The Judgment of Israel, and the Scorn of Her Enemies (Micah 6; Micah 7)

Scripture reading – Micah 6; Micah 7

Today’s Scripture reading concludes our study of the prophecies of Micah. His ministry spanned the reigns of three kings of Judah (1:1-2), and his prophecies gave testimony to not only the failings of Israel (the northern ten tribes) and Judah (the southern kingdom), but God’s judgments that were to fall upon both kingdoms.

While he was not the only prophet of the LORD in his day (his contemporaries were Hosea, Amos, and Isaiah), his ministry served as a clarion call to God’s people to repent of their wickedness lest Israel be destroyed and the people taken captive. With the clouds of judgment on the near horizon, Micah made his final plea.

Micah 6 – A Final Appeal Before Judgment

Returning to a future scene of judgment as though in a courtroom, Micah summoned the mountains and hills: “Hear ye now what the Lord saith…2Hear ye, O mountains, the Lord’s controversy” (6:1-2). “Arise,” stand up, act as witnesses to the LORD’s cause against His people (6:1-2).

God’s Love and Providential Care (6:3-5)

In a series of questions, the LORD proposed His case against His chosen people. He rehearsed how He had providentially cared for them, but they had rejected Him as their God (6:3-7). The LORD had redeemed them out of Egypt, and sent leaders before them (6:4). He had turned the curses of Israel’s adversaries (6:5), and brought Israel into the Promised Land (6:5).

What Does God Require? (6:6-7)

Micah appealed to the people, saying, “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? 7Will 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?” (Micah 6:6–7).

God’s Requirements (6:8; Deuteronomy 10:12-13)

Micah declared the LORD required three things of His people: Justice; Faithfulness to the Covenant; and to Walk in the way of the LORD (6:8).

“He [the LORD] hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly [righteous judgment according to His Law], and to love mercy [being merciful is an act of love], and to walk humbly [i.e. obediently; confessing our sins] with thy God?” (6:8)

Israel Had Failed the LORD (6:9-12)

The LORD sent prophets, and warned Israel the “rod” of God’s judgment was certain (6:9). Instead of repenting, the people continued in their sin, and enriched themselves, for there were “treasures of wickedness in the house of the wicked” (6:10).

The people were guilty of deceiving the people in the marketplaces, using unjust, unlawful weights (6:10-11). The rich had obtained their wealth by violence, and the people had “spoken lies, and their tongue [was] deceitful” (6:12).

The Ways in Which God’s Judgment Would be Manifest (6:13-16)

The LORD would smite the nation with a sickness, rendering death and desolation (6:13). Perhaps indicating some form of dysentery, the people would “eat, but not be satisfied” (6:14). They would hoard, but their enemies would take away their stored good (6:14). They would sow their fields, but another people would reap that which had been sown (6:15).

Although Assyria was an aggressive adversary of Israel, Micah prophesied Babylon (4:10) would invade Judah and leave the city of Jerusalem desolate (6:16).

God’s judgment against His people invited a scorn, “an hissing” (6:16), for Israel would bear the disgrace of the people’s wickedness.

Copyright © 2022 – Travis D. Smith