He has shown you, O mortal, 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.
Do you feel like you walk with God?
Do you act justly and love mercy?
The Prophet Micah was declaring the Word of the Lord, sometime between 750 and 686BC, and amongst his prophecies he predicted the fall of Samaria, which was Israel’s capital.
In this verse, the He is God and the O mortal is just another way of referring to men/women. The latter phrase emphasises the limited life span of humans compared to God who is eternal.
The question is then set what does the Lord require of you?
Over the years many individuals and religious leaders have answered this question.
One of Jesus’ primary conflicts with the Pharisees was by holding them to account for the rules they set upon the people but didn’t hold to themselves.
Jesus phrased his answer to this question out of the first two Commandments of Moses – You shall love the Lord your God above all others and your neighbour as yourself.
This was the sum of the Law.
Micah in verse 8 phrases his answer in a very similar way – act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God.
The Hebrew word mercy is ‘hesed’, which can also be translated as loving-kindness or grace.
God emphasises action and reminds the people what one of our privileges, maybe even one of mankind’s purposes was, as God walked with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.
If you deal with others justly, prize mercy or forgiveness, then you will walk. . .with God but in a manner which doesn’t prize that fact over the heads of others.
I’m not sure any of us would openly admit to being ‘good’. We would probably hedge our bets and say we try to be.
This verse in Micah tells us that God has shown us what is ‘good’ and we certainly have the perfect example of that in Jesus.
This might not be what you might think, however.
Jesus argued with people. He turned people away. He told some that they were condemned by their own words and actions.
Now I’m not necessarily suggesting that we go out and argue with people and point out their faults, but we shouldn’t either be trapped into thinking being a Christian means being passive and lacking strength.
Micah also tells us that God wants something from us – and it is quite simple, rather than a lot of the trappings of religion we maybe used to.
We are to act honestly and with integrity in our speech and actions, within our families and with the others we come into contact with.
We are to have a heart for loving-kindness to those around us.
We are to walk humbly, to not think of ourselves in any great way, or that we are better than others, because we walk with God.
Like Adam and Eve, like Noah, like Abraham, like Moses, and like Jesus, we walk with God. In His company and in His care, all the time we walk.
Walk with God – it is an action. We need to move forward. Take steps. Journey with Grace, Justness, and in Humbleness.