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Wednesday, November 29th, 2023
the Week of Christ the King / Proper 29 / Ordinary 34
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Bible Commentaries
Micah 6

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Verses 1-16

Chapter 6

Hear ye now what the LORD says; 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 ( Micah 6:1-3 ),

Still His people after all of this.

what have I done unto you? ( Micah 6:3 )

And listen to God's pleading with the people. God says, "What have I done? What have I done wrong? What have I done against you?"

and wherein have I wearied you? ( Micah 6:3 )

Go ahead and tell Me, witness against Me, give a testimony against Me. What have I done? Where have I wearied you?

For I brought you up out of the land of Egypt, and I redeemed you out of the house of servants ( Micah 6:4 );

I took you from bondage and from slavery. You were nothing but a bunch of slaves.

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 Gilgal; that ye may know the righteousness of the LORD ( Micah 6:4-5 ).

Now he says, now go back and read the prophecies of Balaam when Balak the king said, "Come and curse these people." And so he said, "Built me an altar," and he built an altar. And as he began to look over tents of Jacob he began to declare, "O how beautiful are the tents of Jacob. O how glorious is their redeemer. O that I may die the death of Jacob." And he began to declare the glory. And the king said, "Shut up. I don't want you to bless them. I want you to curse them." And he took them to another mountain, built another altar. He said, "Go back and read what I had to say about you. Read the blessings that I declared concerning you." And God is saying go back and read them. So you ought to go back when you get home tonight in Numbers and read the prophecies of Balaam concerning Israel.

O my people, remember now the words that were spoken through Balaam; that you may know how righteous I have been towards you. Wherewith shall I come before the LORD, and bow myself before the high God? shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old? ( Micah 6:5-6 )

"How can I approach God?" the prophet is saying.

Will the LORD be pleased if I should offer a thousand rams, or ten thousand of rivers of oil? ( Micah 6:7 )

What can I offer to God as a sacrifice for all of God's blessings and goodness?

shall I give my firstborn for my transgressions, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? ( Micah 6:7 )

Should I offer my own son to God? What can I do? What does God want of me? What does God require of me?

And the prophet answers,

He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you, just to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God? ( Micah 6:8 )

You say, "Well, that doesn't sound so bad." But look at it again. God requires that you do justly. Have you always done the right thing? Have you always been fair and honest? Have you never cheated in a deal? Have you never concealed or hid a part of the truth? Well, scratch that one off.

To love mercy; do you really love mercy? Do you really love to just forgive and say, "Oh, forget it. It doesn't really matter. That's all right." Or, do you love to get even? Do you go around saying, "I'll get even with him if it's the last thing I do. You just wait. I'll get even."

and to walk humbly with thy God? ( Micah 6:8 )

"Six things God hates; yea, there are seven that are an abomination (now I don't really know what an abomination is, but it sounds bad) unto Him" ( Proverbs 6:16 ). Top of the list of the things that God hates that are an abomination, at the top of the list is a proud look. "Pride goes before destruction," the Lord said, "and a haughty spirit before a fall" ( Proverbs 16:18 ). God hates the pride of men. God wants you to walk humbly with Him. That is what God requires. That is what God insists upon, but I have failed. I have not walked humbly before the Lord. I have not loved mercy. I have not done justly. What does God want? A thousand rams, rivers of oil? What can I give to God? What does God want from me? What does God require? He doesn't require a thousand rams. He doesn't require rivers of oil to be offered in sacrifice. All He says is, "Hey, I've shown you the good way. It is: do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly." Well, Lord, I can't even do that. What now do You require?

They came to Jesus and said, "What must we do to do the works of God?" And Jesus said, "This is the work of God: just believe on Him whom He has sent" ( John 6:29 ). All right, I can handle that. That I can do. This is the work of God: that you believe on Him whom He has sent. So God's actual requirement for us tonight is just to believe in His Son Jesus Christ as our own Lord and Savior. And by your believing in Him, He will come into your life. He will begin to indwell your life and He will begin to give you the power to do justly. He will begin to transform your heart to where you'll love mercy. And as you look upon His face, there is no way you could be proud, but you'll walk humbly before the Lord. So God's requirements.

The prophet is crying out, "What can I do? Does God want me to give Him my first-born son, rivers of oil, whatever? What does God require?" And the Lord answers, "He has shown thee O man what is good. This is what God requires."

The LORD'S voice cries unto the city, and the man of wisdom shall see thy name: hear ye the rod, and who hath appointed it. Are there not yet the treasures of wickedness in the house of the wicked, does God hate the scant measure that is abominable? ( Micah 6:9-10 )

I was reading one time where a baker filed a suit against a farmer in court in England. And in his suit he charged that the farmer was continually giving him less butter as he sold it to him. He said, "When he first started out selling me butter he gave me a true pound of butter, but gradually he has been giving me less and less butter for the pound, until now he is only giving me about twelve ounces of butter and charging me for a pound." The farmer in his own defense said to the judge, "Sir, I only have balance scales to measure the butter." And he said, "I always take the baker's pound loaf of bread and put it on the scale to weigh the butter." God speaks here against the scant measures that are an abomination unto him.

And then those that have a bag full of deceitful weights. Now they used the balance scales and they had deceitful weights. They had one set of weights that they would buy with and another set that they would sell with; deceitful weights, bag full of deceitful weights. God says, "I hate that." Dishonesty in dealing with our brothers. What a violation that is to the law of God where Jesus said, "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." What a violation to that law to cheat or to defraud my brother, to use deceitfulness in dealing with him.

For the rich men are full of violence [he declares], and the inhabitants have spoken lies, their tongues are deceitful. Therefore also will I make thee sick in smiting thee, and in making thee desolate because of your sins. You will eat, but not be satisfied ( Micah 6:12-14 );

And how true this is of a man who gives himself over to unbridled lust; he eats, but he is never satisfied.

and thy casting down shall be in the midst of thee; and thou shalt take hold, but you will not deliver; and that which you delivered you will give up to the sword. For you will sow, but you will not reap ( Micah 6:14-15 );

Someone else will reap the benefits of all of your efforts and work.

thou shalt tread the olives, that they shalt not anoint thee with oil; and sweet wine, but you will not drink it. For the statutes of Omri are kept, and all the works of the house of Ahab ( Micah 6:15-16 ),

Omri and Ahab, the two wicked kings of Israel that led the people into such abominable practices and sins.

But you're walking in their counsels ( Micah 6:16 );

You're following after their ways.

that I should make thee a desolation, and the inhabitants thereof a hissing: therefore shall ye bear the reproach of my people ( Micah 6:16 ).

A sign of great disdain was just hissssss. They wanted to show just utter disdain for people, they would just hiss at them just like you do a cat, hiss. So it showed a sign of total disdain and God said, "You will become a hissing. People will see you and they'll just hiss at you. They'll just give you the 'ol hiss." It is sort of an irritating thing to have a person do that to you. They still do it. I've had them do it to me over there in Israel. They'll hiss at you if you don't buy their merchandise and you go to leave and they're angry with you and they'll hiss at you. They'll also spit, and that too is a sign of great disdain. In the Oriental customs if you want to show total disdain, you spit on a person. Of course, I guess that would show disdain here too, but we're a little more cultured. "

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Micah 6". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/micah-6.html. 2014.
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