Micah – Chapter 6

Ingrates!

By Rabbi Jack Abramowitz

Micah now tells the people to listen to what G-d has to say. He says that the Avos and Imahos (forefathers and foremothers – namely Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel and Leah), whom He compares to mountains and hills, should see the actions of their descendants; G-d has issues with them. What did He do to make them turn away from Him? (The Midrash points out that G-d made serving Him relatively easy. For example, the sacrifices are all from domesticated species; nobody had to go out and catch a deer or a gazelle.) If anyone has a problem with Him, they should speak up!

G-d took the nation out of Egypt and sent them leaders in the form of Moses, Aaron and Miriam. Then, King Balak of Moab plotted against the Jews and hired the pagan prophet Balaam to curse them. G-d repeatedly saved them, even when they sinned against Him. If someone would ask what to bring as a sacrifice to G-d – choice animals or perhaps their firstborn child – Micah would reply, “G-d has told you what He wants – simply do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with Him.”

G-d calls out through His prophets, urging the people to repent. The rod of punishment is poised to strike and the rewards of evil don’t last long. In the long run, you won’t benefit by cheating people. The rich and powerful profit by oppressing others, which is why they will be struck by G-d. They will not be satisfied by what they eat – if anything, it will harm them! Attempts to rescue their children (or perhaps to have children) will prove futile. Those who are saved (or born) will fall to enemy invaders. They will plant, but not harvest. These people insist on behaving in evil ways, like the kings Omri and Ahab. They will be responsible for bringing punishment crashing down on the nation.

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