(Second Milers also read –Revelation 13 – 16; Memorize Hosea 10:12)
To listen to the Scripture passages today just click on the references above.
“He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” – (Micah 6:8)
I remember as a child that I would sometimes get frustrated with the adults that were over me because I didn’t know precisely what they expected from me. I either didn’t get clear instructions, or sometimes their expectations would change or increase based on the mood of the authority. I remember saying to myself, “What does he want from me?” To be fair, I guess I would have to admit here that I am sure that there were many times that the authorities in my life were rightly frustrated with me also. The point that I am trying to make here is that sometimes we are placed in situations where we simply don’t know what is expected of us. However, God is very clear about what He requires from His children. Notice that I said “His children” for these requirements only apply to those that already belong to Him.
Notice in Micah 6:8 that God gives us a perfect three-point outline of His requirements for us. First, He says that we are to do justly. That simply means that we are to do right. When someone receives justice they are receiving right and fair treatment. That is how we are to live: we are to do right. Now how do we know what is right to do? We have a Book that declares what is right. We are to read and study the Word of God in order to understand what right is from the vantage point of God, and then we are to apply these right principles to the way we live, and the way we relate to the people around us. Bob Jones Sr. used to say, “Do right”; and that is exactly what God is saying here.
Next, God tells us to love mercy. Now mercy is kind of the opposite of justice. Justice is receiving what we deserve, but mercy is not receiving what we deserve. When I get pulled over by the policeman for speeding, I don’t demand justice, I plead for mercy. You get the picture. For instance, we deserve Hell, but because of God’s mercy we can receive the salvation that is offered through the blood of Jesus Christ, and escape the punishment that we deserve. What is God saying here? God wants us to do right, but He also wants us to be merciful to those around us that may have wronged us. Isn’t that exactly how God treats us. He always does right, yet He is also compassionate and merciful to we who are always doing wrong. We need to have God’s heart when it comes to being merciful and forgiving in our relationships with others.
Finally, God says that we are to walk humbly. Humility is a difficult thing for most of us. We are so full of ourselves. However, we must realize that we are absolutely less than nothing without God. The Psalmist said that we are to magnify the Lord. In order to do that we must make ourselves smaller. The smaller we get, the bigger God gets. One of the big problems with our sinful human nature is that so often we are blind to the pride that permeates every fiber of our being. We must constantly ask God for His help in purging this elevation of self from our lives. Christ is our example in this. Though He was God, when He walked the earth He walked humbly among His fellow man:
“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:” – (Philippians 2:5-7)
God we know what you expect from us: help us to do right; help us to be willing to show some compassion to the people around us; and help us to realize that we are zero without you.
Posted in Thoughts from Micah by Phil Erickson with 2 comments.