When a judge enters a courtroom, people rise to show respect for the authority of the position. The book of Hebrews speaks of God as a Judge: “The Lord will judge his people” (10:30). Immediately afterward, the author observes, “It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (v. 31). In the book of Micah, God’s people stand before God, the Mighty Judge.
Today’s passage feels similar to a courtroom. In this case, though, God plays the role of both judge and prosecutor, with the “mountains,” “hills,” and the “foundations of the earth” in the audience, waiting to hear “the LORD’s accusation,” His “case against his people” (v. 2). This court case will continue for the rest of chapter 6, as the Lord accuses His people of their covenant unfaithfulness.
Verse 3 begins with a rhetorical question, one to which the Lord does not expect a response—though He demands one—because no response can be given. He asks “My people, what have I done to you? How have I burdened you? Answer me.”
In a similar way, the book of Job tells of a man who has endured tremendous loss and suffering (See Job 38:1-13). Job’s friends urged him to blame God and confront His Creator. In fact, the book contains 37 chapters building a case against God. In chapter 38, God responds. He begins by asking a series of questions: “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me if you understand” (38:4). Of course, God already knew the answers. He did not need an answer from Job. God was making an important point: He alone is on the throne. God’s ways are higher than our ways. He makes no mistakes. God is not the enemy but is always faithful to His people.
>> How would you answer the questions God posed to Israel? Replace “My people” with your name in verse 3. What would your answer be to God? Read also: Job 38:1–13
How can we answer Your probing questions, our God and Creator? You know we cannot challenge Your knowledge or power. Humble us and let us understand with awe who You are—and who we are before You.