In Micah six we see religious perversion at its worst. The scene is a spiritual courtroom as God has a case against His people and He takes Israel to court. Creation plays the role of judge and/or jury as the mountains hear the indictments against the Jews in Micah 6:1-5. Then “guilty as sin” Israel has the audacity to try to defend and excuse themselves against God’s accusations of sin and spiritual hypocrisy in Micah 6:6-7. They get in God’s face and accuse God of being unfair. The suffering they are experiencing and the absence of God’s protection from their enemies baffles them since they are bringing sacrifices to God on a regular basis. They are trying to buy God off! What do we have to do to get God off our backs and do His job of protecting us from our enemies? Do we need to bring thousands of animal sacrifices? Do we need to sacrifice our children? They lived in sin, neglected widows and orphans, cheated people, etc. and then thought an offering in the temple would merit them salvation.
What Israel failed to realize is that God is not interested in someone simply making an external sacrifice in an effort to try to buy His favor while they walk in the darkness of sin. God wants the heart of His people. A dynamic equivalent would be someone living in sin during the week and then going to church on Sunday and giving a little money and thinking God is happy with them.
Here is the bottom line: we cannot earn God’s favor. The way to the heart of God is to acknowledge the supremacy of God followed by humbling ourselves before Him, admitting we are sinners who need His mercy and grace, and then treating others as we would want them to treat us with kindness and love. Micah 6:8 hits the nail on the head when the prophet writes, “He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8).
Read Micah 6:1-8 and then listen to When Our Heart Sings by Rush of Fools. The walk humbly with the Lord today.
Listen to what the Lord says:
“Stand up, plead my case before the mountains;
let the hills hear what you have to say.
“Hear, you mountains, the Lord’s accusation;
listen, you everlasting foundations of the earth.
For the Lord has a case against his people;
he is lodging a charge against Israel.
“My people, what have I done to you?
How have I burdened you? Answer me.
I brought you up out of Egypt
and redeemed you from the land of slavery.
I sent Moses to lead you,
also Aaron and Miriam.
My people, remember
what Balak king of Moab plotted
and what Balaam son of Beor answered.
Remember your journey from Shittim to Gilgal,
that you may know the righteous acts of the Lord.”
With what shall I come before the Lord
and bow down before the exalted God?
Shall I come before him with burnt offerings,
with calves a year old?
Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams,
with ten thousand rivers of olive oil?
Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression,
the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?
He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.