IV. The Lawsuit Against Judah (Micah 6:1-16)


IV. The Lawsuit Against Judah (6:1-16)

6:1-3 After giving Israel a picture of their future hope, Micah returns to the issue at hand, namely, Israel’s spiritual and moral decline: Listen to the Lord’s lawsuit, you mountains and enduring foundations of the earth, because the Lord has a case against his people, and he will argue it against Israel (6:2). The Lord presents his lawsuit before all creation, and his point is solid.

6:4-5 The Lord’s multipoint argument, in fact, goes to the core of his relationship with Israel. First, he says, I brought you up out of Egypt and redeemed you from that place of slavery (6:4). The exodus was the most significant historical event in the history of Israel. Nothing could compare with God’s powerful work to deliver Israel from Egypt. Second, God gave Israel great leaders: Moses, Aaron, and Miriam have a place of prominence in Israel’s history (6:4). Third, God provided protection in their journey to the promised land when he intervened in the matter of King Ba-lak of Moab and Balaam son of Beor (6:5). Balak wanted Balaam to pronounce a curse upon Israel. Instead, God commanded Balaam to pronounce a blessing on them (see Num 22-24).

6:6-8 In every case, God acted faithfully toward his chosen people. They, on the other hand, couldn’t say the same. So, how could they please the Lord? By bringing burnt offerings? By offering their firstborn? (6:6-7). No. God is not interested in mere religious rituals.

What God wants is your heart and mind. He wants your love and obedience. He’s a personal God and expects a personal relationship. He also expects you to love your neighbors by doing them good and ministering to their needs. The answer to what it is that the Lord requires is simple. Every person is to act justly, to love faithfulness, and to walk humbly with . . . God (6:8). Religion becomes authentic when it demonstrates itself in the equitable application of biblical truth in order to meet the needs of people in God’s name (see Jas 1:27).

6:9-16 Micah says God’s people should pay attention to the rod of discipline and the one who ordained it (6:9). But they’re like children disciplined by their father only to remain foolishly unwilling to change their ways. Micah knows, in fact, that these people are not going to subscribe to God’s requirements. The evidence is against them. Wickedness and violence abound among them (6:10-12). Therefore, God’s punishment will be unleashed. Regardless of what they have or acquire, they will not be satisfied with it (6:14).

It’s possible to get everything you want—but not be satisfied. True satisfaction is found in God. By rejecting him and following Israel into idolatry, the people of Judah would face contempt and scorn (6:16).