Thursday, 29 October 2020
"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 6:8
Micah, a contemporary of the prophets Isaiah and Hosea, from an unknown village of Moresheth, prophesied at a time when the kingdoms of Judah and Israel became very prosperous. But along with the prosperity came godlessness with widespread social corruption and religious decay. (The MacArthur Bible Handbook)
When the Israelites were given the commandments in the desert, after their exodus from Egypt, the book of Deuteronomy reveals a loving God (Deut.5:10) who asks for His people to be of loving nature as Himself (Leviticus 19:18, 34). Whenever Israel went astray from the laws of the Lord, men of God admonished them to correct themselves or to face the impending disasters or enemies as a means for them to get corrected. This has been repeated many times. Thirteen centuries after the Law was given; here in today’s reading, Prophet Micah asks Israel again -"Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousands of rivers of oil?"(Micah 6:7) For Israel the sacrifices have become a mere ritual, while they failed in doing justice, showing loving kindness and to walk humbly with their God as God desired them to be, thereby being His Light to the world.
All through these centuries God loved them like a Loving Father. And at the fullness of time, He sent His only begotten Son, Christ Jesus to this world to be an atonement for the sins of the world. He was born in Bethlehem as prophesied by prophet Micah (Micah 5:2). Jesus loved the people as His own and taught them (and us) how to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with God by living His own life the way He taught. The Sermon on the Mount recorded in the gospel of Matthew chapters 5,6 and 7 explicitly describes how we can be just, kind, loving and humble both before God and man.
In the eyes of the world these requirements may look much more stringent than the Old Testament commandments and the world may wonder that now in the New Testament times it has become harder to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with our God. Our redeemer God knew this and with His life on earth He set an example for the whole world and Jesus fulfilled whatever He preached in His own life. He was sinless (2 Corinthians 5:21) and fulfilled all the righteousness required of the Law, to redeem us so that today no one has to worry about the sacrifices and rituals (a foreshadow of Him and His self-sacrifice on the Cross of Calvary). By His self-sacrifice, which was pleasing to God, He became the atonement for the sins of the whole world (Ephesians 5:2) and He was raised from the dead since death had no power on Him (Romans 6:4,9).
Romans 4:24 says “… God will also count us as righteous if we believe in him, the one who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead.” Now those who believe in Him will be made righteous and will have the help of the Holy Spirit who leads us in all the truth (John 16:13). We will be more than conquerors, celebrating our victory over this world by doing justice, manifesting loving kindness, and walking humbly with our God, which is exactly what our ever Loving God always desires of us.
Think on: “Now go and learn what this means: ‘I DESIRE COMPASSION, RATHER THAN SACRIFICE,’ ~ Christ Jesus (Matthew 9:13)