Micah 6:6 MEANING

Micah 6:6
(6) Wherewith shall I come . . .?--This has been taken by some commentators as Balak's question to Balaam, who gives his reply in Micah 6:8. Dean Stanley writes, after his picturesque manner, of "the short dialogue preserved, not by the Mosaic historian, but by the Prophet Micah, which at once exhibits the agony of the king and the lofty conceptions of the great Seer" (Jewish Church, Lect. 8). But it is rather in harmony with the context to understand it as the alarmed and conscience-stricken reply of the Jewish people impersonated in some earnest speaker to the pleading brought before them by the prophet in the Lord's name.

Verses 6-8. - § 2. The people, awakened to its ingratitude and need of atonement, asks how to please God, and is referred for answer to the moral requirements of the Law. Verse 6. - It is greatly doubted who is the speaker here. Bishop Butler, in his sermon "Upon the Character of Balaam," adopts the view that Balak is the speaker of vers. 6 and 7, and Balaam answers in ver. 8. Knabenbauer considers Micah himself as the interlocutor, speaking in the character of the people; which makes the apparent change of persons in ver. 8 very awkward. Most commentators, ancient and modern, take the questions in vers. 6 and 7 to be asked by the people personified, though they are not agreed as to the spirit from which they proceed, some thinking that they are uttered in self-righteousness, as if the speakers had done all that and more than could be required of them; others regarding the inquiries as representing a certain acknowledgment of sin and a desire for means of propitiation, though there is exhibited a want of appreciation of the nature of God and of the service which alone is acceptable to him. The latter view is most reasonable, and in accordance with Micah's manner. Wherewith; i.e. with what offering? The prophet represents the congregation as asking him to tell them how to propitiate the offended Lord, and obtain his favour. Come before; go to meet, appear in the presence of the Lord. Septuagint, καταλάβω, "attain to." Bow myself before the high God; literally, God of the height, who has his throne on high (Isaiah 33:5; Isaiah 57:15); Vulgate, curvabo genu Deo excelso; Septuagint, ἀντιλήψομαι Θεοῦ μου ὑψίστου, "shall I lay hold of my God most high." Calves of a year old. Such were deemed the choicest victims (comp. Exodus 12:5; Leviticus 9:2, 3).

6:6-8 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.Wherewith shall I come before the Lord,.... These are not the words of the people of Israel God had a controversy with, and now made sensible of their sin, and humbled for it; and willing to appease the Lord, and make it up with him at any rate; for there are such things proposed by them as do by no means suit with persons of such a character, nay, even suppose them to be hypocritical; and much less are they what were put into their mouths by the prophet to say, as some suggest; but they are the words of Balak king of Moab, which, and what follow, are questions he put to Balaam, who had told him that he could do nothing without the Lord, nor anything contrary to his word: now he asks what he must do to get the good will of this Lord; in what manner, and with what he must appear before him, serve and worship him, as the Targum; that so he might have an interest in him, and get him to speak a word to Balaam in his favour, and against Israel; see Numbers 22:8;

and bow myself before the high God? the most high God, the God of gods, whose Shechinah or Majesty is in the high heavens, as the Targum: his meaning is, with what he should come, or bring with him, when he paid his homage and obeisance to him, by bowing his body or his knee before him; being willing to do it in the most acceptable manner he could:

shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old? such as he had been used to offer on the high places of Baal to that deity. Sacrifices of this kind prevailed among the Heathens, which they had received by tradition from the times of Adam and Noah; see Numbers 22:41.

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