Israel on Trial

Israel on Trial Devo Image

“Listen to what the Lord says: ‘Stand up, plead my case before the mountains; let the hills hear what you have to say. Hear, you mountains, the Lord’s accusation; listen, you everlasting foundations of the earth. For the Lord has a case against his people; he is lodging a charge against Israel. My people, what have I done to you? How have I burdened you? Answer me. I brought you up out of Egypt and redeemed you from the land of slavery. I sent Moses to lead you, also Aaron and Miriam. My people, remember what Balak king of Moab plotted and what Balaam son of Beor answered. Remember your journey from Shittim to Gilgal, that you may know the righteous acts of the Lord.’’—Micah 6:1–5 (NIV)

It’s not uncommon to flip through TV channels and come across a courtroom drama. In today’s passage, God calls Micah to summon Israel to a legal hearing. This hearing presents God Almighty as the plaintiff, the mountains and Earth’s foundations as witnesses, and the nation of Israel as the defendant. It’s certainly not the court scene you’d expect! God calls this hearing to demonstrate that He has upheld His part of the covenant. He references three major events in Israel’s past to make His case.

First, God reminds Israel that He is the One who rescued them from slavery in Egypt. They were redeemed not by their own strength, but by God’s power alone. Next, God brings up that He is the One who has blessed Israel and given them favor over their enemies. When Balak, King of Moab, demanded that prophet Balaam curse Israel so that his kingdom would not be destroyed, Balaam instead declared that God had indeed blessed Israel and that Balak could not prevail against God’s chosen people (Numbers 22–24). And finally, God recounts that He is the One who led His people from the wilderness (Shittim) into the Promised Land; the One who ceased the waters of the Jordan (Gilgal) for the Israelites to cross.

The jury is out. Who broke the covenant? Not God. Based on these charges, it is evident who has upheld the covenant and who has forgotten it. Israel has not succeeded on its own strength and merit, but with God’s favor over them. Israel has forgotten its dependence on the Lord, forsaken their covenant with their maker, and turned to other nations and false gods.

Like Israel, we can forget who God has been in our lives. When that happens, we turn to other sources for our identity, security, and strength and become ungrateful toward God. Friends, let us guard our hearts against the ingratitude and complacency that can easily creep in when we forget our creator. Instead, let us cultivate gratitude in every season and area of our lives, acknowledging God as the source of all our blessings.

Pause: What has the Lord done in your life that you have forgotten or have failed to thank Him for?

Practice: Take time to remember God and to thank Him for all He has done. Write those things down so you can see and remember them.

Pray: Father, You have been kind and faithful toward me in more ways than I can count. Thank You for the blessings, the trials, and all the ways You’re at work in my life. Help me, Holy Spirit, to remember God’s faithfulness and acknowledge Him in all my ways. In Jesus’ name, amen.

About the Author

Gabriella Silva

Gabriella Silva serves as a volunteer for Calvary’s communications and worship teams. She holds an M.A. in psychology from Fuller Theological Seminary and is passionate about integrating her knowledge of human behavior with the truth of God’s word. When she is not writing resources or singing at church, Gabi loves to paint, cook, and enjoy time outdoors with her family and friends.