O Man; by Pastor Dr. Robert Bannister

O Man

Micah spoke as a righteous person who understood his people’s guilt. He was not like the many leaders who had refused to shepherd the people properly. The Bible Knowledge Commentary

Mic 6:6-8 With what shall I come to the LORD And bow myself before the God on high? Shall I come to Him with burnt offerings, With yearling calves? (7) Does the LORD take delight in thousands of rams, In ten thousand rivers of oil? Shall I present my firstborn for my rebellious acts, The fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? (8) He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God?

There have been plenty of times in life where I attempted, usually with limited success to appease a situation (or person) with hope that the unwanted situation would somehow just go away. To put this in another in another context-that the person that I was trying to appease (for example: the boss) would hopefully just go away. Ancient Israel had the tendency to respond to God's requests in the form of appeasement with sacrifices and religious rituals (not to downplay the sacrificial system of the Old Testament-as the sacrificial system was meant to be an outward expression of dependence on God). In today's world the essence of things have not changed much. There are churches today which attempt to appease God with “sacrifices” and religious rituals.

Heb 10:4 For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.

The Old testament system of sacrifice pointed to the perfect sacrifice of Jesus Christ in the New Testament to take away our sin.

Mat 19:16 And someone came to Him and said, "Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may obtain eternal life?"

This man came to Jesus seeking to obtain the keys to eternal life. Jesus told him that salvation does not come from good deeds in and of themselves, and you cannot purchase or earn salvation, as God truly wants your heart to be fully sacrificed to Him. 

Psa 95:6 Come, let us worship and bow down, Let us kneel before the LORD our Maker.

Let's look at verse 7. It seems that the prophet Micah makes a bit of an absurd statement, or perhaps a great exaggeration, if you will, in order to prove a point-thousands of rams, ten thousands of rivers. Micah then speaks of the fruit of his body-meaning his firstborn son as a sacrifice to atone for sin.

1Sa 15:22 Samuel said, "Has the LORD as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices As in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams.

Isa 1:11 "What are your multiplied sacrifices to Me?" Says the LORD. "I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams And the fat of fed cattle; And I take no pleasure in the blood of bulls, lambs or goats.

Micah then asked in hyperbole if the Lord would want thousands of rams, or 10,000 rivers of oil, or even his own firstborn child (the fruit of his body) to atone for his transgression and sin. He of course knew these would not appease God’s wrath on the nation. Nor was Micah condoning the evil practice of child sacrifice, forbidden in the Law. He asked those rhetorical questions to suggest to Israel that nothing — not even the most extreme sacrifice — could atone for what she had done. Also this emphasized that God did not want them to “pay” Him. Instead God wanted them to change their actions and attitude . Bible Knowledge Commentary

Isa 1:13 "Bring your worthless offerings no longer, Incense is an abomination to Me. New moon and sabbath, the calling of assemblies—I cannot endure iniquity and the solemn assembly.

Isa 1:15 "So when you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide My eyes from you; Yes, even though you multiply prayers, I will not listen. Your hands are covered with blood.

Let's look at Micah 6:8 once again:
(Mic 6:8) He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God?

The words used in the three verses from the book of Micah are simple and straight forward enough so that I did not include a word study of the translation from the Hebrew. However the word “humbly” I thought deserved a little attention.
A primitive root; to humiliate: - humbly, lowly.

So we can think of being humble as being humiliated and lowly. The word O man was meant to include any person in Israel. God wanted Israel to relate to Him-not just with ritualism but with an inward desire to obey Him and love Him. This obedience includes three things:
  • to do justice
  • to love kindness
  • and to walk humbly with God

Deu 10:12 "Now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require from you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and love Him, and to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul,

Pro 21:3 To do righteousness and justice Is desired by the LORD more than sacrifice.

He - God hath already told you in his word, with what you ought to come before him. To do justly - To render to every one their due, superiors, equals, inferiors, to be equal to all, and oppress none, in body, goods or name; in all your dealings with men carry a chancery in your own beasts, and do according to equity. To love mercy - To be kind, merciful and compassionate to all, not using severity towards any. Walk humbly with thy God - Keep up a constant fellowship with God, by humble, holy faith. Wesley

Isa 1:17 Learn to do good; Seek justice, Reprove the ruthless, Defend the orphan, Plead for the widow.

We shall conclude with the following verse from Ephesians:

Eph 4:32 Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.