I became a Christian in December of 1977. Around that time, my music changed to contemporary Christian music (CCM). There were a number of songs called “Word songs” that were influenced by scripture verses. The Maranatha Singers produced many of them and they were some of my favorite songs to listen too. In 1980, their album “In His Time Praise 4” contained the song “Micah 6:8” created from the verse Micah 6:8 which says,
“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.”
It is sad to me that this type of music is not as popular now as it was then. While the music may have changed, the Scripture has remained the same. I have been thinking of this verse and wanted to study it for a few minutes.
The Prophet Micah preceded verse 8 with some questions in verses 6 and 7:
6 With what shall I come before the Lord,
And bow myself before the High God?
Shall I come before Him with burnt offerings,
With calves a year old?
7 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?
The questions ask what will please the Lord our God? The answer is by doing what verse 8 tells us to do.
First let me say, it was not in an external offering of sacrifice. We can put on a show about pleasing God and have a false satisfaction that our sin was forgiven. Some of us are pretty good actors. We can act as if we are sincere, when we are not. God requires repentance, an agreeing with His assessment about our sin and turning from that sin.
He has shown you, O Man, what is good – Through God’s Word, man can determine what is pleasing to the Lord. The Hebrew word for ‘good’ to-vv means agreeable. I would paraphrase it to say, “He will show us what would make Him happy.”
And what does the Lord require of you – What does God require of us to make Him agreeable with our life? There is an implication with this question, and that is we need to be earnest as we examine ourselves and change the things that He shows us to be wrong.
But to do justly – We don’t use the word justly very much anymore, but with it is the idea of justice; to treat people fair and square. If you own someone money, it is right to repay it. It is to treat them as you would want others to treat you. It is living with the sense of right and wrong. It is to be respectable and respectful.
To love mercy – We live in a cruel world, don’t we? God says that justice and mercy run on parallel tracks. We are to show loving kindness to those who have wronged us. Mercy has been defined as not getting what you do deserve. Grace has been defined as getting what you don’t deserve. The verse takes it beyond just showing loving kindness, but we are to love being merciful. Sounds like something God does for us, doesn’t it?
And to walk humbly with your God – To go with God, in the same direction at the same time, in humility (a heart attitude). The opposite of being humble is to be prideful. What have you done to impress God? When I consider that He knows all about me, my thoughts, my motives, my past, and my future…..my sins……..all my sins, and that He still loves me and has forgiven me and I am the recipient of His daily blessing, how can I not be humble. Do you get the idea that as you are walking with Him that He is holding your hand and talking to you? Encouraging you, educating you, and even enjoying you.
Well, this was good for me to think on. Perhaps you needed to read it as well.
Just in case you never heard the verse sung, here it is: