Micah 6:8 – 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? NKJV
This verse keeps popping up, which leads me to believe that I am supposed to blog about it. If you’ve been following my blogs for a while, you already know this happens to me occasionally.
God is upset with His people in this chapter of Micah. He tells them that He is bringing charges against them and building a case against them. God asks them, how has He done them wrong? He goes on to remind them of how He brought them out of Egypt and paid a great price to get them out of slavery. He sent Moses, Aaron, and Miriam to lead them. He reminds them that when Balak wanted to curse them, He wouldn’t allow it. And He reminds them of other victories won on their behalf.
He asks them another question. How can you show God the respect due Him? What are you going to do, bring me a bunch of offerings? Would he be impressed with thousands of rams or the sacrifice of your children to cancel your sin?No! It’s already been made plain in the law of how God wants His people to live. This includes, to act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly before their God. Today, I want to look at the first part, to act justly.
Let’s define the word justly. In the Webster’s Dictionary of 1828, justly is defined as “honestly, fairly, with integrity, properly, accurately, and exactly”. This isn’t the comprehensive definition, but it will work for my purposes.
Justice can be seen in a lot of ways. I think about where we are today and wonder when did justice get so many definitions. In the word, wrong is wrong and right is right. But in today’s society, wrong can be right, and right can be wrong depending on who you are talking to. That’s man’s way, not God’s. When God says that He requires of us to act justly, He meant what He said.
No matter how many laws are written based on our Constitution, laws that are contrary to the word of God are not just laws. At one time, the law said that my ancestors were not people, but property. That was an unjust law, and I am grateful it is not in the books any longer. But the spirit of superiority it instilled in many whites couldn’t be removed with the ink of the pen. It has to be removed with prayer and the following of God’s example of what is just.
When I think of acting justly in today’s society I think of the LGBQT community. Do I agree with the laws written about their rights to marriage and all of that? No! But I do agree that they are human beings and they should not be attacked, mistreated, or abused because of their sexual orientation. Neither do I believe that they are second class citizens. As Christians, I believe we really need to be more Christ-like and hate the sin, and love the sinner! How can we win them over to our loving savior, when we are critical, judgmental, and even hateful when dealing with them.
I was sitting in a bible study one night when the issue of abortion came up. I made a comment about abortion not being the will of God because a life is taken. One of the young ladies, who was already a professing Christian, jumped up and ran out of the room. I knew my comment had upset her. I went to her and talked with her and prayed with her. After our conversation, she was able to go on without the guilt of having had an abortion. I hate the sin, but I am learning to love those who commit the sin, whether it was before Christ came into their life, or after.
There are all kinds of ways to act justly. I think of the daughters of Zelophehad in Joshua 17. They had addressed an issue with Moses about inheriting their father’s part in the promised land. Moses thought their “argument” was a good case, and granted them their desire. When Joshua and Eleazar were giving out the land, they approached them. Joshua demonstrated his ability to act justly by fulfilling the promise that Moses had made them, and that actually God had already said yes to. No one pretended that they didn’t know what the women were talking about, or that Moses didn’t realize the thing he had said yes to would be unfair because they couldn’t go to war. No! They acted justly in regards of the daughters of Zelophehad and in giving them the land.
We are the only Christ, that some people will see. If we can ignore injustice, participate in sin, excuse sin, and live deceitfully before people, why would we think that would attract them to our Heavenly Father? Let me assure you, it doesn’t.
God requires, expects us, to act justly. He expects us to do the right thing in every situation and at all times. When we don’t, He expects us to own up to it, repent of it, and fix it, or do better the next time.
Can I just say it plainly, in case it was missed, I am against sin, just like God is. I have the same opinion about it that He has, whether that sin is committed by someone I know or someone I don’t know. However, in acting justly, we have to separate the sin from the sinner and learn to love the people that Jesus gave His life for.
Lastly, God chose Abraham and had this to say about him:
Genesis 18:19- “For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.”
God said of Abraham that He knew Abraham, and He knew that Abraham would be just and teach his children to be just. The phrase “justice and judgement” is the same Hebrew word for “act justly”. God is watching us. He is delighted when we “do the right thing” even when it is unpopular, unusual, and considered to be wrong.
Make a point to act justly. It matters in the big things and in the little things. Not only does it matter, but God requires it of us! Wonderful Jesus!