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FRAMEWORKS: Micah 6: The Lord's case against Israel


v.1,2 The Lord calls Israel to defend themselves against His charge


v.1  Listen to what the Lord says:

‘Stand up, plead my case before the mountains;
    let the hills hear what you have to say.

v.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.


v.3-5 He asks if they can fault His deliverance & provision for them


v.3  ‘My people, what have I done to you?
    How have I burdened you? Answer me.
v.4  I brought you up out of Egypt
    and redeemed you from the land of slavery.
I sent Moses to lead you,
    also Aaron and Miriam.
v.5  My 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.'


v.6-8 It's never been the offerings He wanted, it was righteous, godly lives


v.6  With 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?
v.7  Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams,
    with ten thousand rivers of oil?
Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression,
    the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?
v.8  He 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 humbly with your God.


v.9 The wise heed the Lord's call to them and His rod of correction


v.9  Listen! The Lord is calling to the city –
    and to fear your name is wisdom –
    ‘Heed the rod and the One who appointed it.

v.10-12 Israel's guilt: Should He turn a blind eye to their wrongs


v.10  Am I still to forget [i] your ill-gotten treasures, you wicked house,
[ii] the short ephah, which is accursed?
v.11  Shall I acquit someone with dishonest scales,
    with a bag of false weights?
v.12   [iii] Your rich people are violent;
[iv]  your inhabitants are liars
    and their tongues speak deceitfully.

v.13 His Judgment can be discerned


v.13  Therefore, I have begun to destroy you,
    to ruin you because of your sins.

v.14,15 Ongoing dissatisfaction is the expression of His judgment on them


v.14  You will eat but not be satisfied;
    your stomach will still be empty.
You will store up but save nothing,
    because what you save I will give to the sword.
v.15  You will plant but not harvest;
    you will press olives but not use the oil,
    you will crush grapes but not drink the wine.

v.16 Their occultic & idol-worship practices have forced the Lord to so act


v.16  You 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.'


[Comment: The prophecy presents the Lord's complaints against Israel as a charge in a court case which He calls them to defend [v.1,2]. He demands of them to say how His deliverance & creation of them as a nation fell short [v.3-5]. The prophecy points out that simply providing piles of offerings will never satisfy the holy God, He wants them to live righteous lives [v.6-8] so now He's coming to discipline them and the wise who fear Him would do well to remember He is a God who disciplines [v.9]. Would the court want Him to ignore their sins – their money grabbing, their dishonesty in business, their violence, and their deceit and dishonesty? [v.10-12]. Because they continue to do these things His judgment is starting to be seen [v.13], and the fruits of it are that they will never be satisfied, never have enough [v.14,15]. He is doing it because they have entered into the sins of the wicked kings of the north [v.16a] – Omri [1 Kings 16:25,26] and Ahab his son [1 kings 16:30-33] and so the nations will see what has happened to them and laugh at them [v.16b]. A chapter of challenge and condemnation.]



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