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Micah 6:8 Overview and Analysis Essay

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Updated: Jul 5th, 2022


Micah 6:8 is considered one of the most critical passages in the biblical understanding of social justice. Although it merges into the general course of testimonies about Israel, the prophet’s sixth book has its features. Micah combines his nineteen prophecies into three cycles, each of which begins with a warning of condemnation and ends with multiple salvation predictions. It is essential to understand the reasons of God to command people to act justly, mercifully, and walk humbly with God.

Analyzing the Old Testament is useful to determine whether justice, mercy and humility are valid of God himself. Micah condemns and criticizes society but also gives the path to recovery. It should be discussed in terms of the broad context of the prophet’s sixth book. Despite the cultural and social differences between ancient and present, in the Old Testament, particularly in the book of Micah, people can find fundamental provisions. These principles transcend the differences and, therefore, apply to the modern world context.

Old Testament

Micah’s teachings about a heart of kindness before God and the right to receive salvation include three interrelated components: justice, mercy and humility. To act justly means to behave decently; people appear this way towards God, walking humbly with Him and performing mercy commitments. Therefore, it is the practical application of the first and second greatest commandments from the New Testament. The first is “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength”.1 The second passage is defined as “Love your neighbor as yourself”.2

To act justly and humbly with God determines to deliberately distance from wickedness, walk in His statutes, and remain genuinely faithful. A just person rejects sin, turns to Creator, enters into covenants with Him, obeying God’s law. This human being decides to keep the commandments, repent when he or she fails and continues to worship.

The Holy Book frequently affirms that the Lord is merciful and just; the example is King David’s testimony of God’s kindness. When he violated Holy One’s command to enumerate and counted the people of Israel, the Lord allowed him to choose the punishment for his disobedience.3 David, understanding the mercy of God, admitted that it would be better to commend himself to the Creator than to hard-hearted people.4 God threw “a pestilence upon Israel from the morning even to the time appointed; and there died of the people from Dan even to Beer-sheba seventy thousand men”.5 However, after the punishment, Jehovah said to the angel who destroyed the nation, “It is enough; now stay thy hand”.6 David also perceived a testimony of God’s mercy in his psalms.

The people of Israel repeatedly violated the covenants of God; consequently, the Lord punished Peculiar People, sending diseases and heathens, giving permission to captivate and murder the Jews. However, God always showed justice and mercy to those who ceased evil deeds and walked humbly with God. There is David’s testimony “Jehovah is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abundant in loving kindness. He will not always chide; neither will he keep his anger for ever”.7 God’s justice is manifested through His mediation in the history of the Jewish people.

For the Israel people, justice became not an abstract concept or a philosophical definition but theological. It was demanded by the Lord’s covenant relationship with Israel; ultimately, it will be established on earth by God’s sovereign power. The Old Testament reveals not only specific norms of social justice. It gives an accurate explanation of moral nature. Therefore, taking social justice as the norm of people’s life, they declare that they treat themselves and everyone else the same way.

Israel always acknowledged Lord’s help in the fight against the external enemy. The righteous placed their hope on this aid under challenging circumstances, and due to this support, Israel emerged victorious from the most difficult situations.8 Isaiah’s predictions were plentiful of sincere hope for God’s help, which would lead the righteous out of the darkness and bring them salvation.9 The Holy One also provides people the legitimacy of law; this right serves as the Old Testament basis, being the Law that Israel must follow. Second, God’s justice is manifested in His intervention in the Chosen People’s interior.10 It is essential to fulfill the promises made by Him to accomplish mercy.11 Therefore, for the righteous, God is the support and guarantee of their salvation.

With regard to humbling, it is expressed through the fact that God, being perfect, does not consider it is disgraceful to descend to people and appear in the likeness of a human being. Lord says, “I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit”.12 He acts to encourage the humble and the penitent soul.13 Micah reminds people that God’s true worship is not a formal religion.14 It is a quiet life, expressed in God’s justice and mercy towards the people around.

Micah 6:1-8

Micah witnessed one of the most critical events in Judea. The Assyrians laid siege to Jerusalem, but it was freed due to the miraculous act of God.15 However, Micah’s sixth book describes the prophet’s accusatory speech to Israel; the Lord is suing the people of Israel.16 God is the prosecutor in court; the accused are Israelite, and the witnesses are represented by all inhabitants of the earth, mountains and valleys.17 During this trial, God reminds the people of His kindness, how He rescued Israeli from the land of Egypt and did not allow Balaam with Balak to curse them.18 God’s incrimination begins with the assurance that Israel has no reason to be unappreciative of God, showing ingratitude.

