on Micah 6 :2
Hear ye, O mountains - Micah, as God's advocate, summons this people into judgment, and makes an appeal to inanimate creation against them. He had spoken to the priests, to the princes, to the people. He had done every thing that was necessary to make them wise, and holy, and happy; they had uniformly disobeyed, and were ever ungrateful. It was not consistent with either the justice or mercy of God to permit them to go on without reprehension and punishment. He now calls them into judgment; and such was the nature of their crimes that, to heighten the effect, and show what reason he had to punish such a people, he appeals to inanimate creation. Their ingratitude and rebellion are sufficient to make the mountains, the hills, and the strong foundations of the earth to hear, tremble, and give judgment against them. This, then, is the Lord's controversy with his people, and thus he will plead with Israel.
on Micah 6 :2
Hear, ye strong (or, it may be, ye enduring,) foundations of the earth - Mountains and rocks carry the soul to times far away, before and after. They change net, like the habitable, cultivated, surface of the earth. There they were, before the existence of our short-lived generations; there they will be, until time shall cease to be. They have witnessed so many vicissitudes of human things, themselves unchanging. The prophet is directed to seize this feeling of simple nature. "They have seen so much before me," Yes! "then they have seen all which befell my forefathers; all God's benefits, all along, to them and to us, all their and our unthankfulness."
He will plead with Israel - God hath a strict severe judgment with His people, and yet vouchsafes to clear Himself before His creatures, to come down from His throne of glory and place Himself on equal terms with them. He does not plead only, but mutually (such is the force of the word) impleads with His people, hears if they would say aught against Himself, and then gives His own judgment . But this willingness to hear, only makes us condemn ourselves, so that we should be without excuse before Him. We do owe ourselves wholly to Him who made us and hath given us all things richly to enjoy.
If we have withdrawn ourselves from His Service, unless He dealt hardly with us, we dealt rebelliously and ungratefully with Him. God brings all pleas into a narrow space. The fault is with Him or with us. He offers to clear Himself. He sets before us His good deeds, His Loving kindness, Providence, Grace, Long-suffering, Bounty, Truth, and contrasts with them our evil deeds, our unthankfulness, despitefulness, our breach of His laws, and disorderings of His creation. And then, in the face of His Goodness, He asks, "What evil have I done, what good have I left undone?" so that our evil and negligences should be but a requital of His. For if it is evil to return evil for evil, or not to return good for good, what evil is it to return evil for His exceeding good! As He says by Isaiah, "What could have been done more to My vineyard and I have not done in it. Wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes?" Isaiah 5:4.
And our Blessed Lord asks; "Many good works have I shewed you from My Father. For which of those works do ye stone Me?" John 10:32. "Which of you convinceth Me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe Me?" John 8:46. Away from the light of God, we may plead excuses, and cast the blame of our sins upon our temptations, or passions, or nature, that is, on Almighty God Himself, who made us. When His light streams in upon our conscience, we are silent. Blessed if we be silenced and confess to Him then, that we be not first silenced in the Day of Judgment Job 1:8; Job 2:3; Ezekiel 14:20. Righteous Job said, "I desire to reason with God" Job 13:3; but when his eye saw Him, he said, "wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes" Job 42:5-6.
on Micah 6 :2
6:2 Foundations of the earth - The mountains properly so called; the sin of Israel is so notorious, that the whole creation may be summoned as a witness against them.