God’s Reproach

Hear what the LORD says: Arise, plead your case before the mountains, and let the hills hear your voice. Hear, you mountains, the indictment of the LORD, and you enduring foundations of the earth, for the LORD has an indictment against his people, and he will contend with Israel. “O my people, what have I done to you? How have I wearied you? Answer me! For I brought you up from the land of Egypt and redeemed you from the house of slavery, and I sent before you Moses, Aaron, and Miriam. O my people, remember what Balak king of Moab devised, and what Balaam the son of Beor answered him, and what happened from Shittim to Gilgal, that you may know the righteous acts of the LORD.” “With what shall I come before the LORD, and bow myself before God on high? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, 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?” He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?
Micah 6:1–8
God’s Reproach
Israel is supposed to be God’s people. So why is He so harsh on them? Why the stinging indictment? The Lord’s denunciation of His people is based on the testimony of His saving acts. However, in their sins, the people acted as if obeying the Lord and living according to His will exhausted them. It was just too much. We are guilty of this same offense and deserve the same punishment. Too often we treat God as the tyrant because He desires us to live according to His will, not ours. When we can’t follow our own sinful desires, we blame God for being a harsh taskmaster,  ignoring His acts of creation, redemption, and sanctification. The Lord plainly shows in His Word what He requires of us. Our problem is not that we don’t know what to do but that we simply don’t do it. As Paul tells us, we “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”. Yet the Lord never ceases coming to us in His Word, calling us to repentance. His Holy Spirit moves us to confess our sins and trust Jesus for forgiveness and restoration.  God never stops showing His love for us through the cross. We are “justified by His grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus”. He takes away our sins and the sin of the world.
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