Today we get our walking orders. We are walking through life with God and others. And we are to show the world God’s character and love while we humbly enjoy walking with him. This is our response to the God who loved us and provided for us through Jesus…
1 Listen to what the Lord says:
“Stand up, plead my case before the mountains;
let the hills hear what you have to say.
2 “Hear, you mountains, the Lord’s accusation;
listen, you everlasting foundations of the earth.
For the Lord has a case against his people;
he is lodging a charge against Israel.
3 “My people, what have I done to you?
How have I burdened you? Answer me.
4 I brought you up out of Egypt
and redeemed you from the land of slavery.
I sent Moses to lead you,
also Aaron and Miriam.
5 My people, remember
what Balak king of Moab plotted
and what Balaam son of Beor answered.
Remember your journey from Shittim to Gilgal,
that you may know the righteous acts of the Lord.”
6 With what shall I come before the Lord
and bow down before the exalted God?
Shall I come before him with burnt offerings,
with calves a year old?
7 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?
8 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.
What is the Lord’s case against his people? God asked the rhetorical question, “How have I burdened you?” Oh Lord, you have not. In fact, your yoke is easy and your burden is light when we take your yoke upon us (Matthew 11:28-30). You, Lord have done what you said.
You brought your people out of Egypt, where they were in slavery. You gave Moses as the leader of your people to guide them. You protected your people from attack such as that of Balak, who wanted to curse all of Israel. You brought your people from Shittim (Number 25), where they pursued the idols and sin of their neighbours, to Gilgal (Joshua 3-5), where they were consecrated to you and celebrated your saving grace.
Yes, Lord, your acts of grace and righteousness before your people are overwhelming. Why would we ever think that you have burdened us. Have we not burdened you? We continue to turn from you toward the sins of our youth, captured again and again by the things which call us back to former lives.
Now we desire to serve you diligently with undivided devotion.
Micah leads us to the place, considering these truths, where we can ask ourselves, what does God require? How do we make amends? Is it through sacrifice and offerings of old? It is not, we find. In fact, we know now that the chief reason we do not need to sacrifice bulls and rams is that we have a living saviour, Jesus, who was that sacrifice for us once and for all.
No atonement for sin could ever be made again because Jesus has made it once for all.
Therefore, Micah will lead us to a place of action. He, the Lord, has shown us what is good. We have a wealth of experience of God and his merciful, gracious, and saving ways. So what does God require of us in response?
Walk humbly with God.
I might paraphrase that we are to reflect God while we walk with God. Show the world God’s character and love while we humbly enjoy walking with him. These are not our marching orders – this is not a crusade – these are our walking orders. We are walking through life with God and others. Walk this way, as God provides for through the words of his prophet, Micah.