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Bible Commentaries
Micah 6

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

Verses 1-16


Verses 1-16:

Jehovah’s Controversy With His People

Verse 1 begins the third division of Micah. The first concerned pending judgment on Samaria and Jerusalem, objects of God’s controversy with Israel, Micah 1:1-2; Micah 1:13. The second described their coming judgment and captivities, Micah 3:1 to Micah 5:15, with interspersed windows of hope and final deliverance. The third section also begins with the "Hear ye" appeal to what the Lord has to say about their call to contend before the hills and mountains; they call to let the Lord’s voice be resounded, as from the mountains of Ebal and Gerazim, Deuteronomy 11:29; Deuteronomy 27:11-14. The word of the Lord (the law of the Lord) is to settle or be the basis of settling all controversy before God, Deuteronomy 31:1; Isaiah 1:2; 2 Timothy 4:1-3; Revelation 20:11-15; Revelation 22:18-19. By the word men should live, and by it they shall all be judged, without excuse, Romans 2:1; Romans 14:11-12; Philippians 2:10-11.

Verse 2 is an emphasis call from God to Israel, His once divorced wife, whom He put away for her idolatry and fornication, her spiritual infidelity, whom He sent into captivity to heathen nations, later dispersed among all nations for her rejecting the Redeemer, Luke 21:24. She is still "his people," though in infidelity toward him. He still stretches out His hands "all day long," for her, calls her to return and receive Him as her own Redeemer, Romans 1:1; Isaiah 66:2.

Verse 3 inquires of Israel "O my people," how her forefathers had wearied Him in their breaches of His law in the days of Balak and Baalam, v. 6. He asks that they explain what He had done to cause them to err, or wherein He had wearied them. Would they just give a testimony against Him? Were His laws unholy? Or had they simply let their unholy, carnal, covetous, lustful nature lead them to do wrong? Isaiah 43:22-23; Isaiah 45:23; 1 John 5:3; Jeremiah 2:31.

Verse 4 reminds them (Israel) that He had liberated them from Egypt and Redeemed them from bondage, given them Moses, Aaron, and Miriam as Divine helpers to return to their promised land. His mercy, love, and kindness had saved them as a nation before this; and He is about to assure them that He has never quit caring for them, Exodus 14:30; Isaiah 59:20. He sent a) Moses to give holy laws, b) Aaron to pray and sacrifice for the people, lead them in worship, and c) Miriam to be an example for the women in Israel, Exodus 15:10.

Verse 5 appeals with tenderness, "O my people," asking them to recall how that Balak, king of Moab, consulted or plotted to destroy you all by asking Balaam to curse you? You remember the story, do you not? And recall how Balaam, the son of Peor responded, against his own avaricious will, to bless Israel whom he really desired to curse, to get the reward offered by Balak, Numbers 23:7-10; Numbers 24:4-11; Numbers 24:15-24. He reminds how Balaam answered Balak from Shittim in Gilgal; the first place is where Balak confronted Balaam, the latter is an expression of God’s blessing Israel from the former place to the latter, the first encampment and altar place of Israel in the promised land, near Jericho; Balaam was slain at Midian, yet God cared for Israel, Numbers 24:1-5; 2 Peter 2:15; Revelation 2:14; Joshua 5:2-11. Let them be aware that God has been good to them, Judges 5:11; Psalms 24:5; Psalms 112:9.

Verse 6 the question of whether or not those of Israel should even approach God and bow before Him as the most High God. What will it take, they inquire, to appease His wrath? Will burnt offerings, prescribed by the law, Leviticus ch. 1, be sufficient? Or the calf, a year old, thought the most important, that was offered as a burnt offering by the priest? Leviticus 9:2-3.

Verse 7 further inquires whether or not the Lord will be pleased with thousands of rams or ten thousands of rivers of oil. Calves, as offerings, were heightened in value by quality, in rams by quantity. It is then asked if one should sacrifice his own firstborn flesh on behalf of appeasing God, because of his transgressions, 2 Kings 3:27. May one’s children be given as an atonement (satisfaction) for one’s own sins? The answer is "no", Psalms 132:11; Though Ahaz did. this to his son in the valley of Hinnom, before the god of Maloch, it was an abomination to God, Jeremiah 19:5; Jeremiah 32:35; Ezekiel 23:37; 2 Kings 16:3; 2 Chronicles 28:3.