The Lord expects His people to fulfill the spiritual bonds of the law to renew their conscience and inner essence. Micah invocates a person to live according to God’s fair treatment principles.19 People should exist in love and mercy, pacifying their passions, greed, darkness that destroy the human personality.20

As God showed a person what evil and good mean. He commanded to do the latter, so a faithful should submit to the Lord’s hand and live to perform virtuous actions.21 This God’s accusation against the people of Israel is aimed at regeneration, instead of condemnation, unlike other prophetic speeches of Micah.22 An unconverted person is incapable of achieving such righteousness; there is a need for divine will and consciousness.

This passage can be considered the most prominent and vital in all prophetic literature. Some Christian scholars also observe this text as a crucial one for the subject of God’s social justice. It reflects the nature of God and His expectations from people.23 At the beginning of the passage, Micah points to God’s voice to show the message’s importance and relevance.24 Micah’s book reveals how God articulates through a prophet to express His will in a specific historical context.25

Justice, mercy and humility form a reaction to abuse in society and an appeal for an action based on God’s Word. Society’s rejection of it creates a sense of deep sorrow and suffering.26 However, people ignore the Logos; they are used to behaving in a destructive manner instead of respecting virtue. The community acts regardless of God’s mercy towards the most vulnerable and rejected categories of people; society does not walk humbly with the Lord.


To sum up, Micah emphasizes that Israel’s salvation depends on the favor of God towards the nation. Concerning the relevancy of Micah 6:8 passage to personal life and the contemporary church context, acting justly, mercy and walking humbly, being rooted in adoration of God, are the primary tasks for each faithful person. It is also essential for the church community at every level, starting from the local Service to the Church as an institute.

Following the Lord’s commandments, all Christian writing aims to educate virtues, wisdom, and devoutness. It teaches voluntary assistance to people and society, avoiding selfishness and false pride. Due to a spiritual connection, people can manifest social mercy such as love of neighbors, work of penance, loyalty, justice, and truthfulness. By acting together, they transform various areas of culture and science. Thus, love for God and other human beings is a fundamental aspiration in the faithful, and the emphasis on social justice is the primary manifestation of this devotion.


Ferreira, Johan. 2017. Micah: A Pastoral and Contextual Commentary. Carlisle: Langham Publishing.

Goswell, Gregory. 2019. “Davidic Rule in the Prophecy of Micah.” Journal for the Study of the Old Testament 44, no. 1: 153-165.

Kessler, Rainer. 2020. “Micah in the Book of the Twelve.” In The Book of the Twelve, edited by John C. Thomas, 176-185. Boston, MA: Brill.

Lioy, Dan. 2018. “The Supreme Importance of Promoting Equity, Kindness, and Humility: A Descriptive and Comparative Analysis of Micah 6: 1-16 and 1 Corinthians 13: 1-13.” Conspectus 25: 56-91.

Wendland, Ernst. 2018. “A Discourse Structural Overview of the Prophecy of Micah.” The Bible Translator 69, no. 2: 277-293.


  1. Mark 12:30-31 (ASV).
  2. Mark 12:30-31 (ASV).
  3. 2 Samuel 24:1-10 (ASV).
  4. 2 Samuel 24:10-12 (ASV).
  5. 2 Samuel 24:15 (ASV).
  6. 2 Samuel 24:16 (ASV).
  7. Psalm 103:8-9 (ASV).
  8. 2 Kings 6:8 (ASV).
  9. Isaiah 51:5 (ASV).
  10. Goswell, Gregory, “Davidic Rule in the Prophecy of Micah,” Journal for the Study of the Old Testament 44, no. 1 (2019): 158-9.
  11. Isaiah 41:10 (ASV).
  12. Isaiah 57:15 (ASV).
  13. Isaiah 57:15 (ASV).
  14. Micah 6:8 (ASV).
  15. Ferreira, Johan, Micah: A Pastoral and Contextual Commentary (Carlisle: Langham Publishing, 2017), 155-58.
  16. Micah 6:1-2 (ASV).
  17. Micah 6:1-2 (ASV).
  18. Micah 6:4-5 (ASV).
  19. Micah 6:4-6 (ASV).
  20. Lioy, Dan, “The Supreme Importance of Promoting Equity, Kindness, and Humility: A Descriptive and Comparative Analysis of Micah 6: 1-16 and 1 Corinthians 13: 1-13,” Conspectus 25 (2018): 72-73.
  21. Lioy, 72-73.
  22. Lioy, 74.
  23. Kessler, Rainer, “Micah in the Book of the Twelve,” in The Book of the Twelve, ed. John C. Thomas (Boston, MA: Brill, 2020.), 180-181.
  24. Goswell, Gregory, “Davidic Rule in the Prophecy of Micah,” Journal for the Study of the Old Testament 44, no. 1 (2019), 161-162.
  25. Ferreira, Johan, Micah: A Pastoral and Contextual Commentary (Carlisle: Langham Publishing, 2017), 57-58.
  26. Wendland, 281.
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