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Friday, July 19, 2013

Micah 6:8

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 (prudently) with your God.
(Micah 6:8 NIV).

What does it mean to “act justly” and “love mercy” and “walk humbly”? Are you obeying? What requirements have you added to verse 8 in your own view of “what is good” for your life? Are these really from God? (Serendipity Bible 10th Anniversary Edition, page 1293).

I view this verse as a disarmingly simple yet direct challenge for us to focus on essentials. In the great turmoil that life can become, it is extremely useful to have a clear enunciation of what our fundamental direction and purpose should be and to what attention must be steadily paid. We are told to seek and live for justice, mercy, humility and prudence before God.

It behooves us to sketch out what these terms mean – what it means to act justly and love mercy and walk humbly with God. Justice and mercy form a unitary concept of disciplined love. Justice arises from the critical eyes of discernment while mercy forms the outstretched hand of forgiveness and reconciliation. We have here both an unsentimental view of human behavior in tandem with a generous capacity to forgive and take into consideration extenuating circumstances. In showing justice and mercy we are exercising prudence on the one hand and humility on the other. The Godhead is important in this cameo for proper perspective. All men are subordinately equal before the Creator. No man may boast before the perfection of the Godhead which renders to all mankind a no-nonsense objectivity coincident with divine forgiveness and mercy. In human affairs these qualities are to generously roll down broadly like waters, not to be stingily metered out with an eye dropper.

Can you guess which American president included Micah 6:8 in his inaugural? If Jimmy Carter came to mind you are correct.

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