Verse 8 then replies to these foolish inquiries, asserting that God had already showed or demonstrated to every man of Israel and Adam’s race what was good or ideal for each, Deuteronomy 10:12; Deuteronomy 30:11-14. Then Micah inquired whether or not they could name even one requirement God had made to them beyond these three positive things: (The sacrifices were but shadows showing how God in Christ would meet their needs.)

a) To do justly, Genesis 18:19; Isaiah 1:17.

b) To love mercy, have gratitude for lovingkindness, Deuteronomy 8:14.

c) And to walk humbly with their God, 1 Samuel 15:22.

These three moral duties are summed up by the Lord as judgment, mercy, faith, Matthew 13:13; Luke 11:12; James 1:27. Let us walk humbly before, in communion with God, as Enoch did, Genesis 5:24; Hebrews 11:5.

Verse 9 declares that the Lord’s voice crieth to the city and the man of wisdom will respond to the rod of judgment, from the Lord who sent it, even as wise children are helped by responding obediently to the lesson of the rod, Hebrews 12:9-11; Isaiah 9:13; Isaiah 10:5; Isaiah 10:24; Jeremiah 47:7.

Verse 10 inquires, asking the wicked to respond, whether there are yet, in spite of His warnings, still ill gotten treasures and gain hidden in their houses. And whether or not they are still using "scant measure" of cheating, cutting light the pound, short the yard, or shrinking the bushel in their abominable commercial activities? Proverbs 11:1; Amos 7:5.

Verse 11 asks whether or not God should count, calculate, or consider one to be just or pure who used wicked balances with a bag of deceitful weights, switching to make produce lighter when buying, and heavier when selling, Psalms 18:26; Deuteronomy 25:13; Proverbs 16:11. To buy by light weighing scales and then sell on heavy weighing scales was wicked theft, then practiced, Exodus 20:15.

Verse 12 directly charges that the rich of the land are full of volcanic, erupting violence, and the inhabitants of both Israel and Judah have used their tongue and mouth to lie and cheat and deceive; And that same tongue is soiled above a wicked heart, as an offense to the God of their law and land; See Psalms 10:7; Psalms 12:3; Psalms 50:19; Psalms 52:2; Psalms 57:4; Psalms 64:3; Psalms 109:2; Proverbs 6:17; Proverbs 12:19; Proverbs 17:20; Proverbs 21:6; James 1:26; James 3:5-6; James 3:8.

Verse 13 warns that the Lord would make the wicked, cheating, rich rulers sick, through His smiting them and making them desolate in judgment for their willful, premeditated sins, Leviticus 26:16; As fools, they shall be afflicted for their transgressions, mortally afflicted Nahum 3:19; Micah 1:9; Psalms 107:17-18; Jeremiah 13:13.

Verse 14 warns that because of their sins their food will not satisfy and their strongholds and temple in Jerusalem were to be cast down in judgment, so that they could not take hold and prevent it. There too was to be a failing of food cast down in the land. And what they seize, and flee with, into the countryside, shall be overtaken with the sword of the foe.

Verse 15 announces certain failures in their efforts to sow and reap, to tread oil, but not be permitted to use it, and to make sweet wine, but deprived of drinking it, all because of their rebellion against their God, Leviticus 26:16; Deuteronomy 28:38-40; Amos 5:11; Zephaniah 1:13; Haggai 1:6.

Verse 16 charges that the statutes of Omri, the conspirator and regicide, the founder of Samaria, and supporter of Jeroboam’s idolatrous superstitions, were followed rather than those of Jehovah God, 1 Kings 16:16-28. They had walked in the ways (pattern of life) of Ahab’s house and his counselor, following heathen ordinances, abandoning God, and disgracing the throne of Israel, Leviticus 20:23; 2 Chronicles 28:2; 1 Kings 21:25-26. These sins had incited God to make Jerusalem and their land a desolation and her inhabitants objects of hissing, Lamentations 2:15. They were therefore warned that they should bear His reproach, because they had dishonored Him, Isaiah 65:7.

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Micah 6". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/micah-6.html. 1985.
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