Did you ever wonder what God really wants from you? In yesterday’s devotional, we learned that the Lord is different from other ancient Near Eastern gods. Unlike the confusion surrounding false gods, the Lord makes His requirements known in simple, understandable language. He has also shown that He is patient! In Micah 6, God again graciously reminds His people what He had already told them just before they entered the promised land some centuries before (see Deut. 30:11–16).
God here lists three actions He requires of His people, and together they comprise what Jesus would later summarize as loving God and loving neighbor (see Matt. 22:36–40). First, Micah addresses what Jesus referred to as loving our neighbors. God’s people are “to act justly,” to treat others with equity and justice. Rather than exploiting the vulnerable around them for their own gain, they should protect and care for them.
Second, Micah turns to the people’s relationship with God. They are “to love mercy” (v. 8). The word the NIV has translated as “mercy” is the Hebrew term hesed, which refers to covenant faithfulness. God’s people should love being faithful to the covenant He established with them at Mount Sinai (see Ex. 19–24). The people should also “walk humbly with your God.” The special relationship Israel has with the Lord should not cause pride or haughtiness; rather, they should recognize that their relationship with Him is based entirely on God’s grace (see Deut. 7:7–8). Such incredible grace induces humility, not arrogance, and that humility, in turn, causes God’s people to love being faithful to the covenant He established with them and also to act justly toward other people, who, it turns out, are just like them—image-bearers of the wondrous, almighty God (see Gen. 1:26–27).
>> Today’s verse is a good one to memorize and maybe to share with others. Perhaps you can ask them, what does this mean to you? What is God asking of us?
You do not require us to sacrifice our firstborn; rather, You have offered Your own Son so that, by the grace of the Holy Spirit, we are freed to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with You.