Daily Devotional

An Attitude and a Behavior

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Scripture: 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? Micah 6:8 (NKJV)

Observation: The question is “How are we to worship?” With burnt offerings, calves, or thousands of rams.  That, evidently, is not the answer since they are only “shadows of things to come.” Even child sacrifice, mentioned in v. 7,  is not the answer.  Instead God asks for three things: (1) “do justly,” which means literally to act with justice toward other people. (2) “love mercy,” or to love being merciful; and (3) “walk humbly with your God,” which means to have an attitude of humble wisdom in response to God.  Interestingly, the first two principles have to do with how we relate to others, whereas this final one deals with how we relate to God.  In a way, this is also how the ten commandments are divided in general terms: the first four have to do with our relationship with God while the last six have to do with our relationship with others.

Application: The three principles that Micah mentions, if applied to marriage, or in our family, can change how we relate to one another.  Let’s think about these for a moment:
1. Do justly - It is possible that Micah mentions justice first because social injustice was the great sin which scarred the society of his day (cf. 3:1, 8).  Practicing justice means to uphold what is right according to the will of God, and instead of offering animal sacrifices it  requires the sacrifice of life – that is, giving ourselves to the other person to do what is right. Upholding what is right often requires the sacrifice of personal aims and ambitions as well as trying to see the other person’s point of view rather than passing judgment based only on our personal thoughts and feelings.
2. Love mercy - The justice which God wants is based on kindness and mercy. The Hebrew word (chessed)  points to conduct which is becoming those who have been recipients of God’s mercy themselves and who should naturally extend it to others.  The combination of the words “Loving  mercy” is an active quality which means it should be translating “mercy” into deeds.
3. Walk humbly - The Hebrew verb “make yourself humble” (hattsnea‘) is used only in one other place in the Old Testament in Proverbs 11:2: “When pride comes, then comes shame; But with the humble is wisdom” (NKJV). The term refers not so much to self-humiliation as to an attitude of humility and  measured and careful conduct.
     Relate to each other with justice, mercy, and with the humble spirit which results from our relationship with God.

A Prayer You May Say: Father, helps our attitude toward each other to reflect our relationship with you, and help us to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly before you and with our loved ones.

Used by permission of Adventist Family Ministries, North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists.