Sunday, March 18, 2007
A Right Relationship with God
1 Hear what the LORD says:
Arise, plead your case before the mountains,
and let the hills hear your voice.
2 Hear, you mountains, the indictment of the LORD,
and you enduring foundations of the earth,
for the LORD has an indictment against his people,
and he will contend with Israel.
3 "O my people, what have I done to you?
How have I wearied you? Answer me!
4 For I brought you up from the land of Egypt
and redeemed you from the house of slavery,
and I sent before you Moses, Aaron, and Miriam.
5 O my people, remember what Balak king of Moab devised,
and what Balaam the son of Beor answered him,
and what happened from Shittim to Gilgal,
that you may know the saving acts of the LORD."
6 "With what shall I come before the LORD,
and bow myself before God on high?
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 thousands of rivers of oil?
Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression,
the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?"
8 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 gives us the prophet's exhortation after the precious promises in the 2 chapters before.
In that day, declares the LORD, I will assemble the lame and gather those who have been driven away and those whom I have afflicted; and the lame I will make the remnant, and those who were cast off, a strong nation; and the LORD will reign over them in Mount Zion from this time forth and forevermore. ~ Micah 4:6-7
Micah now talks about the Messiah's kingdom, to set the sins of Israel before them. The prophet presents a legal case against Israel with the mountains, hills and foundations of the earth as witnesses.
God enters an action against his people for their ingratitude, and the bad returns they had made him for his favours. He has ransomed them, sent them prophets and gave them security but they remained disobedient. Sound familiar? How do you think we would fare?
He shows the wrong course they could have taken. Burnt offerings? Year-old calves? Thousands of rams? Ten thousands of rivers of oil? My firstborn? Fruit of my body? Promises? Thousands apologies? More money?
But the prophet instead presents what they should be doing, what we should be doing:
1) Do justice
2) Love kindness
3) Walk humbly with God
To do justice is to live justly in the community of life. It is how we should live with one another. Set right the wrong and protect the helpless.
To love kindness is to exist harmoniously in partnership with others in the community. It is to love others sacrificially and to be faithful to God.
To walk humbly with God is to walk carefully with him, intimately and in close communication. It is to walk attentively, listening and hearing him. It is to yield to his will.
Picture by Caio Beltrão