Micah 6:8 - What God Requires of Man.
Micah 6:8 - What God Requires of Man.
Micah 6:8 (KJV) He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and
what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love
mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?
Micah 6:8 (NLT) No, O people, the LORD has already told you what
is good, and this is what he requires: to do what is right, to love
mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.
The most memorable statement in the OT defining a proper
relationship to God (see Jer 22:16; Hos 6:6 and notes; cf. Jas 1:27). Micah
here summarizes major themes found in the prophecies of his near
contemporaries: Amos ("act justly"; cf. Am 5:24), Hosea ("love mercy"; cf. Hos
6:6) and Isaiah ("walk humbly with your God"; cf. Isa 29:19). Cf.
also Mt 23:23. [NIV SB 2008]
These verses, probably the best known passage in Micah, are
worth memorizing. The prophet proclaims an essential aspect of
biblical religion. God does not desire sacrifice of material things--even
of one's own firstborn, nor does He require us to follow a
complicated system of rules and regulations (vv. 6, 7). He asks us to be
just and merciful to our fellowman and to live in humble obedience to
God. The message was also proclaimed by Jesus (see Matt. 22:36-40).
[Passages Of Life SB re vv. 6-8]
The Lord desires the primary forms of love--justice (do justice),
mercy (love kindness), and faithfulness (walk humbly)--as the expressed
response of his people to his redemptive acts (Matt. 23:23; cf. Deut.
10:12-13; 1 Sam. 15:22; Isa. 1:11-17; Hos. 6:6). [ESV SB 2008]
Good means what is right in God's eyes; God is the source of
all goodness (Gen 1; Exod 33:19; 34:6-7; Deut 12:28).
What Is Right (often translated "justice"): God's order in
the world requires treatment of others in fair, non-manipulative,
Mercy: This passionate, undeserved loyalty is the defining
quality in God's holy character (see Ps 136). Those who know God will
act in the same way toward others (see Gen 21:22-24; Josh 2:12-14;
Walk Humbly: Humility must characterize God's people. They
must not live in a spirit of arrogance or special privilege. They
must be humble and reverently fear God... God desires us to be in an
on-going intimate relationship with him (a "walk"; cp. Deut 28:9; Josh
22:5) that transforms the way we relate to other people. [NLT SB 2008]
Micah 6:8, a well-known and oft-memorized verse, answers a
series of questions put forth by a confused people who had lost their
moral and spiritual bearings.
The people of Israel wanted to know what they could do to be
acceptable to the Lord. In an oppressive and deceitful society, they had
lost a sense of what the Lord regards as good. God gave them a
concrete answer: He is not seeking mechanical, ritualistic worship
(6:5-6), but that his people do what is right in relationship with him
and in their relationships with each other. As they are motivated by
love, their actions will be tempered by justice, mercy, and humility
(see 7:18-20). God's people are not to oppress others, but to do what
is just, righteous, and honest toward one another.
Micah 6:8 summarizes what God had already made known in the
past to Israel: Humility, faith, and obedience are pleasing to him.
God declared this message to Abraham (Gen 15:6; 17:1, 9), to Moses
at Sinai (Exod 20-23), through his prophets (e.g., Deut 6:1-8; Hos
6:6), and through Israel's wise men (Prov 1:7).
It pleases God when his people walk humbly in faith before
him, as exemplified by Moses (Num 12:3), Habakkuk (Hab 3:17-19),
Daniel (Dan 9:1-19), and Ezra (Ezra 9:5-15). Real spirituality and
devotion is in doing good, seeking justice, relieving oppression,
defending orphans, and aiding widows (see Exod 22:21-24; 23:2-12; Deut
15:4-11; 24:12-15; Neh 5:1-13; Jer 22:16; Amos 5:7-24; Dan 4:27; Jas
1:27). These acts are marks of God's own character (Ps 146:9; Matt
11:5). [NLT SB 2008]
"To do justly, and to love mercy" is to act with justice and
kindness. These are manward virtues and sum up the intent of the second
table of the Decalogue (see on Matt. 22:39, 40). "To walk humbly with
thy God" is to live in harmony with the principles of the first
table of the Decalogue (see on Matt. 22:37, 38). This is Godward
virtue. Love expressed in action with respect to God and to our fellow
men is "good"; it is all that God requires, for "love is the
fulfilling of the law" (Rom. 13:10). [SDA Bible Commentary]
The first two principles have to do with the horizontal
human-to-human relationship, this final one deals with the vertical
human-to-God relationship. [Andrews SB]
God wants persons to have fellowship with Him and with one
another. [Disciple SB]
What a tall order God's requirements are for those who have
broken his covenant law and now ask what they should do. What a
challenge for us today! Does God require his people to be successful? To
build a big church? To develop a dynamic radio or TV program? To
achieve a significant position in society? None of these makes the list
of what the Lord requires of us. Though the requirements may sound
simple, they are an important key to pleasing God: First, do what is
right; this means not only rendering just decisions but also
discovering our particular work and doing it faithfully. Second, love mercy.
God expects us to practice steadfast love, pursue and value
kindness, and act mercifully toward others, from the greatest to the
least. Third, walk in obedience and humility with the Lord. Sound easy?
Not in a fallen world. God knew this would be a tall order. But he
demonstrated what is good through his merciful acts and steadfast love, and
in Jesus he gave the ultimate model of how to live. Through his
Spirit living within us he gives us the power to do what is right, to
love mercy, and walk humbly with God.
LORD, you are not interested in outward show or performance,
elaborate sacrifices, or religious acts. You want to develop in me the
heart responses of humility, mercy, love, and justice. Work these
attitudes in me. Thank you for showing me what is good through the example
of your Son, who perfectly met all of your requirements so that
through his Spirit I may abide in you. [Praying Through The Bible By
EXCELLENT SERMON ON THIS PASSAGE
Will This Be on the Final? by Pastor Bernard Taylor Of Loma