What does the Lord require of us?
(For a background and summary of the book of Micah go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MFEUEcylwLc )
Micah sums up the situation of the people that he speaks to in these few words: "We are completely ruined" (Micah 2:4)
Widespread corrupt economic practices destroy community and family life. People live in terror, despair, hopelessness and mourning. Secular and religious leaders whose role is to ensure justice and righteousness "eat" the people. "Prophets" market "God's blessings and peace". They threaten disaster for those who cannot or will not bribe them. No one's family or property is safe.
People's faith is shaken by this experience. Maintaining hope is hard for those living under oppression and experiencing unspeakable injustice. In this terrible predicament we join those who in faith and despair cry out: "How long, O Lord?"
God's simple message spoken through the prophet Micah echoes through the ages for those who long for God to act.
"The Lord has shown you what is good and what the Lord requires of you."
When God seems slow to answer, God is in fact often waiting for us to act.
God has spoken to and shown us what is required of us. In Jesus, the Kingdom of God is already breaking into this world and eradicating evil.
In order to work together with God we are required to:
We all long for justice. But when we have been wronged our longing so easily becomes a hope for revenge.
God's way of justice is not about just us.
As followers of Jesus doing justly happens when we choose not to repay evil with evil, but to replace evil with good.
Justice and mercy together form God's response to human injustice. Justice and mercy work together for good. We who have received mercy, should be abundantly merciful.
To walk humbly WITH YOUR GOD.
Humility (or our lack of humility) is shown in all our relationships.
In humility we adjust our route to follow Jesus. We adjust our pace to keep in step with God and to include others. In humility we discover that we can never walk alone.
Through God's grace, together we can do what God requires. When we obey, we will experience the power of good over evil. When we do what God requires we will see and will witness to God's saving grace in the world.
|With what shall I come before the LORD |
and bow down before the exalted God?
Shall I come before him with burnt offerings,
with calves a year old?
7 Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams,
with ten thousand rivers of oil?
Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression,
the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?
8 He has showed 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. (Micah6:6-8)
Shona van der Lingen ministers in the Presbytery of East Griqualand and is called to the Saint Columba's Kokstad congregation. She strives to keep growing in all dimensions (except in girth) and is grateful for her two grown daughters, Megan and Tanya.