3 questions to be answered about this text.
Question #1 – What is going on?
Question #2 – What exactly are these three virtues?
Question #3 – Why should they be important to us today?
Answer #1 – God’s people (covenant community) are on the brink of divine disaster. (Micah 1:1-9; 2:3-4; 3:12; 5:15; 6:13-15).
Why is this the case?
- Protection of the guilty. (Micah 3:1-3)
- Partiality in judgement. (Micah 3:8-11; 7:1-4). Unwilling to confront when necessary.
- Preaching a false gospel (Micah 2:6). Thinking that God would tolerate sin, they tolerated idolatry; magic/sorcery are linked to idolatry (Micah 5:12-14);
Answer #2 – The Three Virtues
2.1 – The Practice of Justice – protecting the innocent / punishing the guilty / no partiality (Deut 16:18-20; 25:1). God is seen in judgement against His own people (Micah 6:2); He is impartial (1 Peter 1:17); Practicing justice is equated with being spirit-filled (Micah 3:8); This would define the ministry of Jesus (Isaiah 1:27; 9:6-7); (Pro 21:3; Amo 5; Matthew 5:23; Micah 6:6-7); never passing judgement on someone without the necessary evidence (Deut 17:6; Mat 18; 2 Cor 13; Num 35:30)
2.2 – The Provision of Mercy – love kindness (Mic 6:8); compassion = mercy (Lam 3:22); Loving Justice in order to provide mercy (Mat 9:13); Strong protected the week – no needy among them (Acts 4; Deut 15:11; Prov 31:9); Justice and Mercy go hand in hand (Psa 82:3-4)
2.3 – The Preaching of Faithfulness (Micah 6:8; Zep 2:3; Jam 4:6; Mat 18:1-4; Phi 2:8); The Gospel requires faithfulness in order to be saved. Evangelism is telling others about the end-game. Where does everything end, as the means for motivation (Luke 13). Every person will be judged according to their deeds. Fear that is necessary for motivation is what we are most hesitant to share with others; A pulpit where obedience to, and understanding of, God’s Law is central. (Deut 4; Mat 5:19 – careful to ALL of God’s Law; 1 Tim 1:7; Mat 28:20); Part of Jesus’ Messianic ministry (Micah 4:1-2; Acts 20:26-27); Neglect nothing – be careful to all of it (Deut 5:31-32); Who are the righteous? Those who do what is just and right – acting faithfully. (Ezekiel 18:5-9)
Answer #3 – These three virtues represent what is to define God’s house/family in the New Covenant. They are to most visibly characterize us as Christians and a church today. (Mat 23:23). These three virtues are the same as what is listed in Micah 6:8 and are to be considered the litmus test for any Christian/Church today.