10/05/20 Micah 6:1-5


It is clear that our timeline has moved back to Micah’s day, a time when God was still desiring His people to reason with Him concerning their behaviour. That is, their behaviour appears to be still negotiable at this point in time. Micah, along with Isaiah, prophesied up until the reign of Hezekiah, and it was during the reign of Hezekiah’s son, Manasseh, that God told Judah they had passed the point of no-return. At that time God will stretch over Jerusalem the measuring line that He had already stretched over Samaria.

2 Kings 21:12-1512Therefore thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Behold, I [am] bringing [such] evil upon Jerusalem and Judah, that whosoever heareth of it, both his ears shall tingle. 13And I will stretch over Jerusalem the line of Samaria, and the plummet of the house of Ahab: and I will wipe Jerusalem as [a man] wipeth a dish, wiping [it], and turning [it] upside down. 14And I will forsake the remnant of mine inheritance, and deliver them into the hand of their enemies; and they shall become a prey and a spoil to all their enemies; 15Because they have done [that which was] evil in my sight, and have provoked me to anger, since the day their fathers came forth out of Egypt, even unto this day.


Micah 6:1Hear ye now what the Lord saith; Arise, contend thou before the mountains, and let the hills hear thy voice.


Hearshama (hear; listen; obey; understand; listen to; yield to; obey; be obedient)

Hear ye now – also see Hear, all ye people (Micah 1:2) and Hear I pray you (Micah 3:1).

This command is not to merely hear the sounds of Micah speaking, but to be aware of what he is saying, to take note, and to obey. They are to hear and obey. The problem wasn’t with a lack of hearing, but a refusal to be obedient to what they were told. And, if Micah has to say it, and then repeat it twice, it must be taken note of. Clearly it was a serious problem for Judah at this time.


Jeremiah had something similar to say a 100 or more years later.

Jeremiah 5:19-2419And it shall come to pass, when ye shall say, Wherefore doeth the Lord our God all these [things] unto us? then shalt thou answer them, Like as ye have forsaken me, and served strange gods in your land, so shall ye serve strangers in a land [that is] not yours. 20Declare this in the house of Jacob, and publish it in Judah, saying, 21Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not: 22Fear ye not me? saith the Lord: will ye not tremble at my presence, which have placed the sand [for] the bound of the sea by a perpetual decree, that it cannot pass it: and though the waves thereof toss themselves, yet can they not prevail; though they roar, yet can they not pass over it? 23But this people hath a revolting and a rebellious heart; they are revolted and gone. 24Neither say they in their heart, Let us now fear the Lord our God, that giveth rain, both the former and the latter, in his season: he reserveth unto us the appointed weeks of the harvest.


It appears that this was a common problem noted by a number of the prophets. Isaiah, a contemporary of Micah, said in Isaiah 6:8-108Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here [am] I; send me. 9And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. 10Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.

(Jesus quoted this passage in Matthew 13:13-15.)


The problem of “hearing” yet not actually “hearing” continued after their captivity as noted by Zechariah.

Zechariah 7:11-1411But they refused to hearken, and pulled away the shoulder, and stopped their ears, that they should not hear. 12Yea, they made their hearts [as] an adamant stone, lest they should hear the law, and the words which the Lord of hosts hath sent in his spirit by the former prophets: therefore came a great wrath from the Lord of hosts. 13Therefore it is come to pass, [that] as he cried, and they would not hear; so they cried, and I would not hear, saith the Lord of hosts: 14But I scattered them with a whirlwind among all the nations whom they knew not. Thus the land was desolate after them, that no man passed through nor returned: for they laid the pleasant land desolate.


Also note Ezekiel 12:2; Isaiah 43:8. Paul also noted it as a major reason for the rejection of Israel in favour of the Gentiles in Romans 11:8.

Psalm 135:17 says it of their idols; so, are these “deaf” people just listening to the wrong sources? Do people imitate their gods?


