Wisdom Wednesday: The Wise Counsel of the Prophet Micah

                                          The Wise Counsel of the Prophet Micah

                                                    Submitted by Debbie’s Dad

He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lordrequire of you

But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God?

The voice of the Lord will call to the city—

And it is sound wisdom to fear Your name: “Hear, O tribe. Who has appointed its time?

Micah 6:8–9 (NASB95)


Micah was a prophet who spoke the “word of the Lord” during the reigns of three kings of the southern kingdom of Judah: Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah. The wickedness of King Ahab must have deeply impressed Micah, and he gave three messages (prophecies proclaiming messages from the Lord.  He focused his first message on the judgment to come to Samaria and Jerusalem for their insincere worship and idol worship (chapter 1), their injustice and false prophets (chapter 2) and their leaders’ love of evil and abuse of people (chapter 3). 

His second message (chapters 4 and 5) extolled the “last days” when a new king will be born in Bethlehem to be victorious over the oppressing nations and to bring peace and prosperity as He rules over the people. Perhaps Micah’s most well-known passage is 5:2: “But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Too little to be among the clans of Judah, From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, From the days of eternity.” Here, Micah foretold the Birth of Jesus Christ in Bethlehem.

The Indictment of the Nation

The context of our verse today is Micah’s third message (chapters 6 and 7) providing a direct accusation or indictment of the nation of Judah for its sin, and the insincerity of its worship. The strong indictment of the nation in chapter 6, is followed by the promise of a future blessing in chapter 7.   The indictment is this:

·       The Lord brings a dispute, a legal case, against the nation and asks how He has wearied the people, reminding them of his rescue of them from slavery in Egypt (6:1–5)

·       Micah responds to the indictment – asking the nation, what shall they bring to the Lord to be restored to a relationship with their God. (6:6-9)

·        The Lord responds (6:9–12) with an enumeration of their sins: 1) dishonesty in their dealings with others. 2) violence, 3) lying, and 4) deceit

·       For this reason, the nation will be made desolate because of their sins (6:13-16)

Chapter 7 then laments the coming desolation of the nation, yet provides hope for the future restoration  to “pardon iniquity” in His “unchanging love”, and to “cast their sins into the depths of the sea”.


Micah Speaks for the nation

In Micah’s response to the indictment at the top of this devotional, he focuses on the core topic of being wise before God:

  •        He asks the people what he should bring to the Lord as an offering for their sins – burnt offerings? Yearling (prize) calve offerings? Thousands of rams? Or 10,000 rivers of oil? Or, perhaps he might offer his first borne child??!! (6:6 and 7)
  •       Of course Not!! God told them what is good and required of God – and they know it, too. It is to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with God. (6:8) This is authentic outward righteous living and inward worship of the Lord. 

Miicah’s Wise Counsel  

In verse 9 Micah transitions to listening to the voice of the Lord Who will enumerate their sins.  And Micah coundels – “… And it is sound wisdom to fear Your name” (NASB95). Before listening to God, Micah warned that listening in fear (reverence, obedience) was the wise response to God’ judgment.  The opening of the Proverbs, written 300 years before Micah concurred: “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction.” (Prov. 1:7 NASB95) 

We too, are soundly wise to listen to God’s voice in Scripture in reverence with an intent to obey.   



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