He has showed you, O man, 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.
Micah the prophet states his case against the people of God. God brought them out of slavery in Egypt and had been faithful to them. Israel is speaking and wondering what sacrifices would be acceptable to God: With what shall I come before the Lord and bow down before the exalted God? (v.6) Israel begins to suggest sacrifices and offerings that may please the Lord, and Micah responds: He has showed you, O man, 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. (v.8)
Micah is not denying that sacrifices are good and desirable; he simply wants the nation of Israel to recognize that sacrifices do not take the place of love, mercy and humility towards their God and others.
We often think that we must “do” things for God. We place expectations on ourselves that God never intended for us. We find ourselves burnt out and wondering if God has deserted us amidst all of the wonderful sacrifices that we have made for Him. Yet God has not called us to sacrifice.
He has called us to be merciful. He has not called us to do things for Him; He has called us to love Him. He has not called us to take pride in the things that we do. He has called us to walk humbly with Him.
The nation of Israel had gotten off track. The ritual of sacrifice had replaced their heart for God. Their hearts had grown cold doing things for God because they were no longer walking with God. Has your heart grown cold towards God? Are you burnt out with the burden of serving Him, but feel distant from Him? Remember… the highest calling is to love God and to walk in mercy and humility. Examine your heart’s attitude. Are you growing closer to the Lord, or are you growing distant? Surrender the things that you are doing for Him, and seek to be with Him.
Heavenly Father, I have been burdened by the busyness of serving and doing rather than spending time with You. I lay down the expectations I have placed on myself and draw near to You. In Jesus’ name, Amen