, that we may sell corn? and the sabbath, that we may set forth wheat, making the ephah small, and the shekel great, and falsifying the balances by deceit?" (Amos 8:5) God expects more than lip service and partial obedience!

God could not tolerate their wrong. "Can I be pure Myself, and acquit the man with wicked scales and with a bag of deceitful weights?" If God accepted or tolerated their evil deeds He himself could not be pure. The purity of Jehovah demanded punishment for their evil deeds. The purity of God led Him to say, "But I, the LORD, will punish you for cheating with weights and with measures." We often think "no one will find out." But God knew exactly about their deceitful weights and now they will face the deserved punishment.


Verses 12-16

Idolatry destroyed the nation -- Micah 6:12-16 : God levied some serious charges against the rich. The charges were made not because they were rich but because of how they obtained the wealth. He said, "For the rich men thereof are full of violence, and the inhabitants thereof have spoken lies, and their tongue is deceitful in their mouth." (Micah 6:12) These people were guilty of (1) violence, (2) lies, and (3) deceit. The people were also guilty because they failed to rise up and come to the aid of the helpless. Jeremiah wrote, "The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?" (Jeremiah 5:31) God promised the common people punishment for their sins. "Because of your sins, I will wound you and leave you ruined and defenseless." Both the leaders and the people would feel the wrath of God.

God promised many sad lines of punishment that would be brought upon His disobedient people. "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." (Micah 6:14) God promised, (1) You will eat, but still be hungry, (2) You will store up goods, but lose everything, (3) You will be captured in war, (4) You will not harvest what you plant, (5) You will not use the oil from your olive trees, and (6) You will not drink the wine from grapes you grow. These things literally came true when the people were taken into captivity.

Sadly God promised, "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." (Micah 6:16) God said, "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." (1 Kings 16:25-26) Omri"s legacy is one of great evil. "He must be remembered as the progenitor of four sovereigns whose capacity for evil was unmatched: King Ahab, King Ahaziah, King Jehoram, and Judah"s Queen Athaliah." Omri evil had continued to Micah"s day. He spoke of it in the present tense even thou this was at least 150 years after the time of Omri himself.

 


Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition available at BibleSupport.com. Public Domain.

Bibliography Information
Box, Charles. "Commentary on Micah 6:4". "Charles Box's Commentaries on Selected books of the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/box/micah-6.html. 2014.

Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, October 22nd, 2019
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29
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