Is Micah 6:8 all that the Lord requires of you? 1012

Is Micah 6:8 all that the Lord requires of you?

Have you see Micah 6:8 used as a mission statement?
Do you know that in some versions of the bible it is a statement and in others a question? The context makes it a question.

Is it true? No.

He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6:8 NKJV)

Depending on what you think “to walk humbly” means, and is “your God” the same as the triune God of the Bible, I would have to say, no. It is prone to wide and incorrect interpretation.

Look at the context of this book and chapter.

The book of Micah is written during judgment and exile. The northern kingdom has already fallen to the Assyrians. Corruption in Israel is rampant. The religious leaders, priests, and prophets are corrupt.

Woe to those who devise iniquity, And work out evil on their beds! At morning light they practice it, Because it is in the power of their hand. (Micah 2:1 NKJV)

Religious failures – The people are accused of empty ritual and superifical trust in the Temple

Her heads judge for a bribe, Her priests teach for pay, And her prophets divine for money. Yet they lean on the Lord, and say, “Is not the Lord among us? No harm can come upon us.” (Micah 3:11 NKJV) This is today! Wake up!

Micah chapter 6 is a list of grievances against Israel.
For the Lord has a complaint against His people, And He will contend with Israel. (Micah 6:2 NKJV)

That you may know the righteousness of the Lord.” (Micah 6:5 NKJV)

Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, Ten thousand rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, The fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? (Micah 6:7 NKJV)

We cannot fully pay the debt of our sin, either. We need God’s firstborn for our transgression, and Jesus’ body for the sin of our soul.

And in the middle He mocks their meager offering and asks the question (with sarcasm):

And what does the Lord require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6:8 NKJV)

No one at that time, it appears, was doing justly, loving mercy, or walking humbly with God. It is a partial quote of Deuteronomy. See if you can see the missing BUT:

“And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments of the Lord and His statutes which I command you today for your good? (Deuteronomy 10:12, 13 NKJV)

What was missing?
Fear of God.
Serving God.
Walking in God’s ways.
Loving God.
Honoring God.
Obeying God.

So Samuel said: “Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, As in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams. (1 Samuel 15:22 NKJV)

For I desire mercy and not sacrifice, And the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings. (Hosea 6:6 NKJV)

It is clear that what God requires is His righteousness, both knowledge of it and the desire to be holy as He is holy, and obedience.

Hosea 6:8 as a mission statement,
An atheist could be comfortable with it: justice love and humility with his god of philosophy. So could a socialist who’s god is government. So could a hedonist, whose god is the world. So would a homosexual, a tattoo artist or victim, or american idol or movie star. So could anyone else. It’s a religious statement : do this and you are a “good” person. Unfortunately, this isn’t the context of Micah.

The context was that people were paying their leaders for peace of mind, but God demanded righteousness. God was judging their sin! Doing good works and sacrificing isn’t the same as being good. God wanted perfection and provided the means. The sacrificial system was to help them comprehend Jesus’ sacrifice. The people couldn’t care less. Many so-called Christians of today couldn’t care less, either.

It’s the perfect mission statement for the post-modern seeker-friendly mega church. It doesn’t matter what you believe, look like, sound like, act like, or are like, come here and pay us to entertain you and we will give you peace of mind.

Micah 6:8 was a question:
And what does the Lord require of you BUT to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6:8 NKJV)
The answer to the question was He requires righteousness (obedience).

God bless you through His Word!

John
Az4christ.wordpress.com

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~ by az4christ on October 19, 2012.

2 Responses to “Is Micah 6:8 all that the Lord requires of you? 1012”

  1. John,

    With all due respect, I think you have totally over complicated the point of the passage and pretty well missed the mark.

    If we are doing justly we are not doing unrighteously.

    If we are loving mercy, we are not acting unrighteously in our heart.

    If we are walking humbly with our God, then we are doing all that you listed from Deuteronomy: we are obeying God as a humble response to Him. We honor him with our humility. We love Him humbly. We walk in His ways by walking with Him, not letting unrighteousness separate us from Him. We humbly serve Him….and our attitude of humility is the result of a right perspective of ourselves in relation to Him- the fear of the Lord.

    Sometimes God summed it up for us so that we could grasp in simple terms what the posture of our hearts should look like, and the resulting action should be. He knows that if we understand the principle, we can set everything else in order to submit to that principle…heart, mind, actions.

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