Pastor Randy’s Top 66 – Micah
“He has showed you, O man, 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.” Micah 6:8
This verse has commonly been called “The Micah Mandate”. Anytime the Bible tells us that the Lord ‘delights’ in something, or that He ‘requires’ of us, then that’s a pretty good sign that we ought to pay more careful attention to it. Of course, all of God’s Word is authoritative, but you know what I mean.
So first, what’s the setting of Micah and this verse? Micah was a prophet, who lived in the southern kingdom of Judah during the reigns of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, which was between the years 742-686 BC. He preached to both the northern and southern kingdoms, calling them all to repentance. Micah was a prophet who spoke about what was happening at the time he preached; he predicted that the northern kingdom would be dispersed; he clearly stated that the southern kingdom would be taken into captivity; he spoke about their return; he spoke about an event that would happen over 500 years from his time – that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2); and the principles that he wrote about concerning the covenant promises are applicable to we the Church today. So, what Micah had to say to both kingdoms in our verse for today, is just as applicable to you and I as redeemed children of the Lord. And what did Micah say in Micah 6:8? Well, we need to understand that in essence this verse is reminding the Israelites that living obediently and faithfully to the Lord as His covenant children isn’t just a matter of performing religious rites, sacrifices, or oblations, but instead the Lord seeks the matters of the heart – justice, mercy and humility.
“He has showed you, O man, 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.”
The Lord has shown you and I through His Word, history, and through His providence, what is good for you and I to do, or to live by. This is the Micah Mandate – truth that the Lord has boiled down to us to help us live the Christian life ‘successfully’ (whatever that may mean), and to please the Lord.
The Lord requires His children to act justly: To act justly simply means to do the right – righteous – godly thing whenever we have the opportunity to do so. It means to turn the other cheek, go the extra mile; love your neighbor, love your enemies, care for the afflicted, the orphan, the widow, provide equity in the courtrooms, protect the innocent, eliminate injustice, and care for those who are helpless or being taken advantage of. The bottom line: do what Jesus would do. Now, doing what Jesus would do DOESN’T mean that you close your eyes to the sin around you; promote other people’s sin; or believe that people can do whatever they want, whenever they want, to whomever they want.
Now, tied in nicely with ‘act justly’ is the truth ‘love mercy’. To love mercy means that you want to be able to forgive; give a person a second chance; lessen the punishment when possible; love your enemies instead of destroying them (unless you are being attacked!); face insults without retaliating; graciously bear the consequences of someone else’ sin; reach out to the untouchables, the lonely, the depressed, and those who are neglected or abused, without expecting anything in return. Mercy is showing Christ’s love to the unlovable – just as He loved us while we were yet sinners.
And then thirdly, Micah is telling Israel – as well as you and I – to walk humbly with our God. This DOESN’T mean to just be humble around people and not strive for the limelight or to always be first in everything. This verse says that we are to walk humbly with our God. It’s all about our relationship with the Lord God. Of course, we should live a life of humility around all people, but that kind of lifestyle begins by living humbly before and with the Lord.
In other words, I can’t walk around in spiritual pride, “Look how spiritual I am”, “I’m such a good and strong Christian”, “Boy, the Lord sure needed me to complete that ministry task”, “Hey Lord, I’m one of the King’s Kids, so I expect blessing”. Walking in humility is the act, attitude, and lifestyle of a sinner who has been touched by the Lord’s transforming, repurposing grace and that touch – the Spirit of Christ within us – now compels us to never boast in our salvation; our spiritual growth; the specialness of our church; or any other such thing.
The humble man or woman of God is always appreciative of God’s saving grace; always grateful for the daily blessings we receive by the Lord; and knows full well that we did NOTHING to deserve our salvation, but again, it’s all by God’s grace. Sure, we’re going to get patted on our back when we do something well, especially when we do something successfully for the Kingdom of God, but it is up to you and I, as we meditate on God’s Word and talk to Him often, that we give the Lord God praise for all things in our life.
We live in a time in which people thrive on their boastings; strive to be proud of their achievements, and although the Lord wants us to do well and to celebrate those good things we have done, the truly humble man or woman of God will bow his head in humility, and then lift his head heavenward, giving the Lord all the credit and glory for our salvation and for any good work that comes from us.
The Lord requires of His children these three basic things, and as we trust the Lord, hide His Word in our hearts, walk out the Truth of the Gospel day by day, then we will be able to:
– Act justly
– Love mercy
– And we will be able to walk humbly with our God.
And THEN the Lord will be well pleased, and His work will move forward soli Deo Gloria – so that the Lord God will receive all the glory.