Micah 6:7-9 (21st Century King James Version )(KJ21)
7 Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, or 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 hath shown 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?
9 The Lord’S voice crieth unto the city (and the man of wisdom shall see Thy name): “Hear ye the rod and who hath appointed it!
Micah 6:8 gets tossed around a lot. What a reading- everything neatly packaged like a big Christmas gift. Do justice. Love mercy. Walk humbly with God.
Whammo. Got it.
Neat. No loose ends.
Now let's talk about the rest of it. Let's talk about the not so neat parts.
The parts that talk about trying to buy off God.
Let's talk about Micah 6:7.
The question is simple. If I make a lot of money, or manage to scrape together a large amount of property, and I give it all to the church, or I use it all for charity work, is that enough for God? I mean, I don't really have to think about why I'm doing this, right?
If I give away or give up precious metals, and fancy cars, expensive perfume, and designer clothes, won't God be happy then?
What if I make my kids go to church? You know- make them live by the Word and read all the important stuff and generally let everyone know that they are right up tight with the whole idea of doing the right thing and living the right way?
Isn't that enough? I mean, it sure as hell seems like a lot and anyway people would see me doing it and know...
It isn't enough. It isn't even relevant.
You have been told what you need to do, and God ain't about that life. God doesn't care if you give away a million, if you do it to feed your ego and buy a place in some angel-winged after world.
Do justly. Do justice. Do what is right. Maybe what is right is giving away that million, but only if you are expressly, specifically, giving it away because and only because it IS right.
Not for the Board seat.
Not for the adulation or the attention.
Not to impress the wife or the friends.
Not begrudgingly or angrily or with a sense of "what's in it for me?"
Do justice. Period full stop. God doesn't want a sacrifice. God doesn't have a price tag you can pick up and fulfill. God isn't for sale.
And what about "love mercy"?
No be merciful, or try not to hurt people unless they really deserve it, but "LOVE MERCY."
Hunger and thirst for a chance to be kind. In Hebrew, "Love mercy" is hesed, which translates literally as "loyal love" or "loving kindness". It isn't about what is fair or deserved; this conversation was a reminder to Israel that what mattered most was a change of heart. What mattered was allowing other people to matter.
Be kind because it nourishes you. Be kind not for a return, but because you can be no other way.
And the last piece. The hard one.
Walk humbly with your God.
Open up your heart and realize that no amount of things you can give could ever be enough to buy off God. God is there with you, walking with you, because you are enough. Don't get big headed about it. You are what you were created to be.
You want to get it right?
Look in three places.
Do justice in the world. Love mercy in your heart. Look upward to God in humility.
You'll be ok. You got this.