The Case against God’s People: Micah 6 (1)
Opening Prayer: Psalm 33.1-5
Rejoice in the LORD, O you righteous!
For praise from the upright is beautiful.
Praise the LORD with the harp;
Make melody to Him with an instrument of ten strings.
Sing to Him a new song;
Play skillfully with a shout of joy.
For the word of the LORD is right,
And all His work is done in truth.
He loves righteousness and justice;
The earth is full of the goodness of the LORD.
Sing Psalm 33.1-5
(Truro: Shout, for the Blessed Jesus Reigns!)
Sing with rejoicing in the Lord, for praise becomes His righteous ones!
With harps and songs raise grateful words, and let new songs of praise be sung!
Joyfully shout! His Word is true; He does His work in faithfulness.
His love prevails the whole world through; the Lord loves truth and righteousness.
Read Micah 6.1, 2
1. To what was Micah calling the people of his day?
2. Why was he doing this?
God “has a complaint against His people” (v. 2). We see this frequently with the prophets. God has a רִ֣יב, reeve, or case to bring to His people, and the purpose of this is to convict them of their sin and to vindicate His righteous judgment.
Micah presents a summons to court, as it were. He calls the people of Israel and Judah to plead the case for their rebellion, idolatry, and wickedness before the creation (v. 1). We see this same idea elsewhere in Scripture as well, for example, in Psalm 50 and in Job 38-41. God insists that His people justify their wickedness in the open court of His good creation.While they may have thought the high places, where they worshiped their false gods, would justify their ways, they would be sorely disappointed. The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord (Ps. 33.5). The creation will expose the wickedness of God’s people.
But it will do so as it hears God’s side of the reeve (v. 2). The case God presents will be full of grace, goodness, kindness, bounty, and wisdom – just the like the creation. God’s case will resonate with what the people see in creation around them, while their own case will be exposed as the very antipathy of God’s good intentions. Both the Word and creation of God speak of the wisdom, goodness, justice, bounty, and kindness of His ways.
Treasure Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
“God insists that His people justify their wickedness in the open court of His good creation. The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.” But the earth is not the Lord and is not to be sought for justification.
God says to the people of Micah’s day: “Arise, plead your case before the mountains, and let the hills hear your voice” (Mic. 6.1) The psalmist speaks in the same way: “I will lift up my eyes to the hills – from whence comes my help? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth” (Ps.121.1, 2). We can look to the mountains to speak of the LORD in His grandeur and majesty, but the mountains are not the answer. The LORD is; and He is the maker of all that is in the heaven and the earth.
We see this same situation with Elijah and the prophets of Baal when he says to them: “Call on the name of your god…” “But there was no voice; no one answered…there was no voice; no one answered, no one paid attention” (1 Kgs. 18.25, 26, 29). Only God hears our requests; only God can forgive our sins. Only He will contend with us.
As Jeremiah wrote: “Truly, in vain is salvation hoped for from the hills, and from the multitude of mountains; truly, in the LORD our God isthe salvation of Israel” (Jer. 3.23).
“The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork” (Ps. 19. 1). The court of creation shouts to us of the power and justice of God. God convicts us of sin. “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 Jn. 1.8, 9).
1. Why did God have a case with the people of Micah’s day? Does He ever have a case against you?
2. Why should we expect the world of God to clarify, support, illustrate, and otherwise sustain the Word of God?
3. How can meditating on the goodness of God in all the earth help us to walk more consistently in the ways of His Word?
The meaning then is that when the Prophet had spent much labor on the people and derived no fruit, he is at length bidden to call the mountains and the hills to bear their testimony to God; and thus before the elements is made known and proved the ungodliness and the obstinacy of the people. John Calvin (1509-1564), Commentary on Micah 6.1
Closing Prayer: Psalm 33.13-22
Thank the Lord that He watches you always, and that His faithfulness and salvation never fail. Wait on the Lord in prayer, as He shows you how to prepare to trust and serve Him for the day ahead.
(Truro: Shout, for the Blessed Jesus Reigns!)
God from His throne looks down on men; He knows our works and made our hearts.
Let not Your Church, let none depend on strength or skill or human arts.
God watches those who fear His Name, who hope upon His grace and love;
He keeps their souls from death and shame who trust in Him Who reigns above.
God is our Helper and our Shield; upon us let Your grace descend!
We hope in You; to You we yield; we trust in Jesus to the end.
T. M. and Susie Moore
You can listen to our summary of last week’s study by clicking here.
If you find Scriptorium helpful in your walk with the Lord, please seek the Lord, asking Him whether you should contribute to the support of this daily ministry with your financial gifts. As the Lord leads, you can use the Contribute button at the website to give with a credit card or through PayPal, or you can send your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 360 Zephyr Road, Williston, VT 05495.
Except as indicated, all Scriptures are taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. For sources of all quotations, see the weekly PDF of this study. All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (Williston: Waxed Tablet Publications, 2006), available by clicking here.