What Does the Lord Require of You?
by Danny Stimson
He has told you, O man, what is good;
and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?
In the Fall of 2016 I got sued. The person I hit sued me for “damages beyond my policy coverage.” Long story short, my insurance provider’s lawyers proved that there were not damages beyond my policy and the case was dismissed. What is crazier than being sued was I should not have had coverage in the first place. When I got a new vehicle about 6 months prior to the accident, I neglected to add my new vehicle to the policy. I functionally had the accident uninsured. My insurance provider granted coverage to cover this other person’s vehicle which later included lawyer fees and everything. It was the definition of grace to me! I should have had to deal with the lawsuit on my own, to pay my own debts that I deserved.
According to our passage this last Sunday in Micah 6:1-8, God has a lawsuit against his people. “Arise, plead your case before the mountains, and let the hills hear your voice” Micah 6:1 declares. The nation of Israel had betrayed God and turned their back on Him and worshiped idols and valued their wealth-building more than God (1:7; 2:2). They had forgotten and even neglected their salvation. This caused the people to be unjust and corrupt toward one another and the nations around them (3:9-11). Yet, they continued in their religious activity offering sacrifices and rituals before God “on Sunday” and neglecting him the rest of the week. God, through the prophet Micah, reminds his people that He saved them (6:4-5)! Their reproach of God and their fellow man reflected the fact that they had forgotten this. Saved people are grateful and not hateful. Their “religiosity” was proof that they were defining what was good, just, and kind rather than God. Doesn’t this so easily happen to us today? Micah 6:8 is a “bumper sticker verse.” It’s concise. It’s clear. It gives us something to do. But we need to remember its context as Pastor Davis pointed out this past Sunday. This clear, convicting call from Micah to the people of God was not a pithy sermon application that was recommended but maybe optional. It was a call to repent for a people who had turned their backs on God. And it’s the same for us today. When we forget what God has done for us, we neglect what God longs to do through us, namely doing justice, loving kindness, and walking humbly with our God.
I will never forget how my insurance company showed grace to me that day a few years back. It changed my life. And it fuels my view of extending grace to others today.
As Pastor Mark said Sunday, “Lovingkindness gives where no giving is required. It acts where no action is deserved. And it penetrates both attitude and action.” He went on to say that “what the world needs is not zealous flesh, but dependent people who are relying on their God who is just and kind and loves mercy to carry out the things that God calls us to through Micah.”
The call of Micah 6:8 is only possible when we trust in the God behind the call. In Christ, who underwent all injustice, unkindness and all pride for our salvation, we have everything we need for doing justice, loving kindness and walking humbly with our God. We simply need to remember that truth by faith faith and follow Christ where he leads us by His Spirit (Micah 7:7, Rom. 8:14-15). When we do that, Micah 6:8 will leave the bumper of our cars and overflow from the gratefulness of our hearts.