“He 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?” (Micah 6:8, NKJV). What are ways, right now, you can live out these words?
Micah 6:8 is perhaps one of the best known texts in Scripture. Yet, like many of the verses we make into slogans or “posters”, we are probably less familiar with the context of the verse than we might admit.
Read Micah 2:8-11 and Micah 3:8-12. What were the people doing that Micah condemned?
The reign of Ahaz as king in Judah saw God’s people reach a new low in the history and spirituality of their nation. Idolatry and its various evil practices were increasing. At the same time, as other prophets of the time also noted, the poor continued to be exploited and preyed upon.
Micah is no less a prophet of doom than were his contemporaries. Most of his first three chapters express God’s anger and sorrow at the evil His people had done, as well as the destruction that was coming their way.
But God had not given up on His people. Even the strident voices and harsh messages of the prophets were an indication of God’s continued interest in His people. He gave them warnings because of His love and care for them. He longed to forgive and restore them. He would not stay angry forever (see Mic. 7:18-20).
Such is the context of the well-known “formula” — act justly, love mercy, walk humbly. It might sound simple, but living such a faith in practical ways is much more challenging, especially when to do so seems so out of step with the surrounding society. When others profit from injustice, scoff at mercy and ride proudly, acting justly, loving mercy, and walking humbly requires courage and perseverance. Yet, we don’t do this alone; when we act this way, we are walking with our God.
|What is the link between doing justice, loving mercy, and walking humbly before God?|