Updated: Dec 10, 2019
It would be safe to say that almost every person from every generation has pondered the meaning of life— why am I here? As believers, we look even further and ask questions like, “what is God’s will for my life?” and “what does God desire from me here on Earth?” Thankfully, we are not left without a clear answer to these questions because God has given us the gift of His Word to give us the answers.
The prophet Micah gives us a clear answer to these questions: “He has shown 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.” This is a simple yet profound summary of what God desires for our lives; I’m not sure if it could be any clearer.
Micah, as a prophet, was sent by the Lord to remind the people that they had walked away from the intended path that God had for their lives, and that the Lord was yearning for relationship with them. It is clear all throughout the book of Micah that the Israelites had not been living up to the title of God’s chosen people, yet God continued to love them, despite their shortcomings. The people of Israel begin to ask questions, not too different than the ones that we often find ourselves asking today— what, then, can we do to please God and live in line with his desires?
Micah responds on behalf of the Lord, stating that we are to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with the Lord. This short and simple verse holds so much weight and value; it answers many of the deeper questions that we long to understand. At the heart of God’s answer is an emphasis on the human to human relationship. We please God and live in line with His will for our lives if we fight for justice, show one another mercy, and humble ourselves to serve and care for the vulnerable.
ACT JUSTLY— Often, when we think of the word “justice,” we think of fairness or getting what we deserve. However, Biblical justice is about making sure that everyone is looked after, cared for, and shown the love of God. God desires that we put our energy toward the work of justice by caring for and loving our neighbor— caring for the orphan and widow, treating one another with dignity, loving the unlovable. Easier said than done, yes, but not impossible when we learn to see those around us through the eyes of Christ.
LOVE MERCY— True mercy allows us to love people fully while challenging and giving them the space to grow. Of course, showing mercy includes alleviating the suffering of another person, but even further, mercy is something that allows us to address offenses in a loving and gracious manner while keeping in mind the relationship of the offender with God and with others. Mercy allows for us to draw people into healing, change, and unity that is all found in the love of God, and ultimately, that makes each one of us even more whole.
WALK HUMBLY— Humility involves understanding that God is our companion and guide in all that we do, and in order for us to decrease, He must increase. If we keep God at the center of all that we do, we will then be able to see the world through His eyes. Humility is the foundation of doing justice, and to truly humble ourselves, we must first recognize each other as an equal, all created in God’s image, fully cherished and loved by Him.
God has given us His scripture to reveal the answers to our most burning questions. If we want to know what the Lord requires of us, we can look at the simple yet profound book of Micah for our answer. God desires for us to do good in order to please Him; once we understand what each of these things truly mean, then we can begin the work that God requires of us— to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with Him.
(Content Creation Team Member)