Micah 6:2 “Hear, O mountains, the Lord’s accusation; listen, you everlasting foundations of the earth. For the Lord has a case against his people; he is lodging a charge against Israel.”
There is something about the words “I’ll sue” or “I’ll see you in court” that gets a person’s attention. The prospect of going to court to settle the issue fills people with dread. When the subpoena or the summons to court is finally issued, you know the person on the other side means business.
Through the prophet Micah, the Lord delivered his subpoena to Israel. He meant business. For centuries this people ignored his warnings and complaints. They didn’t take his word seriously. But God won’t be ignored, and if he has to make a federal case (so to speak) to get their attention, that’s what he will do.
The role of prosecuting attorney is not one the Lord relishes. In other places in Scripture he refers to himself as our Defender. He sent his Son Jesus as the defense attorney, the Mediator, who speaks on our behalf in God’s court of law. He likes to be on OUR side.
But here the prophet clearly says, “…the Lord has a case against his people; he is lodging a charge against Israel.” The Apostle Paul once asked the question, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” Turning it around, the question might well be asked, “If God is against us, who can be for us?” If God is so angry, accusing, taking up the other side, what help can there possibly be for us? Who could possibly get us out of such a mess? Our God is a consuming fire. No one wants to find himself on the other end of God’s accusing finger.
A look around the rest of the book of Micah helps us understand the details of the Lord’s charges. While all the peoples around them worshiped other gods, and their religions included exciting things like human sacrifice and dirty sex, Israelite worship was always the same old routine: sacrifices, prayer, psalms, and Bible readings God had given them. While Israel had been given a land flowing with milk and honey, a land of opportunity, the Lord had put a curb on their greed by regulating their business practices. Instead of letting them build real estate empires, land was to remain in the family to whom God had first given it. Accurate weights and measures were commanded to protect the unsuspecting poor. God wanted his people to value justice and fairness more than “success.”
When these “burdens” became too restrictive for them, God’s people simply threw them off. They did their own thing. Satisfying all their cravings became more important than pleasing their God. They needed to hear God’s charges and the Lord’s plea for them to change.
You and I are not above the temptation to turn God’s blessings for us as his people into burdens. What greater blessing has the Lord ever given us than the sacrifice of his own Son to pay for our sins? It is his supreme gift, the greatest evidence of his love for fallen children. And yet some Christians find the idea that the only saving faith is faith in Jesus a burden. They want to throw off this burden of “narrow-mindedness.” They want to appear more open-minded. They desire to be seen as accepting the other world religions, which lead people away from grace. And what about our own worship? Do we find ourselves craving only the new and novel, or judging worship only by the standards of our own musical tastes, as if my own ego was the center of worship on Sunday morning instead of the Savior who loved me so much he died for me?
Like Israel, we have been blessed to live in a land which, if it is not flowing with milk and honey, is filled with fruited plains and amber waves of grain. But can’t we say that our flesh finds it a burden when the Lord places opportunities before us to use that wealth to support all the work he has given his church to do, to help the poor among us, to support the government under which we live, instead of using it all to feather our own nests? Echoes of his charges against Israel still apply to us today, and the Lord still pleads his case for us to change.
Thank God that in his court Jesus is still our Advocate, the One who speaks to the Father in our defense (1 John 2:1). Through faith in him God’s repentant people approach God’s throne in confidence, and receive mercy and grace in their time of need (Hebrews 4:16).