“Hear what the Lord says: ‘Arise, plead your case before the mountains, and let the hills hear your voice…’” Micah 6:1
Go ahead, make your argument or arguments against the Lord. Go ahead, justify your ways before God. Argue with Him. Disagree with Him. Lay it all out before Him. Take all your evidence and lay it before the Lord, right next to His gavel on the the stand before Him. Stand before the jury that is made up of the mountains and hills that have witnessed all over the thousands of years they have been standing and observing, not only you but God. Go ahead and plead your case.
The problem is that when we lay it all out before You Lord, and before our jury, it won’t look like much, when You compare it with the truth of what has really occurred and what You have done through all of it. You won’t be the one coming out in the wrong. It will be us every time when we contend with You. And the futility of our thinking will begin to hit us in the face. I know that because every time someone stands in the presence of the Lord, we become undone, all our pride and goodness and plans unravel in an instant when we are confronted with the truth.
It’s such a sad thing that You would ever have to ask Your people, “O My people, what have I done to you? How have I wearied you? Answer me!” (Micah 6:3) In the King James Version, it expresses it, “Testify against Me.” That’s the Hebrew anah and it means to eye or to heed, pay attention, to respond. I’m thinking that it means more than to speak about or just give and answer. I think it’s a call to take a good, close, real look at You and then to heed or respond to what we see. And maybe that’s the problem. Maybe the problem is that we often refuse to look at You. We sit back and look at everything through our eyes, and our lenses, and through our circumstances, and our desires, or our plans. We won’t stop and look and we won’t stop and respond because we never looked at the reality of You in the first place. I mean, I can’t respond to what I haven’t looked at. Which leaves me clueless no matter how right I think I am. If I avoid gathering the main evidence, I really haven’t got a case at all, have I?
How have You wearied us? What have You done, Lord, that is so burdensome for us? What was so hard about being delivered from Egypt? Every step of the way, You responded in miraculous God ways and yet the people found things that displeased them in Your choices. You did so much and still they found fault. Balak and Balaam tried to curse the people and yet God turned the words into a blessing. You gave the tabernacle and the temple with the whole sacrificial system as a pattern of life and relationship with You. Why? To show us how much You desired unity and to be with us and how much we needed You and couldn’t live a right life without You. Yet all of it, was twisted and looked at as burdensome.
Was it about taking things away and removing our pleasure? Was it about making us do sacrifices as a part of a routine? Was it just about following practices of some religion? Because that would be burdensome. But it wasn’t. It wasn’t about taking away what we love. It was about fulfilling our every desire in You. It was about returning to what we were created for, to live in and experience and rejoice in relationship with You, our Creator and the lover of our souls and beings. It was about seeing myself as who I really am and knowing that You still choose to love me.
The truth is, when I choose to look at You for real and really see, that You showed me. You stood right there in front of me the whole time. You stood out opposite everything else and stood as a beacon to what was true and good and right. You manifested what You were looking for. You showed us what true worship was and is. It’s not about habits or routines or rituals. It’s always been about reality and hearts. But deeper than that it’s about living out justice and mercy. But even deeper than that its about walking humbly with our God.
I can’t even begin to think that I understand justice and mercy and how to live it out and walk it out in life if I don’t know how to walk humbly with You, Lord. If I can’t come along with You and join You in Your journey, then I have no idea what I am doing. You are the Journey Master. You’ve designed the journey. Until I start realizing that You are in charge of the whole journey and act upon that realization, I haven’t got a clue or a spot of evidence in my favor. I have a choice. I can humble myself before You and cling to You and Your ways, or I can be humbled and humiliated by You, not because You want to humiliate me, but because it was my choice by refusing to act upon the truth.
But sometimes, You have to put me in situations that test me. If You didn’t, I would be lost. Because sometimes I have to have my thinking changed. Sometimes I think what’s wrong is right, and something has to snap me out of that thinking. See, we have wrong ideas all the time. People used to think that sickness came from spontaneous generation. Stuff just appeared and made us sick. And then someone realized that there was something invisible to our eyes called germs that were the culprits and if we acknowledge that and them, we could protect ourselves so much better by washing our hands and caring about hygiene. What a revelation!
You bring things into our lives like sickness, or desolation, or dissatisfaction, or loss, or failure, or hunger to make us think and to help us see and to humble us. And if we choose to submit humbly to the One who really has all the answers and IS the answer, we don’t have to be humiliated. But I can choose instead, to believe in spontaneous generation. I can refuse the truth because I think I know better. But then again, I will suffer longer and harder. I can choose to embrace desolation, and become bitter and controlling or lonely and depressed, or I can acknowledge the One who will never leave me and never forsake me. I can find dissatisfaction in everything and everyone and never feel my goals or plans or met, or I can learn to hand my goals and plans and expectations over to the One who knows the big picture and has it all under control from start to eternity. I can wallow in loss or I can rejoice in being found. I can die of starvation or I can let God fill me with Himself and satiate all my hungers.
We’re not so different from the people in Micah’s time. We still have the same internal struggles going on. We still have to line up our thinking with Yours and if we don’t, well, we’re in for a rude awakening and a lot of humiliation unless we eat some humble pie. The truth of the matter is that we have no argument that holds up against God. Our only hope is in His provision, Jesus Christ, the Messiah, the offering that was offered once, for all, and then was able to sit down on the throne because He alone satisfied God’s requirements. So how does this help my internal battle of my mind? When I understand how much I need Christ’s redemption and Lordship over me in my life and surrender to Him, He comes to dwell inside me through His Holy Spirit. What does that do for me? Well, without Him opening my eyes, I can’t know and understand the mind of God. And if I can’t, how can I learn rightly? But Christ in me means the mind of Christ in me too. Now I can see things His way. Now I can live the life You intended me to live. Now I can humbly respond to Your love and power and holiness. Now there is no more condemnation and humiliation. Condemnation and humiliation only exist outside of God. So where do I really want to be? Because I haven’t got a case outside of You.