In Mark 8:18 (Having eyes, see ye not? and having ears, hear ye not? and do ye not remember?) Jesus tells the disciples that having ears yet not hearing was related to their forgetfulness. That is, they failed to recall the times when God had worked in their lives, and therefore missed the point of what Jesus was saying. They weren’t building the bigger picture of what was happening. In Mark 8, Jesus is telling them that because He fed thousands of people with a few loaves and fishes, then they should have realised that, if He wished, Jesus could do likewise then. Note Vss 4 & 5 below!


contend – This is the verb form of the noun “controversy” used twice in Vs 2 below. It can mean to conduct a case or suit (legal); sue.

And what is it that is so important for God’s people to hear? Vs 2 below says that God has a controversy (or dispute, probably legal) with His people and He desires His people to come and reason with Him with the mountains and hills as witnesses to their response. That is, Judah is being summonsed to a court of law with God as both judge and prosecutor, and the mountains and hills as witnesses to the responses of Judah.


At the start of Micah’s writings (Micah 1:2aHear, all ye people; hearken, O earth, and all that therein is: and let the Lord God be witness against you) Micah called the earth to witness with God against Judah. Isaiah likewise called the whole earth, along with the heavens, as witness to these statements of God.

Isaiah 1:2Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the Lord hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me.

Thus the mountains and hills will testify to the spoken response of Judah.


Micah 6:2Hear ye, O mountains, the Lord’s controversy, and ye strong foundations of the earth: for the Lord hath a controversy with his people (‘am), and he will plead with Israel.


controversystrife; controversy; dispute; quarrel; case at law; legal dispute.

strong – perpetual; constant; perennial; ever-flowing; permanence; permanent; enduring. From an unused root (meaning “to continue”). Here it would signify the idea of “unchanging”.

people‘am (not goy, therefore more specifically God’s people, not all people in general)


pleadto prove; decide; judge; rebuke; reprove; correct; be right. Here it could mean to “debate” or “argue” The word can be used to mean “to reason together” as per Isaiah 1:18Come now, and let us reason together (Niphal – simple passive), saith the Lord. But in Micah 6:2 above, “plead” is Hithpael – intensive reflexive – and more of an argument or debate, that is, “will Himself plead with Israel”. Thus, in the context of a controversy, “plead” would perhaps be not strong enough word, although in a legal sense God could plead His case with Israel as their prosecutor.

God’s aim appears to be stated in Micah 6:8He 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? Ultimately, this is what God wants them to acknowledge as His right as their God.


Not only does God require His people to state their case with the mountains and hills as witnesses (Vs 1 above), He also requires those same mountains (and the strong unchanging foundations) to hear (and bear witness to) His case against His people.

Mountains also present an image of being everlasting.

Habakkuk 3:6He stood, and measured the earth: he beheld, and drove asunder the nations; and the everlasting mountains were scattered, the perpetual hills did bow: his ways [are] everlasting.


Isaiah also records God pleading with Judah concerning their refusal to be the people that God desired that they should be.

Isaiah 5:3-43And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem, and men of Judah, judge, I pray you, betwixt me and my vineyard. 4What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it? wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes?


God has given them everything and now they want more, but not that which God wants! They are like rebellious and spoilt children who do not appreciate what they already have. They are unappreciative, unthankful, inconsiderate, arrogant children who totally lack any gratitude for the so-much that has been done for them.

Isaiah 1:2-42Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the Lord hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me. 3The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib: [but] Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider. 4Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the Lord, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward.


Micah 6:3O my people (‘am), what have I done unto thee? and wherein have I wearied thee? testify (respond as a witness) against me.


weariedto be weary; be impatient; be grieved; be offended. Here it particularly means to weary, make weary, or exhaust.

We see so many similarities with what Isaiah told Israel/Judah, so who copied whom? Or consider that they have both been instructed by God, something that they both claim to be so. In Isaiah God asks the same question: What have I done to you? What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it? (Isaiah 5:4) In Micah, God asks: What have I done to you? I have done so much! What did I do that was such a burden to you? What have I done that made you weary of Me? I have called you as witness. Now respond as a witness against Me (if you think you have a case).


God is merely asking them to tell Him what it was that He had done that had turned His people so much against Him. Of course, God knows all things, even their thoughts and intentions (Hebrews 4:12); therefore asking such questions is rhetorical in that it already expects a required answer before the people can respond. This is an example of anthropomorphism; describing God’s behaviour as if He were a man. God clearly knows that they cannot give a proper answer yet He still gives them that opportunity to do so.


