1.a) I read Micah 6 in a number of Bible translations, ESV, NIV, CEV, RV, KJV and GNB and found the flow confusing and forced in regards to who was speaking what. These translations show that;
Verse 1-5 God speaks in first person.
Verse 6-9 The prophet speaks in first person.
Verse 10-16 God speaks in first person.
I thought another way to read through this chapter is to read it as God speaking throughout the whole chapter, apart from a brief injunction in verse 8 -9…Though this requires a mental shift from the traditional way of translation, I believe it’s a valid shift worth exploring… Because the complaints Micah made are basically the same as Amos and Hosea. If we follow the ironic and satirical theme of the previous book of Jonah and continue this into Micah we can replace the capitalised Lord and God in verses 6 and 7 with the lower cased lord and god or even with idol and you can hear the words dripping in sarcasm and irony.
A paraphrase of it could be…So you guys keep ignoring me…does this mean you want me to bow down to your gods? What offering will I bring them? Will your god be pleased with what I bring him?
The real ironic sarcastic crunch that hit me in thinking through this came at the end of verse 7; Shall I offer him (idol) my first-born child to pay for my sins? GNB
1.b) I need to read some more commentaries to work through this to see if it is a valid rendering. If it is, then perhaps verses 8-9 are building on this thought through using the term “O’ Man” instead of “people” which is used throughout this chapter. Is God speaking to His Son, in a similar way that He is recorded speaking to Him through Isaiah’s prophecy Isa 40:3 which is brought out in the Greek translation of Mark 1:2.Behold I send my messenger of you before you appear…
2.) I can’t help but think how thick headed Israel is. It’s like someone is deliberately and repeatedly hitting their thumb with a hammer inflicting pain and destruction. Prophet after prophet is sent to warn them to stop doing what is self destructive and to care for each other. In the same way the other hand is hitting the thumb and hurting the whole body ignoring what the head is saying… God is repeatedly saying to them… I really want you to care for each other…by caring for others you are really caring for yourself….but you can’t care for yourself and others if you don’t first seek me to help you….but then again….I’m reminded how often I do the same
3.) There is a repeated theme within the Old and New Testaments. Jesus rebukes the religious leaders for showing outward concerns for religiosity without caring for the lower socio classes through exploiting the poor.
4.) The end of verse 8 is a great aim for us all to achieve; act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with God. A friend recently added this status to his face book… Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less…