1. Who did the Lord desire to plead with?
Israel: “(1) Hear ye now what the LORD saith; Arise, contend thou before the mountains, and let the hills hear thy voice. (2) 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” (Micah 6:1-2).
- Micah started off saying: “Hear, all ye people; hearken, O earth, and all that therein is: and let the Lord GOD be witness against you, the Lord from his holy temple” (Micah 1:2).
- A prophet calling on the people to hear was not uncommon (II Kings 7:1, II Kings 20:16, Isaiah 1:10, Jeremiah 13:15, Ezekiel 6:3, etc.).
- The problem had been and continues to be that, they weren’t listening (Jeremiah 29:19 and Zechariah 1:4). With Israel not listening, God is essentially speaking to the mountains, the earth.
- The mountains, the earth, the heavens [sky] as hearing (Deuteronomy 4:26, Deuteronomy 32:1, Isaiah 1:2, Jeremiah 22:29, and Ezekiel 36:1).
- Sadly, though man will not hear, the mountains which cannot hear seems more receptive (cf. Psalms 114:1-8 and Luke 19:40).
- The Lord had a controversy [strife; dispute] with His people (Jeremiah 25:31, Hosea 4:1-6, and Hosea 12:2).
- He set forth to plead [judge, rebuke, reprove, correct] with Israel (Proverbs 3:12 and Isaiah 1:18-20).
2. What did God say they could do against Him?
Testify against Him: “O my people, what have I done unto thee? and wherein have I wearied thee? testify against me” (Micah 6:3).
- God wants to hear from them what their charge against Him was (Isaiah 5:3-4 and Jeremiah 2:5; 2:31).
- They were weary of Him, but from what (Isaiah 43:22-23)?
3. What did the Lord have Micah remind Israel of?
What He had done for them in the past: “(4) 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. (5) 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).
- He brought them out of Egypt and their history testified of such (Exodus 14:30-31, Exodus 20:1-2, Deuteronomy 4:20, and Psalms 106:1-10).
- He sent before them Moses, Aaron, and Miriam (Exodus 12:31, Exodus 15:20-21, and Psalms 105:26).
- Remember now (Deuteronomy 8:18 and Psalms 103:1-2).
- Balaam, Balak (Numbers 22:1-24:25; cf. Joshua 24:9-10).
4. What did the Lord show them that He required of man?
“(6) 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? (7) Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? (8) 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” (Micah 6:6-8)?
- Was coming before God about burnt offerings? Well, at times it was (Genesis 8:20, Leviticus 9:1-3, Leviticus 16:5, etc.).
- However, that was not the Lord’s focus (Jeremiah 7:21-23).
- How about an abundance of offerings (I Samuel 15:1-26)?
- In utter ignorance, the history of Israel included sacrificing children (II Chronicles 33:1-9, Ezekiel 16:20-21, and Jeremiah 7:31-32).
- He had shown them what was good (Deuteronomy 10:12-13; cf. II Timothy 3:15-17).
- Do justly (Romans 1:16-17, I Thessalonians 2:10, and Hebrews 10:38).
- Love mercy (Matthew 5:7 and Colossians 3:12).
- Walk with God (Genesis 6:9, Malachi 2:4-6, Colossians 3:1-4, and I John 2:3-6).
- Be humble (Proverbs 16:18, Matthew 18:1-4, Matthew 23:12, and I Peter 5:5-6).
- “To do justice and judgment is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice” (Proverbs 21:3).
5. What was said of the man of wisdom?
He shall see they name, hear… “The LORD'S voice crieth unto the city, and the man of wisdom shall see thy name: hear ye the rod, and who hath appointed it” (Micah 6:9).
- Voice crying (Isaiah 58:1).
- Wisdom is to listen (Proverbs 1:5-7 and Proverbs 19:20).
- Hear the rod [source of correction] for they certainly were not at this time (Isaiah 9:13).
6. Were the wealthy of Israel innocent in gaining their wealth?
No: “(10) Are there yet the treasures of wickedness in the house of the wicked, and the scant measure that is abominable? (11) Shall I count them pure with the wicked balances, and with the bag of deceitful weights? (12) For the rich men thereof are full of violence, and the inhabitants thereof have spoken lies, and their tongue is deceitful in their mouth” (Micah 6:10-12).
- Proverbs 1:18-19, Jeremiah 5:26-27, Amos 3:10, Zephaniah 1:9, and Matthew 23:14
7. Were the rich people addressed in this context going to gain prosperity from the Lord?
No: “(13) Therefore also will I make thee sick in smiting thee, in making thee desolate because of thy sins. (14) Thou shalt eat, but not be satisfied; and thy casting down shall be in the midst of thee; and thou shalt take hold, but shalt not deliver; and that which thou deliverest will I give up to the sword. (15) Thou shalt sow, but thou shalt not reap; thou shalt tread the olives, but thou shalt not anoint thee with oil; and sweet wine, but shalt not drink wine” (Micah 6:13-15).
- Proverbs 13:11, Proverbs 15:27, Jeremiah 17:11, and Jeremiah 22:13-30
8. Whose statutes, works, and counsels were being kept in Israel?
“For the statutes of Omri are kept, and all the works of the house of Ahab, and ye walk in their counsels; that I should make thee a desolation, and the inhabitants thereof an hissing: therefore ye shall bear the reproach of my people” (Micah 6:16).
- Following Omri - NOT GOOD (I Kings 16:25).
- Ahab, Omri’s son, NOT GOOD (I Kings 16:30).
- “(25) But there was none like unto Ahab, which did sell himself to work wickedness in the sight of the LORD, whom Jezebel his wife stirred up. (26) And he did very abominably in following idols, according to all things as did the Amorites, whom the LORD cast out before the children of Israel” (I Kings 21:25-26).
- They walked in the counsels of the ungodly (II Chronicles 22:1-3, Psalms 1:1-2, Jeremiah 7:24, and Acts 5:38).
- Made a desolation (Leviticus 26:21-33).
- Made a hissing [derision; whistling] (II Chronicles 29:8 and Jeremiah 18:16).
© 2021 This study was prepared for a Bible class with the Sunrise Acres church of Christ in El Paso, TX by Brian A. Yeager.