O my people – a saying repeated in Micah 6:5 below, emphasising Israel as God’s special possession. They are His people.


Calvinism has to teach that either Israel chose by their free wills to rebel against God (something that opposes their teaching of no free will for mankind), or that God ordained that, after He had chosen them as His special possession, they would turn against Him so that He could reject them for their sinfulness.

A calvinist online comment says: We know that God caused Israel to “fail”, and because of Israel’s “failure”-salvation then became worldwide-to the four corners of the globe! That is, Israel had to be made to fail so that the Gentile church could take their place as God’s special elect nation. This is ludicrous, for, if God chose Israel as per Romans 9:11-13 as His elect people (something calvinists thrust in our faces as “proof” that God has chosen the calvinists of today), then rejected them, then calvinists also have to teach that God can reject His elect people of today as well. (This has to include today’s calvinists!) But John 1:11 (He came unto his own, and his own received him not.) does raise the question: Why did Jesus bother to come to His own if He knew His own were foreordained to not receive Him? Didn’t the calvinist Jesus know all things?


Micah 6:4For 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.


servantsslave; servant; bondage. Thus they were redeemed from the “house of bondage” – see below.

Here God lists the evidences of His care for His people. God is presenting His case against His people for whom He did so many things. God tells Israel/Judah that it was He (not any other) who brought them up out of Egypt. It was He (no other) who redeemed (bought) them out of the house of bondage (or slaves) in Egypt. Remember this day, in which ye came out from Egypt, out of the house of bondage (Exodus 13:3).

Deuteronomy 8:11-1411Beware that thou forget not the Lord thy God, in not keeping his commandments, and his judgments, and his statutes, which I command thee this day: 12Lest [when] thou hast eaten and art full, and hast built goodly houses, and dwelt [therein]; 13And [when] thy herds and thy flocks multiply, and thy silver and thy gold is multiplied, and all that thou hast is multiplied; 14Then thine heart be lifted up, and thou forget the Lord thy God, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage;


And it was God who prepared the way by sending them Moses, Aaron and Miriam to lead them like a flock through the wilderness.

Psalm 77:20Thou leddest thy people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron.

Jeremiah 2:5-95Thus saith the Lord, What iniquity have your fathers found in me, that they are gone far from me, and have walked after vanity, and are become vain? 6Neither said they, Where [is] the Lord that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, that led us through the wilderness, through a land of deserts and of pits, through a land of drought, and of the shadow of death, through a land that no man passed through, and where no man dwelt? 7And I brought you into a plentiful country, to eat the fruit thereof and the goodness thereof; but when ye entered, ye defiled my land, and made mine heritage an abomination. 8The priests said not, Where [is] the Lord? and they that handle the law knew me not: the pastors also transgressed against me, and the prophets prophesied by Baal, and walked after [things that] do not profit. 9Wherefore I will yet plead with you, saith the Lord, and with your children’s children will I plead.

Amos 2:10-1210Also I brought you up from the land of Egypt, and led you forty years through the wilderness, to possess the land of the Amorite. 11And I raised up of your sons for prophets, and of your young men for Nazarites. [Is it] not even thus, O ye children of Israel? saith the Lord. 12But ye gave the Nazarites wine to drink; and commanded the prophets, saying, Prophesy not.


God’s case (that He pleads in this “court” of law) is that this is all evidence of the care He has given to His people. Because He knew the future and therefore He knew of their rebellion before it started, He could have just dumped them there and then and commenced with another “chosen” people. Note the following:

Exodus 32:9-109And the Lord said unto Moses, I have seen this people, and, behold, it [is] a stiffnecked people: 10Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them: and I will make of thee (Moses) a great nation.


Micah 6:5O my people (‘am), 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.


