What the Lord requires

Micah 6.1-16

This note was originally published on Friday 26 May 2017.

Act justly... love mercy and... walk humbly with your God.


You are talking to someone who is not a Christian, and they ask you what it means to follow Jesus. What do you say?


Micah 6.1-16


I’ll admit it: I like John Grisham books and TV shows like Suits and The Good Wife. There is something about law courts that I find compelling. I think it is to do with the clever arguments, the search for the truth, the impact of the law on our daily lives.

In Micah 6, the courtroom is the world, the jury the mountains, the very ‘foundations of the earth’ (vs 1-2). God is the prosecution, his people the accused. They have made worship mechanical, a simple going-through-the-motions. They think they can do what they want, as long as they pile up the animal sacrifices. They steal (vs 10-11), are violent and deceitful (v 12) and yet think God will be pleased with them because they sacrifice ‘thousands of rams’ (v 7).

In this court, ignorance is no defence, because God has shown them what is good, what he requires: ‘To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God’ (v 8).

‘Religious ceremony is useless,’ Micah cries, ‘unless it is matched with justice, mercy and humility. Forget the vision of the future: what’s important is how we behave, here and now.’


How would you do in God’s courtroom? It is easy to give God an hour on Sunday, and 20 minutes each day, and yet live like everyone else the rest of the time. Let us listen to Micah’s challenge to live as God requires.