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 Micah's prophecies revolve around the judgment of Israel and the restoration of the Lord's people in the Kingdom to come. Several passages are dedicated to showing God's people their wrongdoing and instructing them on what is right.
In this famous verse, we see the requirements of the basic structure of a Godly life. "What does the Lord require of thee?" Strong's H1875 identifies the word require as ‘seek.' So, what does the Lord seek when he looks over our hearts, minds and actions? He seeks to find three things working adequately every day — To do, to Love, to Walk — in three key foundational areas: Justice, Mercy, and Humility. 1. To do justly, or justice. This phrase is one of the basic tenets of righteousness. What is doing justly? Justice comes from the Law of the Lord and parts of the New Testament, and is, above all, equitable. We think we do justice, telling ourselves how balanced, even-tempered, non-reactionary and down-right godly we are. At the Sermon on the Mount, It was needful for Jesus remind listeners that their justice may not be on point after all. Matthew 7:2-3 reads, V2 "For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again." V3 "And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?"
This, too, is judgment. How many times a week do we neglect to consider our own faults? God said in Proverbs 10:17, "The memory of the just is blessed:" 2. To love Mercy. This phrase is indelibly linked to justice above. Matthew 5:7 states, "Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.’
Sometimes we find ourselves acting like Jesus, who had abundant mercy, and, other times, like Jonah, who sat on his hill and asked God to strike down the Ninevites to whom he had just prophesied. We get caught bouncing between these two extremes.
God wants us to LOVE mercy. When we love something, we show passion and favour towards it. It’s in our minds all day long. However, God doesn't desire us to be soft floor rugs either, to be walked over by everybody. When we are at that crossroad of making a tough decision which could go either way — harsh or merciful — God would like us to not only prefer mercy, but to love extending it. Why? Because he showed mercy to us while we were yet sinners.
This verse has helped many believers over time with their harsh judgements.
Mercy is a long-range project, producing a thankful heart. Look how long it took us to come to Christ; all the while on borrowed time. We win people with mercy, as God won us, but lose them with harsh judgment. They reject us because they think we have rejected them.
When He documented this verse, God's concept was to base communities on mercy and forgiveness. Think how wonderful that would be! Think of the overwhelming generosity and love down every city street and country road, every city hall, every parliament, every group, and every church. 3. To walk humbly with thy God. (Margin: To humble thyself to walk with thy God.) This six-word line underpins all we are in God. The only way the Holy Spirit can access our heart is through humility. It keeps the walls of pride down. Our walk of life has its ups and downs, but it also includes many opportunities for pride to enter. Once we let pride into an area, it often finds its way into other areas of our life, including spiritual. When that occurs, God struggles to get through to us, and we continue walking on without Him, thinking we are doing well, yet we could be lost. We have become headstrong. We might be apt to think that some are born with humility while the rest of us struggle through with our planks of pride, trying to reduce them. On the contrary, Humility is a quality we learn about, then put on. We can humble ourselves to walk with God. He requires it. He has much to tell us and many places to lead us. We need humility both to learn what He teaches, and not get lost when He leads. Furthermore, heaven and the next world are built on humility. Matthew 5:5, "Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth." So, these three elements are directly linked to:
Our actions (To Do)
The state of our heart and determination (To Love)
Our vision for a life with the Lord (walk Humbly).
Today’s Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for reminding men of these three necessary actions which have such an impact on others. Please help me to add them to my decision-making and not to simply forget them after I read this verse.