Dr. Jim Wolfe, Senior Pastor
On the fifth anniversary of my service with The Southern Baptists of Texas Convention, I received a decorative framed passage of Scripture that hangs over my fire place. Every morning, while Momma and I read Scripture and pray, I can see this beautiful passage that reminds me that I am God’s child, and He has a purpose for me today.
With all the laws and regulations Moses and the religious leaders gave Israel, they still struggled with this question: What does it take to please the Lord? And Micah’s simple response was, “He hath shown 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.”
Israel had all these religious things to do, but never understood what the Lord really wanted of them. They were to be His special people and a blessing to the world, yet they did not understand God’s purpose for them. As the Lord spoke to them through Micah, so has He spoken to us today! – God has shown us what He requires of us. Micah notes three requirements of believers: (1) To do justly, (2) To love mercy, and (3) To walk humbly with thy God.
The first duty mentioned is to act justly. Israel had the Mosaic law, giving them instruction to act equitably with all people. This first requirement deals with our relationships with others. 1 John 4:20 declares, “If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?” In Micah, Chapter 2, you will find how unfair the people were in dealing with one another (but they offered their sacrifices). Chapter 3:1-3 describes their treatment of others very graphically as plucking the skin off the bones, flaying off the skin and breaking their bodies, and chopping them up into pieces, and boiling them in pots. Hate and anger with our fellowman is the character of America today. Where is the Christian influence? Let us love our fellowman!
The second duty is to love mercy. This word “mercy” is translated differently in other translations, but it is speaking about faithfulness. As acting justly speaks to our relationship with our fellowman; faithfulness speaks to our relationship with God. God had chosen Israel as His special people, to be a blessing to other nations; and even when they were not faithful to Him, God remained faithful to Israel. God was requiring of them to be as faithful to Him as He was toward them. God extends mercy and grace. The Scripture is clear that God desires all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of truth. Are we not challenged also to love all men to the point of sharing mercy and grace, faithfulness to our calling for the furtherance of the gospel of Christ?
The third duty is to walk humbly with thy God. To walk humbly with God is to be totally dependent upon Him, trusting Him with every area of our life. To walk humbly with God is to make it our purpose to live for Him; to devote ourselves for His service. To walk with God is to acknowledge Him as our Father; to make His glory the greatest object of our life. To walk with God is to have our mind and will brought into subjection to His. To walk with God is to love Him; to rejoice in His presence; to feel ourselves attracted to His holiness; to value nothing more than to be pleasing to Him. The bottom line is simply this: Be real with God!
The three duties that God requires of all men (especially His children) involve three dimensions: outward, inward, and upward. To act justly involves our relationship with our fellowman. To love mercy involves our relationship with our Heavenly Father and with our fellowman. To walk humbly involves our upward look in continued fellowship with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Micah 6:8 is a great challenge to start every day as we seek to live for Jesus and His Kingdom!