Focal Passage: Micah 6:1-8
Do you ever get tired of serving God, wishing that you could
live a while without worrying about whether or not you were pleasing God?
As a child, I didn’t really look forward to Sunday. On
Saturday nights my siblings and I had to lay out our Sunday clothes, polish our
shoes, read the Sunday school lesson, and prepare our offering envelopes. The
people of Israel were required to honor the sacrificial system of the Temple by
bringing animal and food offerings. Like I did with my sister and brothers, it
appears that God’s people grumbled about what they were expected to do.
God asked through the prophet Micah, “My people, what have I
done to you? How have I burdened you?” He reminded them of their deliverance
from slavery in Egypt, his protection during their journey, and their
prosperity. As human beings, we tend to forget the blessings God pours out upon
our lives, focusing instead on what frustrates us at the moment.
Micah clearly articulated God’s expectations in Micah 6:8.
“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.”
First, do justice. There is a growing consensus today that
right and wrong have no absolute meanings.
The same was true in Micah’s day. He attacked the powerful
for their economic policies that benefited the wealthy at others’ expense
(Micah 2:1-7) and the false prophets who supported the injustice (Micah 2:6-8).
He called for a biblical justice that defends the rights of the weak and cares
for the rights of others with the same intensity that we care for our own
Second, love mercy. Paul writes, “Because of his great love
for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were
dead in transgressions” (Ephesians 2:4-5).
Those who receive God’s mercy must
offer mercy to others. To love mercy is to be concerned with the needs of
others, and to demonstrate God’s love to those we would naturally reject — even
to those who have rejected us.
Third, walk humbly with your God. This begins by being
honest about who we are — sinners saved by grace. There is no room for pride or
What can we do to please God? The bottom line isn’t about
what we do for God, but what he has done for us to establish a relationship
with us through Christ on the cross.
The ability to meet God’s expectations is found in a relationship