He has shown you, o mortal, what is good, and what does the Lord require of you? To do justice, to love Mercy, and to walk humbly before God.
Micah 6:8 NRSV
Requirements are placed on all of us from time to time. As a child, my family had morning prayer time at 4:00 a.m. At that time a bell was rung three times. Although I slept very near the living room, I didn’t always hear the bell immediately. My dad would come into the room to wake me and, depending on his mood, that could be a rude awakening, graced with some whooping! Singing “Good morning, Jesus” with tears running down your face is not a great way to start the day. But as a child, I had no choice but to join in the family devotion. If you lived in that house, you followed the family tradition, which applied even to visitors. And as a child, I hated that early morning requirement.
To act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly before God are requirements that He has placed on us. The prophet Micah draws the attention of the people to who God is – a God who is good; a God who in His goodness requires his people to respond and become a people whose actions are a reflection of who God is.
He desires that we respond in Mercy. “Mercy,” in this passage, is from the Hebrew word “Hesed” which can be translated as “lovingkindness, goodness, faithful love.” Mercy is an action word! God requires us to “Hesed” – He requires us to take action that draws us to love and show kindness to others.
Loving mercy is followed by the phrase “walk humbly.” The love walk is a walk of freedom from fear. 1 John encourages us to walk free from fear. There is no fear in love… (1 John 4:18). The love walk brings us to a place of humility, a humility that enables us to experience God.
Our relationship with God compels us to respond in love that requires sacrifice. What is God requiring of you in this season? Time? What choices might you make differently, knowing that God requires justice, Mercy, and humility from you?