Micah 6:1-8, “Hear ye now what the LORD saith; Arise, contend thou before the mountains, and let the hills hear thy voice. Hear ye, O mountains, the LORD’S controversy, and ye strong foundations of the earth: for the LORD hath a controversy with his people, and he will plead with Israel. O my people, what have I done unto thee? and wherein have I wearied thee? testify against me. For I brought thee up out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed thee out of the house of servants; and I sent before thee Moses, Aaron, and Miriam. O my people, remember now what Balak king of Moab consulted, and what Balaam the son of Beor answered him from Shittim unto Gil-gal; that ye may know the righteousness of the LORD. Wherewith shall I come be-fore the LORD, and bow myself before the high God? shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old? Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thou-sands of rivers of oil? shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?”
Every time I read these verses I have a sense of conviction in my heart. While the passage is written to Israel, the application to us is difficult to miss.
Micah was a contemporary of Isaiah. He saw the steady degeneration of both kingdoms and was, as the other prophets, sent to be a voice that would call them to repentance and obedience to the Lord. The year of Micah’s prophecy would be approximately 750 B.C. It would not be long before the Northern Kingdom would be taken into captivity and dispersed by the Assyrians. God would spare the Southern Kingdom of Judah for another season, but ultimately they, too, would meet the fruit of their sin and rebellion.
As I read this passage, I see a couple of important points. Firstly, notice the Lord speaking with what almost appears to be consternation. “What have I done…wherein have I wearied thee?” Had the Lord been too hard on Israel? Had He expected too much? Had He mistreated them? The answer is, “No.” In fact, just the opposite was true. God had “brought [them] up out of…Egypt,…redeemed [them],” and given them Moses, Aaron, and Miriam to lead them. Furthermore, when Balak had called for Balaam to curse Israel, the Lord had put a blessing I Balaam’s mouth. He re-minds them of this so that they would “know the righteousness of the LORD.” Yet, in light of this and the many other blessings from God, the people of Israel still turned their back on Him, worshipped idols, and would not obey His Word!
Secondly, notice that the Lord was not looking for a sacrifice from the people in order to repair their relationship with Him, (vs. 6-7). How could there be enough sacrifices to cover the multitude of sins? What did the LORD want? He had already shown them. What He wanted was for man to “do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with [his] God.” He wanted their fellowship which would be displayed by their obedience. The verse is, again, as though the Lord is beside Himself in asking, “Have I really asked that much of you? Is it not enough that I have saved you, made you my people, and desired your fellowship?”
So it is with us. God has saved us from sin and hell through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. He has made us His Sons, and desires our daily fellowship and obedience to His Word. Has He really asked that much of us?
No matter how much I grow in my Christian life, I still realise that I could be so much more faithful to Him. He is SO faithful. We are, many times, SO unfaithful. Are we walking humbly with our God? Do we put Him before everything else in our lives? Do we excuse sin or disobedience?
May God help us to be faithful to Him!