What Does God Require?
Scripture reading for September 22nd: Micah 6-7
Many people have tried hard to please their ‘gods’. Some live like hermits and take vows of poverty hoping to find favor with God. Others have sacrificed their own children to appease their god. Others have offered extravagant sacrifices and have built extraordinary buildings to try and honor a god. God Himself told the Israelites what He required of them. “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)
God makes it simple for His people. His instructions aren’t long and hard or burdensome. They could be easily done by anyone. We do have a major problem, however. It is our “sin” nature. We are sinners at our core and sin because it is our nature. David stated it well, “Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.” (Psalm 51:5) Jesus told a very well-learned Pharisee, Nicodemus, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” (John 3:3) Because of our need of new birth and the inherited sin nature, we cannot ” love mercy, do justly and walk humbly with our God”!
That is why God’s people had been given the law and the sacrificial offerings under the Mosaic covenant. Faith and blood sacrifice helped the Israelites to know God’s mercy and understand His justice. The soul that sins must die. The innocent animal substituted for the sinner’s life and reminded him of the cost of justice before God. By faith, sin was covered and the humble sacrifice of the animal brought humility and the fear of the Lord to God’s people.
Today we have something even better! We have a better covenant made with a better sacrifice! (Hebrews 9:15) Jesus Christ, God’s Son came to earth to demonstrate God’s love for us. While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us! (Romans 5:8) We are justified freely by His blood shed for us! (Romans 3:22-26) We have been adopted as God’s children and become heirs of God through faith in Jesus Christ! (Romans 8:15-18) There is no condemnation and we are enabled by the gift of the Holy Spirit to walk humbly with our God! God’s requirements are fully met by faith in Jesus Christ who faithfully lived Micah 6:8.