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December 21/28, 2005.

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Bible study notes for Micah 6

 

Bible Study Technique:

The verses I put in Bold appear to be the Lord speaking.  (Remember there was no punctuation in the original text.)

 

The verses not in bold appear to be the words of Micah.

 

Does it matter who said what? 

 

In reality, who said all of it?

 

2 Timothy 3: 14But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

 

What do we do when we don’t know for sure who said it?

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Micah 6

1 Listen to what the LORD says:

 

Do you know How God spoke through the prophets?

 

Hebrews 1:1-2.

 

2 Peter 1:19-21.

 

 

Check out some of the many ways God spoke in the Bible:

 

Genesis 22:1, 11, Genesis 31:11, Genesis 46:2, Exodus 3:4.  Numbers 22:26-28, 1Samuel 3:10.  Daniel 5:5, Revelation 3:20

 

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(verse 1 cont.)       "Stand up, plead your case before the mountains;
       let the hills hear what you have to say.

2 Hear, O mountains, the LORD's accusation;
       listen, you everlasting foundations of the earth.
      

Micah 6:1. 

 

Let the mountains and hills be called to witness your complaints (NLT).

 

Why would God call the mountains as a witness?

 

Maybe you can find the answer in the following passages:

 

Joshua 24:24-27

24 And the people said to Joshua, "We will serve the LORD our God and obey him."  25 On that day Joshua made a covenant for the people, and there at Shechem he drew up for them decrees and laws. 26 And Joshua recorded these things in the Book of the Law of God. Then he took a large stone and set it up there under the oak near the holy place of the LORD.  27 "See!" he said to all the people. "This stone will be a witness against us. It has heard all the words the LORD has said to us. It will be a witness against you if you are untrue to your God" (NIV).

Joshua 4:19-24.

 

 19 On the tenth day of the first month the people went up from the Jordan and camped at Gilgal on the eastern border of Jericho. 20 And Joshua set up at Gilgal the twelve stones they had taken out of the Jordan. 21 He said to the Israelites, "In the future when your descendants ask their fathers, 'What do these stones mean?' 22 tell them, 'Israel crossed the Jordan on dry ground.' 23 For the LORD your God dried up the Jordan before you until you had crossed over. The LORD your God did to the Jordan just what he had done to the Red Sea [b] when he dried it up before us until we had crossed over. 24 He did this so that all the peoples of the earth might know that the hand of the LORD is powerful and so that you might always fear the LORD your God" (NIV).

 

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(verse 2 cont.)  For the LORD has a case against his people;
       he is lodging a charge against Israel.

Notice this is not just one instance, this is a case (a series of events) against the people.

The trial is about to begin.

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The trial begins by the charges being made known:

3 "My people, what have I done to you?
       How have I burdened you? Answer me.

Why would God make reference to the people feeling burdened? 

The answer is based on their attitude towards God and how they responded to His commands.  (Why have they turned from Him?)

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God speaks in defense of Himself and why His charges are justified:

4 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.5 My people, remember
       what Balak king of Moab counseled
       and what Balaam son of Beor answered.

The prophet calls to mind for his audience the famous incident when a foreign nation and a renowned seer are thwarted. Instead of the requested curse, a blessing is pronounced over Israel. In Numb. 22:6 Balaam is said to be a man whose blessings and curses are effective. [1]

       Remember your journey from Shittim to Gilgal,
       that you may know the righteous acts of the LORD."

Joshua 2:1 and 4:19 . Shittim was Joshua’s camp east of the Jordan River, and Gilgal was the place where the Israelites miraculously crossed the Jordan and established a base camp from which to begin the conquest.[2]

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The Lawyer takes his client aside and says, how are we going to defend ourselves, can we defend ourselves, what can we do to plead out of court, to escape judgement, to fix this before we get the book thrown at us?

6 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?

7 Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams,
       with ten thousand rivers of oil?
       Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression,
       the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?

8 He has showed you, O man, 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.

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The reality of it all is that God already has enough evidence against the people of Israel and will not budge on His charges against them.  (He’s got the smoking gun, the eyewitnesses, and the CSI evidence.)  They are about to reap what they have sown.  There are consequences for their behavior.  This does not make God mean.  It makes Him Just.

Judgment: GUILTY

Penalty:

9 Listen! The LORD is calling to the city—
       and to fear your name is wisdom—
       "Heed the rod and the One who appointed it.

10 Am I still to forget, O wicked house,
       your ill-gotten treasures
       and the short ephah,  which is accursed?

11 Shall I acquit a man with dishonest scales,
       with a bag of false weights?

12 Her rich men are violent;
       her people are liars
       and their tongues speak deceitfully.

13 Therefore, I have begun to destroy you,
       to ruin you because of your sins.

14 You will eat but not be satisfied;
       your stomach will still be empty.
       You will store up but save nothing,
       because what you save I will give to the sword.

15 You will plant but not harvest;
       you will press olives but not use the oil on yourselves,
       you will crush grapes but not drink the wine.

16 You have observed the statutes of Omri
       and all the practices of Ahab's house,
       and you have followed their traditions.
       Therefore I will give you over to ruin
       and your people to derision;
       you will bear the scorn of the nations"(NIV).

 

 

What are their crimes?

 

Does the punishment fit the crime?

 



[1]Matthews, Victor Harold, Mark W. Chavalas, and John H. Walton. The IVP Bible Background Commentary : Old Testament. electronic ed., Mic 6:5. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2000.

[2]Matthews, Victor Harold, Mark W. Chavalas, and John H. Walton. The IVP Bible Background Commentary : Old Testament. electronic ed., Mic 6:5. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2000.