by: Bill Bratt
Email: info@icogsfg.org

It is interesting that in midst of the prophecies of the Book of Micah there is a question:
What does the Lord require of you?

Micah 6:8 (NKJV) "He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?"

The Complete Jewish Bible by: David H. Stern translates this verse as: "Human being, you have already been told what is good, what Adonai (God) demands of you - no more than to act justly, love grace and walk in purity with your God."

Let's look at each phrase of this verse.

The first phrase is: "To do JUSTLY ".

Webster's Dictionary defines JUSTLY as: 1.) in a just manner 2.) rightly 3.) deservedly

Some synonyms for the word JUST is: lawful, rightful, proper, right or fair; equitable; impartial [a just decision], righteous; upright [a just man] , well-founded; reasonable [a just suspicion], correct or true [a just report], accurate; exact [a just measure]

These definitions imply lawful, righteous and fair behavior.

The New Living Translation translates this phrase as: "to do what is right".
Webster's Dictionary defines the word RIGHT as: "in accordance with justice, law, morality, etc.; upright; virtuous [right conduct]."
Biblically speaking, how do we know what is right? Isn't righteousness doing what is right?
What is Righteousness? Psa. 119:172 says "All thy commandments is righteousness".
God wants us to keep his commandments.
God's commandments gives us a framework of how to live righteously, lawfully and fair.
By keeping God's commandments we can have a right relationship with God and our fellowman. The first four commandments tells us how to have a right relationship with God and the last six commandments instructs us as to how to have a right relationship with our neighbors, friends, family and coworkers.
The Bible emphasizes that those who would live in fellowship with a holy God as His people must live in a way which reflects the holiness of God: "TO DO JUSTLY" means that we must set a right example in being lawful, righteous and fair in our conduct with other people. We, as God's people must live in a way which reflects the holiness of God.

The next phrase of this verse says: "To love mercy".

Webster's Dictionary defines MERCY as: 1.) a refraining from harming or punishing offenders, enemies, persons in one's power, etc.; kindness in excess of what may be expected or demanded by fairness; forbearance and compassion 2.) a disposition to forgive, pity, or be kind 3.) the power to forgive or be kind; clemency [to throw oneself on the mercy of the court] 4.) kind or compassionate treatment; relief of suffering

To love MERCY is to freely and willingly show kindness to others.

Let's look at the Parable of the Unforgiving Servant.
Mat 18:21-22 (NKJV) Then Peter came to Him and said, "Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?" {22} Jesus said to him, "I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.
Notice that the parable begins with Peter asking the question as to how many times must he forgive a brother. Four hundred and ninety times is not a magic number for forgiveness. Instead Jesus confronts Peter with the truth that the spirit of forgiveness really knows no boundaries. Jesus is saying that we must always be merciful and kind in forgiving others.

Jesus begins the parable in Mat 18:23-35 (NKJV):
{23} "Therefore the kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. {24} "And when he had begun to settle accounts, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. {25} "But as he was not able to pay, his master commanded that he be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and that payment be made. {26} "The servant therefore fell down before him, saying, 'Master, have patience with me, and I will pay you all.' {27} "Then the master of that servant was moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt. {28} "But that servant went out and found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and he laid hands on him and took him by the throat, saying, 'Pay me what you owe!' {29} "So his fellow servant fell down at his feet and begged him, saying, 'Have patience with me, and I will pay you all.' {30} "And he would not, but went and threw him into prison till he should pay the debt. {31} "So when his fellow servants saw what had been done, they were very grieved, and came and told their master all that had been done. {32} "Then his master, after he had called him, said to him, 'You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. {33} 'Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?' {34} "And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him. {35} "So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses."

Notice that in verse 26, the servant pleads for patience from the master. In verse 27 the master has compassion and mercy on the servant and forgives his debt. This parable could reflect us before God. We plead for mercy before God and He forgives us. We then must extend mercy and forgiveness to others.
Notice that in verses 28-33, the servant in the parable did not have compassion and did not forgive his fellow servant who owed him a debt, which was small in comparison to the debt that he owed to his master.
In verses 34 and 35, the parable concludes that if we don't have compassion and mercy on others, then we could lose the compassion and mercy that we received from God.

To love MERCY is to have loving kindness. We must be compassionate, kind and forgiving.
"Mercy" (hesed, Heb.) is a rich word which includes the idea of faithful love in action.

The last phrase of this verse says: "And to walk humbly with your God".

Webster's Dictionary defines HUMBLE as: 1.) having or showing a consciousness of one's defects or shortcomings; not proud; not self-assertive; modest 2.) low in condition, rank, or position; lowly; unpretentious.

To WALK HUMBLY is to have and show feelings of humility rather than of pride
We must be aware of one's shortcomings and to be modest and meek.

Walking with God implies a manner of life characterized by gratefulness and obedience to God.
(Isa 38:15 NKJV) "What shall I say? He has both spoken to me, And He Himself has done it. I shall walk carefully all my years In the bitterness of my soul."

To walk "Humbly" stresses that man must remember that he is man, and God is God.

We must remember that God is the potter and we are the clay.
God is the creator and we are the created.

The proud man will find that God resists him: To be humble before God is to be repentant before God.
You can repent and obey God.

Example: God gave Jonah a prophecy to give to ancient Nineveh.
The people of Nineveh heard the prophecy and repented.
God then changed his mind and relented of the punishment of the prophecy.

Repentance before God is very powerful.

We can not change the world! We can not change our neighbors!
We can not change our family! We can not change our mates!

We can only change ourselves!

We need to be humble and repentant before God.


Let's read: Mat 23:23 (NKJV) "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone."
Jesus admonishes us not to forget the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith.
Let's remember: "TO DO JUSTLY": We must set a right example in being lawful, righteous and fair in our conduct with other people.
Let's remember: TO LOVE MERCY. We must be compassionate, kind and forgiving.
Let's remember: TO BE HUMBLE and repentant before God.
Let's not forget: What the LORD requires of us.

Return to Religion Page

Go to ICOG Home Page