Wednesday, July 10
What God wants
Scripture: Micah 5-7, Hebrews 7
Micah 6:6–8 With what shall I come before the Lord and bow down before the exalted God? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? 7 Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousand rivers of olive oil? Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? 8 He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
Just before this verse, Micah asks the question, “What should I bring before the Lord?” He offers a common prophetic answer: God isn’t so interested in burnt offerings and sacrifices. Instead, He wants a relationship with us that results in a changed life, particularly in the way we treat others.
Religion usually devolves into a series of ceremonies designed to appease God. Do these and God is happy and you are off the hook. But God has never been interested in that type of religion. He longs for a relationship with us; He wants us to “walk humbly” with Him.
Rather than sacrifices (religious ceremonies and duties), this is what the Lord requires and what is good:
Act justly. Do the right thing. Treat people justly, fairly, rightly. Stand for justice.
Love mercy. Show compassion and grace. Treat people kindly. Stand for mercy.
Walk humbly with God. Be in close relationship with God. Know that He is God and you and not, so be humble, listen and obey. Walk with God.
This is another restatement of the Great Commandment, love God and love people. Micah uses three verbs and three nouns: do justice, love mercy, walk in humility with God. Justice, mercy and humility. Do, love and walk.
My brother-in-law Jared describes this as a triad he uses, particularly when working with people. Do justice: do the right thing, even when it is hard. Love mercy: treat people well, with mercy and kindness. Walk humbly with God: be humble and a learner, don’t assume you know, and rely deeply upon God.
Prayer: Lord, help me walk humbly with You today, and treat people well: do the right thing and be kind and merciful.