Chuck Foreman – Teaching Pastor
God had a beef with his people, Israel, 8 centuries before Christ. They had forgotten all he had done for them throughout their history as a nation. They were ungrateful and now their worship of God had regressed into rituals intended to appease him into serving their interests and making them prosperous and content. The rub in Israel’s relationship with God was in the dual lives they were living. They continued to perform acts of worship (offerings, prayers, scripture reading, etc.) but were then dishonest liars and cheaters in their business practices and violent and deceitful in their relationships with each other. They failed to connect the dots between their acts of worship and the way they lived every day. As it turned out, God was not impressed with all their religious motions. What he really wanted was people who lived in a way that represented his character. What he was really looking for was for his people to “…act justly, love mercy and walk humbly…” with him. (Micah 6:8)
So what is there for us in Micah’s message to ancient Israel? Let me suggest this— When our public religious practices (i.e., what we do in church: sing, pray, give offerings, serve, listen to sermons) or even our private religious practices (Bible reading, devotions, prayer, listening to Christian music, etc.) do not line up with the way we live, work and how we treat people, we have missed the whole point of our religion. Rather than draw God deeper into our lives by our love for others and our obedience to him, we have pushed him out of our lives by our hypocrisy. According to Micah, God will have no part in blessing people who do not represent him with the way they live. On the contrary, he will remove satisfaction and withhold fulfillment from us.
What to do? Micah, God’s messenger, tells us: “He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8)
Perhaps we should be praying a prayer something like this: “Lord, what do justice, mercy and humility need to look like in my life—in all my relationships and in everything I’m dealing with right now? Please show me what is good. Amen.”
Please let us know here, if God shows you what is good—what he wants to see in the way you live.