With what shall I come before the LordMicah 6:6-8 NIV
and bow down before the exalted God?
Shall I come before him with burnt offerings,
with calves a year old?
Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams,
with ten thousand rivers of olive oil?
Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression,
the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?
He has shown you, O mortal, 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 writes to a nation that is floundering. They have turned from the Lord God to worshipping idols. They are a nation with many who are seeking their own gain at the expense of others. And they are facing imminent punishment from the Lord for their sin and idolatry.
In the midst of his message of impending doom, Micah gives voice to a question his listeners might have asked. What does God want from me? Do I need to offer more sacrifices? Thousands of rams or rivers of olive oil? What will it take to turn away God’s wrath and make him look favorably on us again?
What Does the Lord Require?
And Micah responds that God has already told them what he requires. “To act justly and to love mercy” parallels the command to love your neighbor as yourself. And “to walk humbly with your God” would relate to loving God with all that you are. That sums up all of the law and the prophets.
God does not demand great things from his people. Instead, he calls on us to faithfully obey his word. To love those around us. And to love him with all we are. No amount of sacrifice will substitute for a holy and godly life.