What Does The Lord Require?

Micah 6:6-8

“With what shall I come before the Lord,
    and bow myself before God on high?
Shall I come before him with burnt offerings,
    with calves a year old?
 Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams,
    with ten thousands of rivers of oil?
Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression,
    the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?”
He has told you, O man, what is good;
    and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
    and to walk humbly with your God?

I made a note about these three verses but I wasn’t sure what I wanted to write.  Now, as I read them and begin to write this piece, I realize just how simple a message it is, yet so eloquently stated.

In the English Standard Version of the Bible, these verses are titled, “What Does the Lord Require?”

Micah speaks of all the physical sacrifices that man has been making to God through the ages.  Micah speaks of humble sacrifices, such as a single calf, to sacrificing almost a lifetime of livestock and harvests, to finally sacrificing the first born.  Micah calls it “..the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul..”.

I believe that sacrifices were originally initiated to teach man the importance of your soul and the unimportance of worldly possessions.  The law was to sacrifice your best to God.  You were to sacrifice the livestock without blemish, those with the greatest worldly value. This was done to teach man to not only give his worldly best to God, for those things are truly unimportant, but to follow suit and present your spiritual best to God.

But man perverted and corrupted sacrifices to the point of using them as a mean to gain wealth. They were touted as a way to buy off sin, and the consequences of that sin.

In these verses Micah is telling Israel that God does not look for man to buy off his sin with worldly possessions.  Micah is saying you cannot buy off the consequences of your sins.  God doesn’t want sin in the first place, so it’s not like traffic court where you pay a fine, sleep through some classes and all is forgiven.

You cannot pay off the sins of the soul with the fruits of the body.

God does not want pomp and circumstance, moaning and wailing, and worldly possessions as penance for your sins.  God doesn’t want to treat your symptoms.  God want you to heal yourself and it is not complicated.

Micah lays it out in verse 8:

He has told you, O man, what is good;
    and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
    and to walk humbly with your God?

This is the answer to what does the Lord require. Do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with your God.

That’s it.  All else is just superficial window dressing.

© Otis P Smith and About the Groove, 2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Otis P Smith and About the Groove with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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