Requirements from God
Mic. 6:8 He has told you, O mortal, 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?
The prophet spoke out to the people of God, to a people who had forsaken the God who had loved and saved them. In God’s covenant relationship with the people of Israel he had charged them with requirements for living the holy life and yet they constantly moved away from that relationship and bound themselves to pagan idols. The Shema had been forgotten — the people were no longer listening and they had been walking a path and living a life that was leading to destruction. These requirements from God were all relational requirements.
Doing justice was and is a way of looking at the people around you and relating to them in a way that God would relate to them.
Loving kindness is a way in which we relate to the love of God. When we give ourselves over completely to God then his nature of holy love begins to fill us. The more that we love God the more we are filled with him and there is nothing we can do but to love kindness and the nature of God’s loving kindness spills out of us and onto the world around us.
Walking humbly with God is again relational. Note the verb “with.” God wants his people to journey through life with him and if we journey with God there is no way to journey but humbly. When we are in relationship with God on a daily basis we will walk humbly with God because we are in awe of who he is!
Interestingly these are not just requirements of God’s people, but God identifies these behaviors as being “good.” Not that the behaviors are “good” but that they represent what is “good.” This is not just good for God, but the requirements are about our overall good! God wants the very best for his people and he knows that he is the one who can provide the best for all. The grace of God is constantly reaching out to his people and inviting us into the good and the good is found in a personal and growing relationship with the Father.
What follows in terms of requirements simply flow from the relationship with the Father. When a person loves God they will desire the things of God. It is in the daily walk with God, in that walking and talking relationship that we begin to understand the very heart of God. It is God’s nature of holy love which compels us to do justice and to love kindness. This is simply the overflow of the love of God in our hearts and our desire to be more like him.
Jesus is the incarnate God and so he shows us in the flesh what it means to live this out. We are to become more and more like Christ in this world. Paul constantly challenged his readers to be imitators of Christ and so that challenge becomes our challenge. The blueprint is laid out before us. The requirements are listed — “to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.” It all begins with the relationship and so if these are not witnessed in our lives, then we must examine ourselves as to where we stand in relationship to Christ. God’s requirements are not difficult if we are in close proximity to the Lord. Therefore that may be the place in which we must begin today — careful self-examination as to where we find ourselves in our walk with God. The requirements are good.
Lord, please draw me nearer to you today and may my walk reflect you. Amen.