“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?”
Powerful words received by man through the prophet Micah. I have heard, as I’m sure you have too, these words quoted in many lessons and discussions. They are simple and powerful. Justice, mercy and a humble walk with God. But I want to focus your attention on the first part of this powerful text.
Consider what the prophet says, that God has in fact “shown you, o man what is good.” This is an important statement for us to get a hold of. It has never been up to man to decide how we approach God. God shows us how to come before him. He tells us what is good. It is not up to man to decide, but rather it is for man to walk humbly with God.
The question for you and I, as we consider this truth, is do we live this way? Do we live with God leading us, teaching us, showing us or do we usurp His place and decide what God should be pleased with and how we should approach Him? God is calling us to something richer and something bigger, but it has to be His way. God has to be God in our life and over our life.
Do we deal justly with one another? In the book of Acts in the later part of chapter four and carried into chapter five we read of members of the Lord’s body selling off possessions and giving the proceeds to be used for the care of the saints. Barnabas sells a piece of land and gives the money to the leadership. Such a tremendous example of good and in fact mercy to which we have been called to love.
After Barnabas we have another example this time of not dealing in just manner. Ananias and Sapphira also sell some property. They keep back some of the money but say they gave it all. It was their’s to give or keep. However, they did not do their brothers and sisters justice by lying. In fact they violated justice, besmirched mercy and walked in arrogance before God. God takes their lives. Do we deal with one another with honesty and justice, with mercy and love or with contempt and lies? God has shown you, o man, how to live before Him.
How do we deal with God? Do we deal with God in a just way? I love the story of Josiah, you can read about him in 2 Kings 22. Josiah becomes king at the age of eight. He follows Manasseh and Amon to the throne. These men were vile and idolatrous. Josiah seeks to live after the ways of David and brings reforms to the nation tearing down idols and their high places. In the early part of his reign, they are doing renovations on the temple and they actually find a scroll, which happens to be the law of God. It had been lost in the house of God, what sad commentary on the way we as men often live, usurping our authority over God’s so consistently that the word of God is literally lost in the temple.
Upon finding the word of God Josiah rips his clothes and weeps, mourns and repents over his sin, the nations sin and the sins of their fathers. God will honor Josiah’s pleas, mourning and repentance. Josiah will gather people together as they proclaim to God that they will keep all of His commands and statutes. It is an amazing story that I hope you will go back and read in its entirety. I bring up this story to ask the question do we deal justly with God? Do we worship according to what He shown us or according to our desires? Do we usurp His will with our own? Do we walk humbly with our God or in arrogance?
I leave you with the words and heart of David in this matter:
Blessed are the undefiled in the way,
Who walk in the law of the Lord!
2 Blessed are those who keep His testimonies,
Who seek Him with the whole heart!
3 They also do no iniquity;
They walk in His ways.
4 You have commanded us
To keep Your precepts diligently.
5 Oh, that my ways were directed
To keep Your statutes!
6 Then I would not be ashamed,
When I look into all Your commandments.
7 I will praise You with uprightness of heart,
When I learn Your righteous judgments.
8 I will keep Your statutes;
Oh, do not forsake me utterly! – Psalm 119:1-8