Reading: Micah 6:1-8
Hear what the Lord says: Rise, plead your case before the mountains, and let the hills hear your voice. Hear, you mountains, the controversy of the Lord, and you enduring foundations of the earth; for the Lord has a controversy with his people, and he will contend with Israel. “O my people, what have I done to you? In what have I wearied you? Answer me! For I brought you up from the land of Egypt, and redeemed you from the house of slavery; and I sent before you Moses, Aaron, and Miriam. O my people, remember now what King Balak of Moab devised, what Balaam son of Beor answered him, and what happened from Shittim to Gilgal, that you may know the saving acts of the Lord.”
“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 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?
He has shown you, oh man what is good and what the Lord requires of you. You’re to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with our God.
Am I the only one who struggles to read this and not burst out into song? Being a camper and working at camp brings out the crazy musical side in all of us. Even after many, many years of not actually attending camp, I broke out in song as soon as I read Micah 6:8!
So many questions about what the Lord requires of us! The prophet asks, is it burnt offerings, calves, rams, rivers of oil, our first born? What is it our Lord wants?
The Lord truly does not ask much of us. But what God really seeks is for us to do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with our God.
The song from another lifetime ago echoes fondly in my memories. I picture the flame of a glowing campfire resting beside the peaceful pond. The evening air is refreshing as night falls among the maple, pine, and oak trees of the mountains. The smell of earthworms and fresh pine are barely noticeable beside the burning wood of the campfire. As I gazed into the glow of the fire all those years ago, I asked this same question, “Lord, what is it that you require of me?” And the answer comes easily now after all those years as I can still hear the clear, strong acapella voices sing:
You’re to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with our God.
Lord, throughout all of life we ask, “What do you want? What is it that you desire of us?” The answer, always, again, and still, “Do justice, love kindness, walk humbly with You.” Let us never forget the simple but true, life-giving words of a song that resonates and calls us again and again to your will each and everyday of our lives.