The Old Testament Lesson for this Sunday is from the book of the prophet Micah as contained in the Book of the Twelve (The Minor Prophets). The text is Micah 6:1-8 and is the first Old Testament text NOT from Isaiah in Series A. However, since Micah and Isaiah are contemporaries there are many similarities in style and message. It is interesting to note how this pericope, which begins with an indictment by the LORD, follows the beautiful chapter 5 which includes the birth location of the Messiah (Bethlehem) and strong remnant themes. The LORD God has reviewed His covenantal promise through Micah but He also points out the lack of faith being exhibited by His chosen ones.
In verses 3-5 the LORD reminds the people of His own faithfulness, and the event He points to is the Exodus. Of course, this is not accidental, nor is the placement following chapter 5. The Exodus is considered the BIG salvation event of the Old Testament. Nothing else compares and it is frequently used as a benchmark when speaking of exiles, returns from exile and any other salvific event. Indeed, the Exodus is referred to more frequently in the Old Testament than the Creation! Thus, for a Hebrew/Jew the most significant book of the Torah is Exodus with its description of what God does to save His people. As this theme continues into the New Testament there is no doubt the BIG salvation event is Christ and the cross. In fact, a close examination of the entire life and ministry of Jesus reflects the Exodus event, and Jesus is the New Moses/the prophet like Moses. For example, when Moses is born little boys are being killed/drowned by the evil Pharaoh. When Jesus is born little boys are being killed by the evil Herod, and the connections continue. It is helpful for us to understand this because it is exactly what the people at the time of Christ are looking for—the prophet like Moses who will save His people.
In fact, a close examination of the entire life and ministry of Jesus reflects the Exodus event, and Jesus is the New Moses/the prophet like Moses.
Our pericope is divided into two distinct sections. The first is a speech by the LORD which is an indictment of the people who are unfaithful even though the LORD Himself is faithful. The Exodus is the proof provided. Then, the second section (vs. 6-8) is a response of the people/Micah asking what is required—what does the LORD desire? The next section of this chapter, not included in our lesson, returns to the LORD speaking of the destruction He will wrought upon evil ones. Of course, the prophet’s book does not end this way. In proper form, like Isaiah, it ends speaking of the LORD’s steadfast love.
6:1 קוּם (kum) Qal, imperative: “to stand up; to arise; to rise up”
רִיבI (riv) Qal, imperative: “to plead; to complain; to lodge a complaint”
הַגְּבָעוֹת(hag-ge-va-ot) from: גבעהַ (ghib-aw) “hill; elevation; height”
6:2 רִיבI (riv) Participle used as a noun: “lawsuit; dispute; indictment”
וְהָאֵתָנִים (ve-ha-e-ta-Nim) from: איתן (ay-thawn) “permanent; enduring; constant” Also includes the idea of never ending, always flowing with water.
מוֹסְדֵי (Mo-se-dei) “foundation”
יִתְוַכָּח (yit-vak-Kach) root[BH1] : יִכח (yaw-kahh) Hithpael: “ to argue with; to contend”
6:3 הֶלְאֵתִיךָ, (hel-e-Ti-cha) root: לאה (law-aw) Hiphil: “to weary; to exhaust patience” The LORD asks how He has wearied the people knowing full well that it is they who have wearied Him.
6:4 הֶעֱלִתִיךָ (he-e-li-Ti-cha) root: עלה (aw-law) Hiphil: “to cause to be brought up; to bring up” Note that the causing agent is the LORD.
פְּדִיתִיךָ. (pe-di-Ti-cha) root: פדה (paw-daw) Qal: “to redeem; to ransom”
וָאֶשְׁלַח (va-esh-Lach) root: שׁלח (shaw-lakh) Qal: “to send; to stretch out”
6:5 יָּעַץ (ya-Atz) Qal: “to plan; to devise”
דַּעַת צִדְקוֹת יְהוָה (Da-at tzid-Kot Yah-weh) “know the saving acts of the LORD”
6:6 אֲקַדֵּם] (a-kad-Dem) root: קדם (kaw-dam) Piel: “to come to meet; to meet someone”
אִכַּף (ik-Kaf) root: כפף (kaw-faf) Niphil: “to bow; to bow oneself”
מָרוֹם (ma-Rom) “heaven; height”
בַּעֲגָלִים; (ba-a-ga-Lim) from: עֲגָלִe (ay-ghel) “young bull; calf; ox”
6:7 הֲיִרְצֶה] (ha-yir-Tzeh) root: רצה (raw-tsaw) Qal: “to accept; to take favor in; to take pleasure in; to be pleased with”
בְּרִבְבוֹת. (be-riv-Vot) from: רבבה> (reb-aw-baw) “ten thousand”
הַאֶתֵּן; (ha-et-Ten) root: נתן (naw-than) Qal, with an interrogative: “to give”
פִּשְׁעִי (pish-I) “transgression; crime; wrong-doing”
בִטְנִי (vit-Ni) “womb”
6:8 וְאַהֲבַת חֶסֶד (ve-A-ha-vat Che-sed) “to love kindness/steadfast love”
וְהַצְנֵעַ (ve-hatz-Ne-a) root: צנע (tsaw-nah) Hiphil: “to walk humbly; to act wisely; to be humble; to be modest”
Concordia Theology-Various helps from Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, MO to assist you in preaching Micah 6:1-8.
Text Week-A treasury of resources from various traditions to help you preach Micah 6:1-8.
Alternative Reading Resources for the Festival of the Purification of Mary and Presentation of Our Lord:
Concordia Theology-Various helps from Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, MO to assist you in preaching for the Festival of the Purification of Mary and the Presetnation of Our Lord. .
Text Week-A treasury of resources from various traditions to help you preach for the Festival of the Purification of Mary and the Presetnation of Our Lord.