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Micah 6 Study Notes

6:1-16 In this chapter Micah sealed God’s indictment with a covenant lawsuit. He announced the case (vv. 1-2), defended God’s benevolent actions (vv. 3-5), heard a response from the people (vv. 6-7), reported the basis for God’s judgment (v. 8), brought specific accusations (vv. 9-12), and pronounced God’s verdict and punishment (vv. 13-16).

6:1-5 Micah was to plead God’s case, calling the mountains and hills as witnesses as he brought serious charges of covenant unfaithfulness against the people (v. 1). God reminded them of his righteous acts toward them in the past. He rescued them from Egypt, gave them trustworthy leaders such as Moses and Joshua, foiled the schemes of the enemy, and miraculously led them across the Jordan River. The people were to remember and acknowledge his righteous acts. On v. 5, see Nm 24-25. Between the Acacia Grove (Nm 25:1) and Gilgal (Jos 4:19) was the beginning of the conquest.

6:6-7 The people complained that God’s demands were unreasonable. Even to bring offerings, sacrifices, or their firstborn son would not satisfy God’s requirements.

6:8 The people already knew the good things that God required (see Ps 14:1,3; 37:3). God’s interest was not in the offering but the offerer. A person’s character and behavior mattered more to God than any gift they might bring. People were to act justly under God’s standards. They were to love faithfulness, treating one another with love and mercy. They were to walk humbly with God as their constant companion (Gn 6:9), conforming their lives to his will.

6:9-12 The leaders of Jerusalem practiced violence and social injustice. They cheated people in their trade (Am 8:4-5). The wealthy and powerful abused the weak through violence and practiced treachery through lies and deceit.

6:13-16 God’s verdict of judgment for sins is certain. The Lord himself would frustrate all of their best efforts. Because they had followed the example of the wicked and idolatrous kings Omri and Ahab (see 1Kg 16:25-33), God would make Jerusalem a desolate place and its inhabitants an object of contempt. Ahab had killed the Lord’s prophets (1Kg 18:4) and stolen Naboth’s family inheritance through greed, lying, and murder (1Kg 21:1-16).

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