Scripture reading – Micah 6; Micah 7

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This is the first of two Bible studies from today’s Scripture reading.

 Micah 6

Micah’s ministry spanned the reigns of three kings of Judah (Micah 1:1-2). His prophecies pronounced the failings of Israel (the northern ten tribes) and Judah (the southern kingdom) and announced the judgments of the LORD that soon fell on both nations.

As one of several prophets in his day (his contemporaries were Hosea, Amos, and Isaiah), Micah’s ministry served as a clarion call to Israel and Judah to repent of their wickedness. He warned that should they continue in their sinful ways, Israel would be destroyed, and the people would be taken away. With the clouds of God’s judgment forming on the horizon, Micah made his final plea to the people in chapters 6 and 7.

A Final Appeal Before Judgment (Micah 6:1-2)

Returning to a scene of judgment that was reminiscent of a courtroom, Micah summoned the mountains and hills: “Hear ye now what the Lord saith; Arise” (i.e., stand up, Micah 6:1). The prophet summoned “the mountains” and “the hills” to serve as witnesses to the LORD’s “controversy” with Israel (Micah 6:2).

God’s Compassionate Love and Providential Care of Israel (Micah 6:3-5)

God’s Compassionate Love and Providential Care of Israel (Micah 6:3-5)

With Micah serving as His voice, the LORD proposed in a series of questions His case against His chosen people. He rehearsed how He providentially cared for them, but they had rejected Him as their God (Micah 6:3-7). The LORD redeemed them from Egyptian slavery and sent “Moses, Aaron, and Miriam” to go before them (Micah 6:4). He had turned the curses of Israel’s adversaries (6:5) and brought the nation through the wilderness and into the Promised Land (Micah 6:5).

 

What Does the LORD Require? (Micah 6:6-7)

Micah 6:6-7 reminds us of the prophet Samuel’s controversy with King Saul when he rebuked the king and asked, “Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, As in obeying the voice of the Lord?” (1 Samuel 15:22a), Micah appealed to the people and asked:

“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 (Micah 6:8; Deuteronomy 10:12-13)

Micah declared the LORD had revealed to His people “what is good” and what He requires. Three things the LORD required: “To do justly [righteous judgment according to His Law], and to love mercy [loving compassion], and to walk humbly [i.e., obediently; confessing our sins] with thy God?” (Micah 6:8)

Israel Had Failed the LORD (Micah 6:9-12)

The LORD sent prophets who warned Jerusalem that the “rod” of God’s judgment was sure (Micah 6:9). What was that rod? The prophet Isaiah revealed it was Israel’s adversary: “O Assyrian, the rod of mine anger…I will send him against an hypocritical nation” (Isaiah 10:5-6).

Instead of repenting, the leaders of Israel continued in their sins. They enriched themselves, for there were “treasures of wickedness in the house of the wicked” (Micah 6:10). The merchants deceived the people in the marketplaces with “wicked balances” (i.e., weights, Micah 6:10-11). Micah assailed the “rich men” who enriched themselves by violence and accused the people of lies and deceitfulness (Micah 6:12).

Signs of God’s Judgment Against a Rebellious People (Micah 6:13-16)

Signs of God’s Judgment Against a Rebellious People (Micah 6:13-16)

The first sign of God’s judgment was not the assault of the Assyrian army but was a sickness and plague that began among the people. The LORD declared through His prophet, “I make thee sick in smiting thee, In making thee desolate because of thy sins” (Micah 6:13).

Micah 6:14 seemed to describe some form of dysentery, for the people would “eat, but not be satisfied” (Micah 6:14). They hoarded, yet their enemies took away their stored goods (Micah 6:14). They sowed their fields, but another people reaped that which had been sown (Micah 6:15).

 

Summary of Micah 6

Micah prophesied that Babylon (Micah 4:10) would invade Judah and leave Jerusalem desolate (Micah 6:16). The prophet Isaiah foretold that Assyria would be Israel’s adversary (Isaiah 10:5-6). Micah summed up God’s judgment of that nation’s sins (identified as “all the works of the house of Ahab”) and declared: “I should make thee a desolation, And the inhabitants thereof an hissing: Therefore ye shall bear the reproach of my people” (Micah 6:16).

Israel would bear the disgrace of the people’s wickedness.

*A second Bible study will consider Micah 7.

Copyright © 2023 – Travis D. Smith 

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