“ ‘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 with your God’ ” (Micah 6:8, NIV).
God spoke to his chosen people of Israel through a series of prophets. Micah is often referred to as one of the twelve minor prophets, not because he is any less important than the major prophets, but because his writing is less voluminous and intended for a more specific audience. God used Micah to command the Israelites to do three things: “ ‘…To act justly…’ ”, “ ‘…to love mercy…’ ”, and “ ‘…to walk humbly…’ ” (Micah 6:8, NIV), and he expects the same from us.
God knows that, when we practice justice and mercy and walk in humility, we model God’s very own heart as we live with one another before a world that is watching. Like the often rebellious Israelites, we, by nature, are not always just, merciful, or humble. Still, God equips us to be more like him, and he forgives us when we fail.
In fact, Jesus lived, in complete obedience, to each of the Heavenly Father’s righteous commands and died to free us from our sinful disobedience. He satisfied justice for us, taking our sins to the cross. Time and again, Jesus chose mercy in dealing with humanity. And Jesus was the ultimate example of humility, becoming like us in order to save us (Philippians 2:5-8).
So, “ ‘…act justly…’ ”, “ ‘…love mercy…’ ”, and “ ‘…walk humbly…’ ” (Micah 6:8, NIV), and live into the heart and character of God.
5 thoughts on “Favorite Verses – Micah 6:8”
I love this passage. But at first glance it raises a few questions. How does justice correlate with mercy, for instance? Is it just to forgive someone when they wrong you? Or merciful to require justice? God faced that, I think. He found that in order to be able to be merciful and just at the same time, He had to be willing to pay the price. Sinners can’t, but justice can’t be satisfied without restitution. So in order to be merciful, God had to pay the price of justice Himself, by giving his Son. Mercy costs! And then, humility is another tough one. Like you suggested, it took humility to pay the price for justice so that mercy could come out on top. So we see God being our example of this. God doesn’t ask of us what he hasn’t already done himself. Can I show mercy to someone else, who has wronged me? Or do I demand justice? It depends on my humility.
That is a great analysis, Lester! Thank you so much for leaving a reply and for suggesting this passage!
I believe Lester Bauman is on to something important. Thanks for sharing your perspective with all of us, Lester. I can respond with another perspective as well. Just not at this time without substantial research.. It would be interesting to examine the original text in Hebrew or Aramaic to perhaps get a “more full” interpretation of the concept of “justice” as God intended through the prophet Micah. Terrific writing, Chuck, and good response, Lester.
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Thanks, Greg! I appreciate your input!
I’d be interested in hearing more about this. I have noticed that some versions use the word faithfulness here. My analysis of original languages is limited to dictionaries and commentaries, and a lot of my study is done by comparing translations like KJV, NKJV, CSB, ESB, NET, and HCSB. [I find the Message intriguing too, but not from a similar perspective.] If there are major shifts in thought between versions I consider to be conservative in nature, I look further to figure out why. I like the NET notes for some of that.