He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6:8 (ESV)
The prophet Micah spent the majority of his time in the book of Micah calling the people of Israel out for their sin against God. As he considered the sinful actions of the people of Israel, he lamented their disobedience and rebellion. He was completely distraught.
The entire time Micah considered the Israelite's behavior, the Israelites knew they were being disobedient towards God. They knew that they were rebelling against Him, yet this knowledge did not stop them from continuing to disobey God. They were not looking to God for approval. Instead, they cared about their own wants and desires, and they looked to other people for their approval.
As Micah called out the Israelites for their rebellious behavior, he asked a very important question: "What can we bring to the Lord?" In essence, Micah asked, "God, what do you really want from us? What can we do to restore our relationship with You?" Putting aside what the Israelites wanted and what others influencing the Israelites wanted, Micah wanted to know what God desires. He proceeded to name many valuable things and material possessions that God might want from the people of Israel. He quickly found, however, that God was not interested in any of the Israelites' material goods and possessions. God wanted something deeper: He wanted to see a heart change in the Israelites. He desired justice, kindness, and humility from them, which were actions that they were not currently exhibiting. God cared much more about the Israelite's attitudes and actions than He cared about their possessions. He was more interested in what they were becoming than what they possessed.
In the same way that Micah was a straight shooter with the Israelites, his words also cut to our hearts today. We live in a world without justice, kindness, and humility. If God spoke to us and called us out, He would ask us to rekindle a spirit of justice, humility, and kindness.
Have you been discouraged and distraught over your rebellious behavior to God? Maybe you are wondering how you can make your relationship right with God again after really messing up. We learn from Micah that what God really desires is a heart change. One way to have a heart change is to start thinking differently, specifically by thinking about the things of God. Take time today to memorize Micah 6:8 and reflect on it today and throughout the week.
Read Micah 6:1-8 (NLT)
Listen to what the Lord is saying:
“Stand up and state your case against me.
Let the mountains and hills be called to witness your complaints.
And now, O mountains,
listen to the Lord’s complaint!
He has a case against his people.
He will bring charges against Israel.
“O my people, what have I done to you?
What have I done to make you tired of me?
For I brought you out of Egypt
and redeemed you from slavery.
I sent Moses, Aaron, and Miriam to help you.
Don’t you remember, my people,
how King Balak of Moab tried to have you cursed
and how Balaam son of Beor blessed you instead?
And remember your journey from Acacia Grove to Gilgal,
when I, the Lord, did everything I could
to teach you about my faithfulness.”
What can we bring to the Lord?
Should we bring him burnt offerings?
Should we bow before God Most High
with offerings of yearling calves?
Should we offer him thousands of rams
and ten thousand rivers of olive oil?
Should we sacrifice our firstborn children
to pay for our sins?
No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good,
and this is what he requires of you:
to do what is right, to love mercy,
and to walk humbly with your God.