The beginning of each month, a new week and a new day brings me the task of making a new list. Each morning I break down my monthly or weekly list into what is required of me for the day. Of course on the top of today’s list was to write this Bible Journal Post. On the days that I do not make my list I am way less productive. I flounder about and procrastinate because I do not require anything of myself. I will be honest and say that I have more days of floundering than I would like. When I know the requirements of my day I am much more productive and in turn have a profound sense of accomplishment when I lay my head on my pillow at night.
Today in Micah 6 we read about the requirements that God gives to His people. A small list of 3 things He wants from them.
Mankind, he has told each of you what is good and what it is the Lord requires of you: to act justly, to love faithfulness, and to walk humbly with your God.
This chapter begins with God getting the Israelites attention. He wants them to listen. We have seen in the previous 5 chapters that Micah speaks of all of the sins of Israel…fraud, theft, greed, debauchery, oppression, hypocrisy, heresy, injustice, extortion, lying, murder and many others. The Israelites had turned away from God and forgot about their personal relationship with Him.
We see in verses 6 and 7 that the people may actually be listening so they focus on what they can offer to God as offerings for their sin against him.
What should I bring before the Lord when I come to bow before God on high? Should I come before him with burnt offerings, with year-old calves? Would the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams or ten thousand streams of oil? Should I give my firstborn for my transgression, the offspring of my body for my own sin?
Micah responds to this in verse 8 (above), “He has told each of you what is good and what it is that the Lord requires of you.” God did not want their offerings, he wanted their hearts. So he gave them His 3 requirements:
1) To act justly – this means to live with a sense of right and wrong, to live a life of integrity. God wanted them to remove unjust thoughts and actions in their lives. He urges them to help the poor and those who have been attacked by injustice.
2) Love mercy – to freely and willingly show kindness to others. To give freely without expecting anything in return. Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice of God’s mercy.
3) Walk humbly with Him – God wants to walk with us. He wants to be in constant communication with us. To be connected to Him we have to be in His Word, praying to Him and worshipping Him continuously.
Are we any different than the Israelites? Our sins may look different in today’s times, but they are the same sins as days of the past…fraud, theft, greed, debauchery, oppression, hypocrisy, heresy, injustice, extortion, lying, murder and many others. Micah’s message is just as relevant to us. God wants our hearts more than he wants our gifts or offerings.
Perhaps I need to add these three requirements to the top of my daily lists. Actually, I DO need to be daily reminded of what the Lord requires of me above all else. He wants my heart. He wants me to act justly. He wants me to love mercy. And He wants me to walk humbly with Him.