Verse 1 – Here now what the Lord says: “Arise, plead your case before the mountains, and let the hills hear your voice.
Verse 2 – Hear, O mountains, the Lord’s complaint, and you strong foundations of the earth; for the Lord has a complaint against His people, and He will contend with Israel.”
The mountains served as a good witness against Israel, because that is where they had built their idols and worshiped false gods.
Verse 3 – “O My people, what have I done to you? And how have I wearied you? Testify against Me.
The people wouldn’t be able to answer this because God had only been good to them. If we were asked this same question, how would we answer?
Verse 4 – For I brought you up from the land of Egypt, I redeemed you from the house of bondage; and I sent before you Moses, Aaron, and Miriam.
Verse 5 – O My people remember now what Balak king of Moab counseled, and what Balaam the son of Beor answered him. From Acacia Grove to Gilgal, that you may know the righteousness of the Lord.”
O how soon people forget how good God has been to them. God reminded them of the time of Balak and Balaam (Numbers 22-24), where the Israelites camped east of the Jordan River just before they entered the promise land (Joshua 2:1). It was there that the people received God’s instruction on how to conduct their lives. Gilgal was their first campsite after crossing the Jordan River where they renewed their covenant with God (Joshua 5:3-9).
I’ve seen this many times, people need God to change or rescue in a situation, and when He does, they soon forget all about what He has done – they are ungrateful.
Verse 6 – With what shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before the High God? shall I come before Him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old?
Verse 7 – Will the Lord be pleased with thousand of rams or ten thousand rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgressions, the fruit of my body for sin of my soul?
The people had complained that God’s demands were too high. They said, “Even if I give Him my firstborn, it won’t be enough!” Micah reminded them that God had heard every complaint. Complaining doesn’t bring blessing, worship does.
Verse 8 – He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?
In our efforts to please God, we need to examine ourselves. Do we treat others fair and just? Do we show mercy to those who have wronged us? We can to a point, unless there is just no reasoning with them, and then we walk away. Do we walk with Him in humility and respect?
Verse 9 – The Lord’s voice cries to the city – wisdom shall see Your name: “Hear the Rod! Who has appointed it?
Micah told the people that this message was not his, but the Lord’s. The rod that was to come was their punishment.
Verse 10 – Are there yet the treasures of wickedness in the house of the wicked, and the short measure that is an abomination?
God asks them, “Is there no end to the wickedness?
Verse 11 – Shall I count pure those with the wicked balances, and with the bag of deceitful weights?
Verse 12 – For her rich men are full of violence, her inhabitants have spoken his, and their tongue is deceitful in their mouth.
The wealthy and powerful abused the weak through violence and practiced treachery through lies and deceit.
Verse 13 – “Therefore I will also make you sick by striking you, by making you desolate because of your sins.
Verse 14 – You shall eat, but not be satisfied; hunger shall be in your midst. You may carry some away, but shall not save them, and what you do rescue I will give over to the sword.
Verse 15 – “You shall sow, but not reap; you shall tread the olives, but not anoint yourselves with oil; and make sweet wine, but not drink sweet wine.
The Lord Himself would frustrate their best efforts. The people had followed the wicked ways of Omri and then his son Ahab, the most wicked king ever.
Verse 16 – For the statutes of Omri are kept; all the works of Ahab’s house are done; and you walk in their counsels, that I may make you a desolation, and your inhabitants a hissing. Therefore, you shall bear the reproach of My people.”
In other words, “The greater My grace has been to you the greater the punishment is going to be since you despised it.” Now instead of them walking in God’s favor and grace, they would walk in shame and reproach of other nations.
Why is so hard for people to just do what is right? Because some people are just plain mean. They are self-centered, egotistical, and don’t have the right spirit in them. Christians are not exempt. I’ve met some pretty mean ones. But the Bible tells us God’s love is greater than any evil sin there is! There is nothing that is greater than God’s love and grace.