This is the fourth time in Micah’s prophecy that the city leaders and general population of Judah are called to “listen up” (Micah 1:2; 3:1; 3:9; 6:1). Each time the prophet has something very important to say to those in Judah.
6 Listen to what the Eternal is saying.
People of Israel, stand up and plead your case to the mountains;
Let the hills hear what you have to say.
2 Listen, jury of mountains, to the complaint of the Eternal One;
listen, you enduring foundations of the earth,
For He brings a charge against His people and argues against Israel.
3 Eternal One: My people, what have I done against you?
How have I made you tired of Me? Answer Me!
4 I brought you up out of the land of Egypt, paid your ransom,
freed you from that place of slavery, and sent Moses, Aaron, and Miriam to lead you.[a]
5 O My people, remember how King Balak of Moab plotted against you,
how Balaam (Beor’s son) answered him, refusing to curse you?[b]
Everything happened between Shittim and Gilgal
as you took possession of the lands I promised you,
So that you might remember all the saving acts of the Eternal.
6 Israel: What should I bring into the presence of the Eternal One
to pay homage to the God Most High?
Should I come into His presence with burnt offerings,
with year-old calves to sacrifice?
7 Would the Eternal be pleased by thousands of sacrificial rams,
by ten thousand swollen rivers of sweet olive oil?
Should I offer my oldest son for my wrongdoing,
the child of my body to cover the sins of my life?
8 No. He has told you, mortals, what is good in His sight.
What else does the Eternal ask of you
But to live justly and to love kindness
and to walk with your True God in all humility?
9 The voice of the Eternal cries out to the city of Jerusalem,
and the wise fear Your name.
Many Christians wonder what God wants from faithful followers. Does He want them to sacrifice everything for Him? Does He want them to keep strict codes of behavior—refuse to do this or always do that? People in the past and people today have all sorts of opinions about how the faithful should act; and in several other places in the Bible, all of the so-called laws, rules, regulations, and suggestions are boiled down to their simplest form: in order to make God happy, do what is right, love kindness, and live with compassion toward others; walk in right relation to the God of Abraham, and do so humbly. By doing these things, Micah says, God’s followers will please Him and live happy lives. In Matthew 22:34-40, Jesus similarly says people are to worship only one God; to love that God with heart, mind, body, and soul; and to love their neighbors as themselves.
Eternal One: Listen, all of you gathered there, (tribe and people):[c]
10 Can I overlook the treasures of wickedness
Stored away in the house of the wicked,
the dishonest scales and measures that I hate?
11 Can I overlook the one who uses crooked scales
and bags of dishonest weights to cheat the innocent?
12 Her rich are filled with violence, her citizens speak lies,
and the words of their mouths can never be trusted.
13 That is why I will strike you down with disease,[d]
destroy you because of your wrongdoing.
14 You will eat, but you will never be satisfied;[e]
you will always feel the gnawing pangs of hunger.
You will store away but never keep safe;
what you have put aside I will destroy with the sword.
15 You will sow grain but never reap it;
you will plant olives but never anoint yourself with their sweet oil;
You will harvest vineyards for juice but never drink the wine.
16 For you have followed the ways of Omri
and all the works of the kingdom of Ahab,
And you have followed their paths of wickedness.
That is why I can justifiably decimate you.
Your citizens will be the subject of satire and mockery,
and you will bear the scorn My people deserve.[f]