Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible

Micah Ch.6 / 7 Ch.s


* God's controversy with Israel. (1-5) The duties God requires.
(6-8) The wickedness of Israel. (9-16)

#1-5 The people are called upon to declare why they were weary
of God's worship, and prone to idolatry. Sin causes the
controversy between God and man. God reasons with us, to teach
us to reason with ourselves. Let them remember God's many
favours to them and their fathers, and compare with them their
unworthy, ungrateful conduct toward him.

#6-8 These verses seem to contain the substance of Balak's
consultation with Balaam how to obtain the favour of Israel's
God. Deep conviction of guilt and wrath will put men upon
careful inquiries after peace and pardon, and then there begins
to be some ground for hope of them. In order to God's being
pleased with us, our care must be for an interest in the
atonement of Christ, and that the sin by which we displease him
may be taken away. What will be a satisfaction to God's justice?
In whose name must we come, as we have nothing to plead as our
own? In what righteousness shall we appear before him? The
proposals betray ignorance, though they show zeal. They offer
that which is very rich and costly. Those who are fully
convinced of sin, and of their misery and danger by reason of
it, would give all the world, if they had it, for peace and
pardon. Yet they do not offer aright. The sacrifices had value
from their reference to Christ; it was impossible that the blood
of bulls and goats should take away sin. And all proposals of
peace, except those according to the gospel, are absurd. They
could not answer the demands of Divine justice, nor satisfy the
wrong done to the honour of God by sin, nor would they serve at
all in place of holiness of the heart and reformation of the
life. Men will part with any thing rather than their sins; but
they part with nothing so as to be accepted of God, unless they
do part with their sins. Moral duties are commanded because they
are good for man. In keeping God's commandments there is a great
reward, as well as after keeping them. God has not only made it
known, but made it plain. The good which God requires of us is,
not the paying a price for the pardon of sin and acceptance with
God, but love to himself; and what is there unreasonable, or
hard, in this? Every thought within us must be brought down, to
be brought into obedience to God, if we would walk comfortably
with him. We must do this as penitent sinners, in dependence on
the Redeemer and his atonement. Blessed be the Lord that he is
ever ready to give his grace to the humble, waiting penitent.

#9-16 God, having showed how necessary it was that they should
do justly, here shows how plain it was that they had done
unjustly. This voice of the Lord says to all, Hear the rod when
it is coming, before you see it, and feel it. Hear the rod when
it is come, and you are sensible of the smart; hear what
counsels, what cautions it speaks. The voice of God is to be
heard in the rod of God. Those who are dishonest in their
dealings shall never be reckoned pure, whatever shows of
devotion they may make. What is got by fraud and oppression,
cannot be kept or enjoyed with satisfaction. What we hold
closest we commonly lose soonest. Sin is a root of bitterness,
soon planted, but not soon plucked up again. Their being the
people of God in name and profession, while they kept themselves
in his love, was an honour to them; but now, being backsliders,
their having been once the people of God turns to their