Micah Chapter 6
Micah chapter 6, verse 8 is probably one of the most used – and most abused – verses used by the American church. We have certainly heard it from many pastors in the last several weeks as the riots, protest, and demonstrations have ballooned. Micah 6:8 says, “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”. But I was left wondering, whose justice? Whose mercy? The answer is right there if we read all of chapter 6.
You see, chapter 6 is the case of God against His people. And He makes clear that the justice of man is murky and grey; we have misdemeanors and felonies, and many different types of felonies. We have bail for this, but maybe not that. And on top of that, we put a lot of complex rules and hard to follow guidelines—just like we do with our religion sometimes!
God makes the point in Micah that we create this elaborate set of rules—speaking through Micah, he condemns the sacrifices to “pay for” our sin. He condemns our ways to buy ourselves into holiness. He condemns our ongoing unwillingness to turn from our sin and our desire to keep committing it and keep sacrificing for it. In verse 8, he simply states his command to us, which is simple and elegant:
To Act Justly
We should do everything we can to be holy and righteous, like our God. To be more like Christ (Romans 8:29).
To Love Mercy
God’s mercy is long-lasting and great; it is His Son Jesus Christ. God provided the judgement AND the mercy, can we do not as much?
To walk humbly with our God
When God provides the judgement – which is eternal and real – and provides the salvation, the mercy that judgment demands, do we have any choice to walk humbly with Him? Who are we to try and create a set of rules to make the Gospel harder?
Micah chapter 6 is really about the Gospel. It is the lawsuit against God’s Creation, His judgement, proof of His coming mercy. God is truly Jehovah Jireh, only he provides to us his greatest gift, the gift of His mercy, the gift of our salvation, Jesus Christ.