Lord God, I open my heart to Your Holy Spirit to nurture and lead me, for Your ways are just and true.
Read Micah 6:1-16
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“Therefore, I urge you … in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship” (Rom. 12:1).
The Lord has a case against Israel, and its essence is ingratitude (1-5), a recurrent biblical theme. Nathan confronts an adulterous, murderous David with the reproach that his behavior was no way to respond to all that the Lord had done for him (2 Sam. 12:1-10). Jesus asks why only one out of ten healed lepers bothered to give thanks for their healing (Luke 17:11-19). The theme recurs in Scripture because it recurs in life: we so easily take for granted all that the Lord has done for us and given to us.
This raises the question: if I do want to respond rightly to God, and offer thanks in true worship, what form should this take (6a)? Micah handles the question in terms of Israel’s sacrificial worship. Should one offer regular sacrifices (6b)? Or should one offer regular sacrifices many times over, on the assumption that the more the better (7a)? Or should one even give to God the most valuable sacrifice imaginable, which in that ancient context would be the firstborn son, the focus of hope for the future (7b)? The answer is simpler and more searching, because it involves not a one-time giving but a way of living, with our lives displaying God’s own priorities: justice and mercy, not played off against each other, but practiced together in the context of a self-effacing daily discipleship (8).
There follows a reproach of Israelites whose treasure is not in heaven (with God and God’s priorities), but rather in corrupt and deceitful practices. People do such things to acquire treasure for themselves, but the result is like what Micah said earlier about corrupt complacency making the divine presence dangerous (3:9-12): the more they do such things, the less they will have and the emptier they will be (13-16).
What does it mean to “act justly” and “love mercy” and “walk humbly”? Do you?
Loving Lord, help me to show my gratitude to You in the way I live my life each day.
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