What is true religion? This is a question people often ask in view of the different religions of the world. In a way, the answer to this question was what Micah’s people needed to hear and understand. Micah was a fearless prophet from Moresheth, a small town 25 miles southwest of Jerusalem. His name means “Who is like the LORD?” which is the sum message of his book (Micah 7:18). Micah was called to preach for GOD’s people to worship Yahweh alone (Micah 4:1-5). Sadly, God’s people had embraced foreign gods while purporting to worship the LORD.
Micah, who comes from the lower class of society, was an ardent defender of the oppressed and a herald of righteousness (Micah 2; 3:8). He proclaimed GOD’s message of judgment against Jerusalem’s leaders (Micah 3:1-4, 9-12) priests, and false prophets (3:5-8). With a series of rhetorical questions, Micah exposed the guilt of the nation of Judah by showing the people their wrong assumption—that is, believing that by performing religious rituals they can gain favor from GOD (Micah 6:6-7). Micah, therefore, rebuked and reminded them about what the LORD truly requires (Micah 6:8). The LORD desired their hearts and demanded that they demonstrate the fruits of righteousness (Micah 6:8; Cf. 1 Samuel 15:22; Isaiah 1:10-20).
My friend, are you attempting to gain GOD’s favor through your religious works? Are you like the people of Micah’s time who embraced various gods or beliefs? Or as a believer of Jesus Christ, are you demonstrating the fruit of righteousness? Theologian and preacher John MacArthur has rightly concluded, “There are basically only two kinds of religion in the world: those based on human achievement and those based on divine accomplishment. One says you can earn your way to heaven; the other says you must trust in Jesus Christ alone.” To which kind of religion do you belong?