I am intrigued with the simplicity of the demands of God on the nation of Israel as stated in Micah’s prophecy. They are found in Micah 6:8 and they are these: “to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?”
At the time of this writing (about 730 BC), the northern kingdom, represented by its capital, Samaria, was about to be overrun by Assyria from the north. The southern kingdom of Israel, represented by its capital, Jerusalem (see Micah 1:1), was much farther in time from their defeat by Babylon which would take place one hundred years later. Still, God graciously warns them all of the impending judgement.
In Micah 1,2 and 3, God outlines their sin. The people were idolatrous (Micah 1:7), covetous and violent (Micah 2:2). Their political leaders “hate(d) the good and love(d) the evil” (Micah 3:1-2), and their religious leaders were in the ministry only for the money (Micah 3:5-11).
Chapters 4 and 5 are chapters of grace. Micah relates God’s gracious dealing with them in the future by describing the millennium, the gathering of Israel to their homeland, and the birth of Jesus the Messiah.
Then, we come to chapter 6 and the clearly stated requirements of our holy God which is applicable to all dispensations.
“To do justly” not only means to make correct judgments but it implies that my personal responsibility before God is to do right, to live righteously. He will not be pleased with anything less than that. This demand really is my responsibility to myself.
“To love mercy” has to do with my relationship to others. This phrase strongly urges me to extend to others the mercy and love that God, through Jesus, has extended to me. Paul clearly states the New Testament version of this phrase in Ephesians 4:32, “…forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”
The final requirement is to “walk humbly with thy God.” This describes my relationship to God – that is, simply to walk with Him in all humility. Two of the words for “walk” in Strong’s Concordance are “march” and “follow.” What a thought! To march behind our God, walking as Jesus walked, imitating Him as faithful soldiers.
The requirements of God are clear. What will be my response?
Post by: Dr. Robert Booker, NBBI Vice President
This article appears in the May 2011 Open Bible Bulletin.