Balak (see Numbers 22-24) was king of Moab (Numbers 22:4). Israel at this time had just devastated the Amorites, and then had set up camp on the plains of Moab (Numbers 22:1). Moab was quite alarmed at this, especially when Balak saw what Israel had done to the Amorites (Numbers 22:2). And Moab was sore afraid of the people, because they [were] many: and Moab was distressed because of the children of Israel. (Numbers 22:3) So Moab met with the elders of Midian (Numbers 22:4) to discuss their mutual problem with Israel. While Moab and Midian were separate nations, it appears that they were allies when it came to their common problem: Israel. Also Midian was Abraham's son (Genesis 25:1-2), and Moab was Abraham's nephew (Genesis 19:36-37). Thus they were fairly closely related.


After Moab met with the elders of Midian (Numbers 22:4) to discuss their problem with Israel, Balak sent messengers to Balaam asking him to curse Israel.

Numbers 22:7And the elders of Moab and the elders of Midian departed with the rewards of divination in their hand; and they came unto Balaam, and spake unto him the words of Balak.

Numbers 22:35And the angel of the Lord said unto Balaam, Go with the men: but only the word that I shall speak unto thee, that thou shalt speak. So Balaam went with the princes of Balak.

Numbers 23:5And the Lord put a word in Balaam’s mouth, and said, Return unto Balak, and thus thou shalt speak.

Numbers 24:2And Balaam lifted up his eyes, and he saw Israel abiding [in his tents] according to their tribes; and the spirit of God came upon him.

As a result, Balaam, instead of cursing Israel, as Balak (and Moab and Midian) demanded, blessed Israel, because God would not permit him to curse His people Israel.


from Shittim unto Gilgal – It does seem to say that Balaam “answered” Balak from Shittim to Gilgal, yet after Balaam had completed his “cursing” of Israel (Numbers 24:25), Israel continued some time at Shittim during which time they committed sin with Moab (and Midian – Numbers 25:6).

Numbers 25:1-31And Israel abode in Shittim, and the people began to commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab. 2And they called the people unto the sacrifices of their gods: and the people did eat, and bowed down to their gods. 3And Israel joined himself unto Baal–peor: and the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel.

And Israel did not reach Gilgal until after they had crossed the Jordan and entered their promised land of Canaan.

Joshua 4:19-2019And the people came up out of Jordan on the tenth [day] of the first month, and encamped in Gilgal, in the east border of Jericho. 20And those twelve stones, which they took out of Jordan, did Joshua pitch in Gilgal.

So it is likely that it really means that God watched over them and cared for them all the way from Shittim to Gilgal.


righteousness – justice; righteousness; righteous acts. That is, Israel is to remember these things in order to keep in mind the way God treated them with justice and righteousness. (Note 2 Peter 1:12Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know [them], and be established in the present truth.) That is, if God has consistently treated them with justice in the past, then why would He not continue to do the same for them now. So, says Micah, submit to God’s righteousness, trust that what He says He will do.


To quote Balaam (when he couldn’t oppose God’s people) Numbers 23:18-2118And he took up his parable, and said, Rise up, Balak, and hear; hearken unto me, thou son of Zippor: 19God [is] not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do [it]? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good? 20Behold, I have received [commandment] to bless: and he hath blessed; and I cannot reverse it. 21He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel: the Lord his God [is] with him, and the shout of a king [is] among them.


This week I have had some comments that attacked my credibility. I had used a figure of speech by saying “The list just kept on growing exponentially”. He tried to “prove” that I had mathematically misused the word “exponentially” and therefore “being as inaccurate as this suggests that the rest of your material may be just as inaccurate”. (Of course, he misquoted me in “proving” his point, so was unable to prove it! Then in the next comment he accused me of ad hominem argument, which is to throw some “dirt” and then use this “dirt” to “prove” that what that person says is wrong (that is, guilt by association). Note that this is what he himself had done by trying to accuse me of misuse of “exponentially”. It’s what calvinists do: if they can’t find fault with your arguments, then they’ll try to discredit your character or some minor detail, and then try to apply this to your arguments on calvinism. When calvinists cannot win a debate, they’ll often throw some dirt instead. This throwing of dirt is a sure sign that they are unable to refute your statements at face value, so they’ll throw some dirt and then claim guilt by association; that is, if I misuse “exponentially”, then I cannot be right when I talk about the heresies of calvinism! Such is calvinist logic. (And then he tried to tell me that he wasn’t a calvinist! Next he’ll probably tell me that he believes in the tooth fairy or santa claus!)


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