8He has shown you, O man, what is good;
And what does the Lord require of you
But to do justly,
To love mercy,
And to walk humbly with your God?
Commentary: Micah then told the nation (O man means any person in Israel) exactly what God did desire from them. God did not want them to be related to Him in only a ritualistic way. God wanted them to be related inwardly—to obey Him because they desired to, not because it was a burden on them. That relationship, which is good (beneficial), involves three things: that individuals (a) act justly (be fair in their dealings with others), (b) love mercy (ḥeseḏ, ”loyal love“; i.e., carry through on their commitments to meet others needs), and (c) walk humbly with . . . God (fellowship with Him in modesty, without arrogance). ”Humbly“ translates the verb ṣāna‘, it means to be modest. The Lord had already told them of these demands (Deut. 10:12, 18). Doing justice ”is a way of loving mercy, which in turn is a manifestation of walking humbly with God“. Many people in Micah’s day were not being just (Micah 2:1-2; 3:1-3; 6:11), or showing loyal love to those to whom they were supposed to be committed (2:8-9; 3:10-11; 6:12), or walking in humble fellowship with God (2:3).
More Commentary: A look at Micah’s guidance of how a believer should behave/act.
Instead of thinking that they could just offer a sacrifice and go on their merry way, God wanted his people to truly repent of their sins. First of all there needed to be an attitude adjustment. He wanted his people to act justly, or in other words, do the right thing for the right reason. You see, there was nothing wrong with offering a sacrifice, in fact God had commanded his people do just that, when they sinned. The problem was the people were offering sacrifices because they had to, not because they wanted to. Nor were they planning on changing their behavior after the sacrifice had been offered. Worship had become a mere formality, a ritual that had no bearing on the way they lived their every day life. The same thing can easily happen to us can’t it? We can do the right things like go to church and bring our offerings, but if we don’t do them for the right reasons what’s the point? We might as well not do them at all, at least then we wouldn’t also be guilty of the sin of hypocrisy. On top of that God wants our sincere worship to translate into sincere living. He doesn’t want us to act one way here on Sunday morning and then another way among our friends Monday through Saturday. David put it this way. “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise” (Psalm 51:17).
Besides acting justly, God also wants just reactions from us. That’s what he meant when he said, “love mercy.” To love mercy means that we will live to be forgiving and patient even when someone doesn’t act justly towards us. That can be a challenge in this day and age of instant communication can’t it? When a nasty email comes in we’re usually tempted to fire one back that’s twice as mean. But by doing so what will we have accomplished? We’ll only have managed to stir up the pot causing more pain. So what should we do if someone says or does something that hurts us? First of all don’t do anything. Just relax and calm down before you react in a way you’ll regret. Once you’ve calmed down let your mind process what’s been said putting the best construction on it. Chances are you probably misunderstood what was said. If not the next step is to forgive. Forgive completely and unconditionally as Christ has forgiven you for all of your senseless comments. Now you’re ready to talk to the other person. Your purpose for doing so is not to tell that person off, but, in the most gentle and evangelical way possible, show that what they did or said hurt you. What you’ll probably find out is that the other person didn’t intend for their words to hurt and will immediately apologize for what they’ve done. Even if they don’t apologize, remain forgiving, for God has called us to love mercy, not vengeance.
Are you beginning to see how we don’t act justly and love mercy as we should? That knowledge will lead us to the third thing that God wants from us – to walk humbly with him. Pride in oneself has no place in the life of a Christian. How can pride have a place in us when we keep falling short of what God demands? If you’re having a hard time being humble then see yourself as God sees you – a wretched sinner. But that’s not the only way that God sees us, for if it were our walk with him it would be a walk of shame, not just humility. The fact is, if we’re invited to walk with God tells us that he doesn’t see us as sinners but as saints, for only those who are holy and blameless can walk with the Lord. By the grace of God all of us who believe in His Son Jesus are saints. How can I say that? Well, what the Israelites sarcastically suggested doing to remove their sins, namely sacrificing their firstborn, is what God did to take away our sins. He sacrificed his Son on the cross to take away the sins of the world. Whether you believe that or not it doesn’t change the fact that you can be forgiven if you believe in His Son and it also determines whether or not you will enjoy the benefits of His forgiveness.
So, what does the Lord want from us? Nothing. He does not need anything mankind can offer. He’s done everything and continues to do much for us. God isn’t like that impossible boss or teacher; he’s a loving Father who graciously provided salvation for us. That knowledge will lead us to stop muttering, “What does the Lord want from me” and gladly ask, “What can I do for you Lord?” What can we do to show our love and our thanks? Act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God. Amen.
Where there is no sin, there is no wrath, but there will always be faith, hope, love and holiness. Therefore those who sincerely have faith, hope, love and holiness will always be found in Jesus’ Book of Life.
God is testing us every day and has given us the right to make our own choices. Do you know which ones are the right choices in Gods mind?
Fear God, love God, honor God, and trust God with all your heart, mind and soul and you will receive and experience the joy of the promises of God’s blessings in His time.
Prayer: Father in heaven, hallowed is Thy Name. I praise You for Your Son and the Holy Spirit. I praise You for Your grace in sending us Your wisdom about “What Does the Lord Require of You.” Please bless those who have read this article for they too are seeking Your righteous truth, love, wisdom and understanding.
May God, Jesus, The Holy Spirit and Christianity be our guiding lights, our safety nets and our inspiration for loving happiness in all of Your kingdom. Father into your hands I commend my spirit. Not my will, but yours be done. Please come Lord Jesus.
I pray in Jesus sweet name and to His glory through the power of the Holy Spirit,