One man's view of theology, sports, politics, and whatever else in life that happens to interest me. A little bit about me.

Monday, November 17, 2014

TOMS: Micah 6-7

For an introduction to this series, click here.

Nov. 15, 2006

Chapter 6 covers a lot of ground. It is an indictment of Israel, a reminder of the simplicity of God's law, and a pronouncement of doom upon the coming generation. The main argument God brings against the Jews in his indictment is the fact that they forgot the great things God did for his people. Micah reminds them of all the great things God did for them in bringing them out of Egypt and leading them to victory in the land of their fathers. All through the books of Moses and Joshua God commanded his people to remember. They set up visible memorials at various places. Most of their feasts, like the Passover and the Tabernacles, were a reminder of God's power. It is certainly an overused phrase, but it is often true that the only thing we learn from history is that no one learns from history.

6:6-8 gives us a lot of insight into God and what He delights in:
"With what shall I come before the LORD, and bow myself before God on high? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, 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? He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you, but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?" (ESV)

God is more interested in who we are than he is about big shows of service to him. Not that God is not pleased with sacrifice: He commanded it in the Law and He commands us today to present our lives as a sacrifice. But God is not interested in being bought off so we can go do our own thing. That's the point of this passage. If someone had thousands of rams to give the Lord out of a heart of love for Him, that would be a great thing. The problem comes when man looks at our sacrifice. Much like the story of the widow with the two mites, God does not look at the numbers on the check. He looks at the heart that is pleased to give. Or, for a negative example, think of Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5. They gave quite a large amount of money to the Lord's work, but the Lord flat out rejected it because of the wickedness of their hearts.

Now of course, to use another overused phrase, we must remember that we can give without loving, but we cannot love without giving. Compare what Jesus said in John that the greatest show of love is to lay down your life with what Paul said that it would be possible to give your life without love and gain nothing. I don't want to go on a rant here, but God looks on the heart, and there are many things that are good and proper to do, but we can do them all without love for God or others. I think we will be surprised in heaven who will receive some of the greatest rewards.

Anyway, the rest of Chapter 6 is about the coming destruction of Israel. Chapter 7 continues the theme of destruction, but ends on a positive note about the future glory of Israel.

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