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Daily Bible Study - kindly provided by the Bible Society

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Ingratitude and injustice

http://www.wordlive.org     Text: Prepare
'He mocks proud mockers, but shows favour to the humble' (Proverbs 3:34, TNIV; compare with James 4:6). Ask for humility to be a doer, not merely a hearer, of God's Word.
Bible passage: Micah 6

Micah 6

 The LORD's Case Against Israel
 1  Listen to what the LORD says:
      "Stand up, plead your case before the mountains;
      let the hills hear what you have to say.
 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.
 3  "My people, what have I done to you?
      How have I burdened you? Answer me.
 4  I brought you up out of Egypt
      and redeemed you from the land of slavery.
      I sent Moses to lead you,
      also Aaron and Miriam.
 5  My people, remember
      what Balak king of Moab counseled
      and what Balaam son of Beor answered.
      Remember your journey from Shittim to Gilgal,
      that you may know the righteous acts of the LORD."
 6  With what shall I come before the LORD
      and bow down before the exalted God?
      Shall I come before him with burnt offerings,
      with calves a year old?
 7  Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams,
      with ten thousand rivers of oil?
      Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression,
      the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?
 8  He has showed you, O man, what is good.
      And what does the LORD require of you?
      To act justly and to love mercy
      and to walk humbly with your God.
 Israel's Guilt and Punishment
 9  Listen! The LORD is calling to the city-
      and to fear your name is wisdom-
      "Heed the rod and the One who appointed it.
 10  Am I still to forget, O wicked house,
      your ill-gotten treasures
      and the short ephah,  which is accursed?
 11  Shall I acquit a man with dishonest scales,
      with a bag of false weights?
 12  Her rich men are violent;
      her people are liars
      and their tongues speak deceitfully.
 13  Therefore, I have begun to destroy you,
      to ruin you because of your sins.
 14  You will eat but not be satisfied;
      your stomach will still be empty.
      You will store up but save nothing,
      because what you save I will give to the sword.
 15  You will plant but not harvest;
      you will press olives but not use the oil on yourselves,
      you will crush grapes but not drink the wine.
 16  You have observed the statutes of Omri
      and all the practices of Ahab's house,
      and you have followed their traditions.
      Therefore I will give you over to ruin
      and your people to derision;
      you will bear the scorn of the nations.  "

Text: Main point
See you in court

Micah 6 takes the form of a court case. God's people are on trial and are found guilty. Despite all God had done for them since their deliverance from slavery in Egypt (the Exodus) they remained ungrateful.

God had treated them better than they deserved, yet they were treating one another corruptly. Attempting to make a profit at others' expense (vs 9-11), the guilty would get a taste of their own medicine (vs 13-15; see Psalm 28:4; Revelation 18:6); finally, the whole country would fall into exile (v 16).

Seeking justice

They might still be paying lip service, going through outward motions of worship (vs 6,7), but there was no humility towards God and no justice shown towards their fellow human beings (v 8). God seeks a demonstration of justice as well as a display of worship from his people.

Worship without justice merely reveals our ingratitude. Jesus tackled the Pharisees of his day on this very point: see Luke 11:42. If the church today is at all guilty of the same hypocrisy, how can this be rectified?
Text: Respond
Micah 6:8 is the rallying call of the Micah Challenge which calls upon Christians to speak out for justice and the halving of extreme poverty by 2015. Why not find out more (www.micahchallenge.org) and find a way to get involved?
Text: Bible in a year
Read the Bible in a year. Today's readings are:

Isaiah 1,2

1 Timothy 6


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