Many years ago, when the Israelite people were still under the Law of Moses, God, through the prophet Micah, asked some interesting questions. “O my people, what have I done unto thee? and wherein have I wearied thee? testify against me” (Micah 6:3). As it is put in the preceding verse, “…the LORD hath a controversy with his people, and he will plead with Israel” (Micah 6:2). God called out Israel for their lack of faithfulness. The LORD went on to say, “For I brought thee up out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed thee out of the house of servants; and I sent before thee Moses, Aaron, and Miriam” (Micah 6:4). God had been so good to Israel over the years, but that did not stop Israel from disobeying God.
There is no doubt that God was longsuffering and patient with the people, but unfortunately Israel’s wickedness had not ceased. With that being said, it had come time for a judgment to be brought against the nation. “Are there yet the treasures of wickedness in the house of the wicked, and the scant measure that is abominable? Shall I count them pure with the wicked balances, and with the bag of deceitful weights? For the rich men thereof are full of violence, and the inhabitants thereof have spoken lies, and their tongue is deceitful in their mouth. Therefore also will I make thee sick in smiting thee, in making thee desolate because of thy sins. Thou shalt eat, but not be satisfied; and thy casting down shall be in the midst of thee; and thou shalt take hold, but shalt not deliver; and that which thou deliverest will I give up to the sword. Thou shalt sow, but thou shalt not reap; thou shalt tread the olives, but thou shalt not anoint thee with oil; and sweet wine, but shalt not drink wine. For the statutes of Omri are kept, and all the works of the house of Ahab, and ye walk in their counsels; that I should make thee a desolation, and the inhabitants thereof an hissing: therefore ye shall bear the reproach of my people” (Micah 6:10-16).
There is definitely a great lesson that can be learned from Micah’s account. The idea that a person is “once saved, always saved” is destroyed. Israel had been “saved” from Egyptian bondage, yet their lack of faithfulness caused God’s judgment to come upon them. Today, the people of God/members of the church of Christ must stay faithful to God, or else they will bring God’s judgment upon them as well. “Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. But exhort one another daily, while it is called Today; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end; While it is said, Today if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation. For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses. But with whom was he grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness? And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief. Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it” (Heb. 3:12-4:1).
If God so wanted, He would have every right to ask some members of the church, “what have I done unto thee? and wherein have I wearied thee.” The reason for such is that many children of God have been blessed by Him, but yet not remained faithful. Israel needed to learn that point then, and the church needs to know that point now. Israel was also asked, “Wherewith shall I come before the LORD, and bow myself before the high God? shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old? Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul” (Micah 6:6-7)? God wanted obedient faithfulness, not perpetual disobedience followed by sacrifices!
Yes, the sacrifices were necessary when Israel sinned. However, God wanted Israel to be a righteous nation, not a habitually sinful group of people. Micah stated that point plainly. “He hath shown thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God” (Micah 6:8)? Let us examine ourselves today and see if we are imitating Israel of old. If we find ourselves, “wearied by God and His Word,” let us change our minds, repent of our sins and get back to being faithful (2 Cor. 13:5; Rev. 2:10). ~ Corey Barnette
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