A Study in the Word – Micah 6:1-16


Micah 6 begins with a courtroom scene.  The issue is a breach of covenant where God brings suit to show He acted rightly in thought and action for His people in the face of their false and unsubstantiated charges of malfeasance against Him.  Micah announces court is in session (6:1a).  The “court clerk” announces the case before the court: “Yahweh vs the People” (6:1b).  The Court summons nature to witness the indictment (6:2).  The first charge is libel: “Making unsubstantiated and false statements against Yahweh” (6:3).  Second, “What does the record show?”  God gave them freedom (6:4a) and provided leaders (6:4b).  The third charge identifies the actual culprits: “Who actually worked against your interests?” (6:5a).  Summation: Israel has enemies; God is not one of them: “I, the LORD, did everything I could to teach you about my faithfulness” (6:5b, NLT).

Counter charges open a debate: What then does God require?  Aren’t valuable “things” valuable to God? (6:6a).  Doesn’t sincerity count toward worship? (6:6b).  Doesn’t quantity count for something? (6:7a).  Surely, children dedicated to God can atone for my sin, right? (6:7b).

Not at all; worship is not what or how many or who else other than yourself.  E. B. Pusey’s quaint language makes this point: “For God seeketh not thine, but thee.  He seeketh thyself from thyself, because thou hast lost thyself.”  God has made plain what He expects from us – and allows no exceptions (6:8).  His point is He expects worshipers to restore justice.  In a world filled with injustice, worshipers of God restore justice.  Second, God expects worshipers to love others with sensitivity and patience to uplift others.  Third, God expects worshipers to live day by day in trusting dependence on Him.

Apparently, there was a failure to heed 6:8, for socially destructive sin continues.  Sentencing is pronounced (6:9).  No one accepts personal responsibility for dishonesty (6:10).  Fair business dealings fall victim (6:11).  Honor and integrity likewise (6:12).  Thus, judgment will come at these points (6:13).  Food shortages will come upon these perpetrators for depriving others (6:14a).  There is no need to save for the future because they will have no future (6:14b).  Their economic base will collapse (6:15).  Their persistence in following wrongheaded traditions to the detriment of others will come to an end (6:16a).  Since they have engaged in sin that destroyed the social fabric, they have opened themselves up for “destruction, derision, and reproach” (6:16b).

Dr. David Moore is a Baptist preacher in Pampa and an online instructor in Bible and theology for Taylor University and Nations University.  Email: dm5867se@outlook.com