Derek Smith, Lead Pastor LHBC
Hear what the Lord says:
Arise, plead your case before the mountains,
and let the hills hear your voice.
2 Hear, you mountains, the indictment of the Lord,
and you enduring foundations of the earth,
for the Lord has an indictment against his people,
and he will contend with Israel.
3 “O my people, what have I done to you?
How have I wearied you? Answer me!
4 For I brought you up from the land of Egypt
and redeemed you from the house of slavery,
and I sent before you Moses,
Aaron, and Miriam.
5 O my people, remember what Balak king of Moab devised,
and what Balaam the son of Beor answered him,
and what happened from Shittim to Gilgal,
that you may know the righteous acts of the Lord.”
6 “With what shall I come before the Lord,
and bow myself before God on high?
Shall I come before him with burnt offerings,
with calves a year old?
7 Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams,
with ten thousands of rivers of oil?
Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression,
the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?”
8 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?
Micah was an incredible prophet. Micah prophesied during the same time period as Isaiah and Hosea, and He prophesied during the tragic years after the Assyrian invasion of the Northern Kingdom of Samaria. His prophecies early in his book tell of actual events that happened just years after he foretold of them. His later prophecies speak of the coming Kingdom of Christ to earth in the last days.
Israel was steeped in idolatry and immorality at this point in her history, and the Lord’s patience had run out. It was time to get Israel’s attention and He did just that. See, Scripture is where we get the principle that you reap what you sow. What goes around comes around. The people of Israel were worshipping idols, sleeping with prostitutes, and building altars to foreign gods; yet in the midst of all this they still had the audacity to give sacrifices on the altar of Yahweh, the one true living God. They had sown wickedness and now would reap judgment. A bunch of money and animal sacrifices would not change that, nor did they atone for their depravity of heart. How could they do such a thing? Good question. Don’t we do the same thing?
On Sunday we attend church and sing songs to Jesus then on Monday we live our own lives chasing after the same things those in this world chase after. Money, possessions, pleasure, notoriety, and so on and so forth all lead to nowhere, and living for these things is the same as prostituting ourselves away from the love of God. I’m not just picking on you because I find that I do the very same thing myself at times.
So, how do we break the cycle? It doesn’t come by church attendance, giving money, or serving in a ministry, as important as those things might be. We are only made right with God by repentance of sin and faith in Christ. Repentance means admitting my sin to God and turning away from it. Faith in Christ means I submit to His Lordship believing that only His death on the cross and His resurrection can make me right with God and provide me eternal life. In Verse 8 here Micah gives us that picture of what true repentance and faith looks like. It is doing justly, loving kindness, and walking humbly with God.
Listen, God is not vengeful or vindictive. He doesn’t do things to us because we disobey Him. The truth is He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness. However, He is also a gentleman. The Lord allows us to choose what path we will take, and taking the path of consistent wickedness leads to a life of brokenness and hopelessness. What goes around comes around. Today, remember what God requires of us. We don’t impress God with church involvement. We don’t earn His favor through giving money or serving in a ministry. We respond to His love in worship by simply obeying His Word. Do justly. Love kindness. Walk humbly with your God.
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Father God, forgive me for straying from You. You are the greatest good there is, and only that which comes from You is a blessing. Forgive me for trying to earn Your love at times. Help me to rest in Your love and simply obey Your Word. In Jesus name, amen.
VERSE FOR TODAY:
The Lord is gracious and compassionate
slow to anger and rich in love.