Have you ever been mad at God? So mad that you turned away from him and started “acting out” like a rebellious child? Maybe you’ve even yelled at him for something he allowed to happen. It just wasn’t fair. I can relate and think of time when I felt disappointed and let down only to look back and realize God was there all along. Life lessons are not always enjoyable.
In God’s message through Micah in this reading, we see God pleading with his people to tell him their innermost secrets. God wants them to verbalize what he has done wrong. He quickly points out several examples of great deliverance and provision. God wants to understand, and he wants to hear it in their own words.
Are you holding any grudges against God? Take this opportunity to talk to him about it. Let him know how you feel. We can trust God wants a relationship with us as much as he did with his wayward Israelite children.
I had to chuckle just a bit at the people’s response. Clearly, they had not been listening to the messages the prophets had been sharing all this time. What did they think would appease God? Burnt offerings and more sacrifices, including their own children! Wrong answer!
In Verse 8, Micah reminds them what the Lord requires of them. That is, “to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.” I don’t know about you, but when I read those three things, what comes to me are the lyrics to Casting Crowns song, Courageous. To “do what is right” is in other Bible translations to “seek justice” like the song suggests. How are you doing on these three things?
As followers of Christ, don’t we simply desire to please God? Have you ever tried to impress God by dressing up for church? Have you ever bargained with God amid a struggle, offering an “I’ll be better if…” scenario as a prayer request? Perhaps we should instead let the simple truth of these words set our feet in motion. God’s desires for us haven’t really changed.
What does it mean to do what is right or seek justice? Certainly, what’s right in God’s eyes can be completely different from what the world says is “right” or “just.” That’s why knowing God is so key!
I was reading in Romans today to prepare for our small group church fellowship, and it struck me how few people truly know God. Paul cautioned the Romans about this, and we should seek that as well. How can we know what is right if we don’t ask God and seek his will?
Loving mercy is another tricky one if you’re not sure what mercy is. Can you think of a good example of mercy? Compassion International describes mercy as, “Mercy is the compassionate treatment of those in distress, especially when it is within one’s power to punish or harm them.” The best example I can think of is how God displayed his mercy when he sacrificed his Son for us. I certainly love that he did that for us, don’t you agree? Think of mercy as the fruit of compassion.
As for walking humbly with God, I can’t imagine walking any other way. Do you ever imagine what you’ll do when you are finally in the presence of God one day? Most of my imaginings have me on my knees in humble devotion. My other pictures have me in a deep embrace that seems to last forever.
Let’s pray. Lord, I know what you require of us. Help me to understand better what you mean by these three things. I pray that you will forgive me for falling short as I am seeking to do what you require. Thank you for your great mercy in Jesus’s gift of salvation. I am your humble servant, use me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.