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The Scriptorium

Case Closed

Closed for then, but God would re-open it in the last days. Micah 6

The Case against God’s People: Micah 6 (7)

Opening Prayer: Psalm 48.1-3
Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised
In the city of our God,
In His holy mountain.
Beautiful in elevation,
The joy of the whole earth,
Is Mount Zion on the sides of the north,
The city of the great King.
God is in her palaces;
He is known as her refuge.

Sing Psalm 48.1-3

(Cwm Rhondda: Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah)
Great is God, now greatly praise Him in the city of the Lord.
Holy she, His lovely mountain, great and glorious by His Word!
God her King is great within her, He, her Stronghold ever sure!
He, her Stronghold ever sure!

Read Micah 6; meditate on verse 9

1. Who will see the Name of the Lord?

2. What had God appointed for His people?

Micah 6 reads like a court hearing. God has a complaint against His people, a court case, which He will briefly unfold (vv. 1, 2). First, He marshals the evidence of His lovingkindness and goodness. He saved His people, gave them loving shepherds, brought them through the wilderness, and overthrew the pagan kings of Canaan, that they might enjoy the land He promised to their fathers (vv. 3-5). Thus the people could see and know the righteousness of the Lord (v. 5).

How should the people have responded to this? Micah, speaking on behalf of the nation, declares that merely offering outward obeisance through offerings is not what God was seeking, much less to offer their children, following the practices of pagan nations, as sacrifices to Him (vv. 6, 7). God required of His people true fellowship with Him, issuing in goodness, justice, and mercy (v. 8). And this, under the influence of pagan religion and ways, was what the people of Israel and Judah sorely lacked.

Verse 9 begins the verdict: Anyone with a lick of wisdom would be able to see the justice of God’s case. Now the rod of judgment must fall on the backs of His people.

For their wickedness – deceit, lying, violence, and more – God will bring His people to desolation, blighting their economy (vv. 13-15) and bringing them to ruin and captivity (v. 14) because they preferred the statutes and works of wickedness to the good, just, and loving Law of the Lord (v. 16).

The pagan world would confirm the justice of God’s case against His people by hissing at them as they were borne away captive to Assyria and Babylon. Case closed.

Treasure Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
In God’s mercy, cases are begun, closed, and reopened. Here the LORD cries to the city.

In Proverbs 8 we read of wisdom crying out and understanding lifting up her voice. (Prov. 8.1)

Matthew 9.13 tells us that God calls sinners to repentance.

Peter tells us in Acts 2.39 that “the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.”

And Jesus cried out “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!” (Matt. 23.37)

And for all of us, how often did the case seem closed but God in His mercy opened our hearts to Himself? How thankful we all should be that what seemed finished was reopened with a call and a cry from Him.

“O for the wonderful love He has promised,
Promised for you and for me!
Though we have sinned, He has mercy and pardon,
Pardon for you and for me.
Come home, come home,
Ye who are weary, come home;
Earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling,
Calling, O sinner, come home!”

--Will Thompson, 1880

1. Why did God have a “case” against His people? How had they offended against Him?

2. Meditate on Hebrews 12.3-11. How does God “chasten” His people today?

3. How would you know if God was crying out against you? How should you respond?

The voice of Jehovah cries to arouse or awaken; that is though the people are torpid, and as it were overpowered with sleep, for they indulged themselves in their sins; yet the voice of God ought to be sufficient to arouse them all: however sleepy they might have been, there was yet power enough in the doctrine of the Law, which the Prophet daily proclaimed. But still this voice, by which the whole people ought to have been awakened, was not heard!
John Calvin (1509-1564), Commentary on Micah 6.9

Closing Prayer: Psalm 48.9-14

Praise God that, in His lovingkindness, He has given Jesus for the forgiveness of our sins, and has made Him the Chief Cornerstone of the Church. Pray for yourself and your church, that you might grow to become more like Jesus.

Sing Psalm 48.9-14

(Cwm Rhondda: Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah)
For Your grace and lovingkindness we proclaim Your matchless worth!
As Your Name is, great and boundless, let Your praise fill all the earth.
Let Your people sing rejoicing for the judgment of Your truth;
for the judgment of Your truth.

Walk about the blessèd city, see her beauty, see her power.
Count her ramparts, filled with glory, look on ev’ry mighty tower.
Tell her glory to the nations: God will guide her evermore;
God will guide her evermore!

T. M. and Susie Moore

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Micah in God’s Covenant
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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.


T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT.
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