6 With what should I approach the LORD
and bow down before God on high?
Should I come before him with entirely burned offerings,
with year-old calves?
7 Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams,
with many torrents of oil?
Should I give my oldest child for my crime;
the fruit of my body for the sin of my spirit?
8 He has told you, human one, what is good and
what the LORD requires from you:
to do justice, embrace faithful love, and walk humbly with your God.
The prophet Micah spoke to the kingdom of Judah’s urge to keep religious ritual and “conspicuous consumption” side-by-side. On God’s behalf, he urged a different agenda: “Do justice, embrace faithful love, and walk humbly with your God.” Resurrection serves the same God as Micah did. One of our goals, in our first 30 years and in the years ahead, is to “address injustices and build bridges of healing” today. We agree with Micah that pious rituals matter less than simply treating people justly.
Lord Jesus, my goal is to walk humbly with you. Lead and guide me into the newness of life that you died and rose again to offer me. Amen.
* Gary V. Smith, The NIV Application Commentary: Hosea, Amos, Micah. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2001, p. 555.
Act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with God. It should be pretty simple. Apparently, it’s not.
But it should be so very easy to do. We aren’t called to perform great heroics. It’s just to treat others fairly, to care for our neighbor’s well being and to love God. That’s it.
Yet we just can’t seem to do it. And I don’t understand why.
Are our egos so inflated that we deem ourselves above justice? Are we so selfish that we are threatened by our neighbor’s comfort? Are we so prideful that we cannot appreciate that our success comes from God’s abundant blessing rather than our own actions?
While these may be the cause in some cases, I believe that maybe it’s less intentional and more lack of awareness. Regardless of the cause, as people of God we have to do better.
It is up to each and every one of us to ensure justice is served equally to all people. No exceptions, no excuses. Until we stand up and fight for justice for everyone, we fall short of God’s plan.
As part of our call, it is critical that we seek to love and show mercy to our neighbors – both those on our street and those around the world. To use our abundance to bless and serve those who struggle is simply passing on what God has provided to us.
And finally, to walk humbly with God. How can we not be absolutely awestruck that God loves us and desires us to walk with Him? The privilege of being one of God’s children should overwhelm us, and yet we repeatedly choose to take our own path.
So assuming our failure to live a life of justice, mercy and humility is unintentional, how do we do better?
We must make change a priority. It has to constantly be on our radar.
As you listen to the news, ask yourself if what you’re hearing sounds like the people involved were treated fairly. If justice seemed to not be fairly given, take action. Make a phone call, send an email, join a protest.
When you hear of someone in need, don’t theorize how they got into that situation. Instead, think of how you can help, who you can mobilize to join you, and what you can do to enact long term permanent resolutions.
And finally, look around you. Everything and everyone you see is a gift from God. To do anything less than walk with Him in a state of constant thanksgiving is less than He deserves.
It really is pretty simple. We just have to want to do it.
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