6 What can we bring to the Lord?
Should we bring him burnt offerings?
Should we bow before God Most High
with offerings of yearling calves?
7 Should we offer him thousands of rams
and ten thousand rivers of olive oil?
Should we sacrifice our firstborn children
to pay for our sins?
8 No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good,
and this is what he requires of you:
to do what is right, to love mercy,
and to walk humbly with your God.
Dear God, verse 8 is likely Micah’s most quoted verse, and I don’t like taking it out of context without looking at all of Micah, but I do thing the overall message of what you are saying through Micah in verses 1-5 and then Micah’s follow-up to the Israelites in verse 6-8. Do we sacrifice and bring a big, “I’m so sorry!” or do we resolve to do what is right, love mercy, and then walk humbly with you? What will it be for me today?
One caveat I have is doing what is right for the right reason. I can do what is right an awful lot, but sometimes it’s for the desire of selfish gain. I do what it right because I want it to influence an outcome that if preferrable to me. It can happen with my wife. It can happen in my job. Among friends.
What about loving mercy. I was reading a commentary that pointed out this morning that it is one thing to have mercy, but it’s another thing to love mercy. Do I find joy and peace in the mercy I extend to others, or do I get either some kind of power trip out of it or still secretly hold the grudge? When I extend mercy, is it rooted in you?
Then walking humbly with you. Well, humility is an interesting thing. To do something humbly with you can be tricky because I so love getting attention for being good. Even yesterday, I was offered an opportunity that some might consider to have some power and prestige. I can honestly tell you that that is not why I accepted. In fact, it’s why I almost declined. I accepted because I will be able to perform a duty in it. I almost declined because of the extra work and responsibility. I accepted because I think I might be in a unique position to have a positive influence and move the needle in the direction of mercy for our community.
Father, Jesus, and Holy Spirit, this morning, the afternoon, and this evening–all day long–I will have opportunities to do the right thing, love mercy, and walk humbly with you. Help me to do that in ever area of my life. As a husband. As a father. As a sibling. As a son. As a friend. As a boss. Aa an employee. And as a community member. As your child in this community, live through me and envelop my spheres of influence so that when others see me they simply see you.
I pray this under your Holy Authority,