Micah 6:8: To do, to love, and to walk

Micah_6-8

The Verse of the Day for January 4, 2014 is taken from Micah 6:8:

He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?

The verse states three simple requirements, three prerequisites for Godly living expressed in three verbs written as infinitives: to do, to love, and to walk.

To do . . .

This verb brings to mind a similar exhortation from Galatians 6:10:

As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

This reminder to do justly or to do good is echoed in the words of John Wesley, who said:

“Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can.”

To love . . .

One of the most powerful verbs in any language is the command to love. In this case, we are to love mercy.

That God is truly merciful cannot be ignored.

Streams of the sure mercies of the Lord shall never cease.

Our lives are enriched as we learn to walk with the Lord.

Jeremiah reminds us that, “It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning. Great is thy faithfulness.”

One of the attributes of God is that He is a God of mercy. In a real sense, as a God of justice, He tempers justice with grace and mercy.  Justice has been defined as “getting exactly what one deserves.” Whereas grace is said to be unmerited favor or getting something that one does not deserve, and mercy is defined as “withholding merited judgment” or “not getting what one deserves.  God desires that we love mercy. As Portia, a character in Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice, remarks so wisely,

Though justice be thy plea, consider this:
That, in the course of justice, none of us
Should see salvation. We do pray for mercy,
And that same prayer doth teach us all to render
The deeds of mercy.

To walk . . .

The final requirement is to “walk humbly with thy God.” The First Psalm describes the man who does not walk in the counsel of the ungodly, as being blessed (happy, fortunate, prosperous, and enviable). God’s desire is that we walk in humility, even as humility was a most notable attribute of the Lord Jesus Christ, described in this manner: 

Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:

But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. (Philippians 2:6-8)

1 Peter 2:21 also encourages us:

 For even hereunto were you called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow his step

As we walk with the Lord, we find that humility is the key to access the heart of God.

The expectations that God has for His people seem simple enough: “to do . . . to love . . . to walk.” Certainly they must be attainable or God would not expect people to do what He asks. The challenge becomes carrying out what the Lord requires of us. As the Nike slogan states so simply and directly: “Just do it!”

Listen to a musical rendering of Micah 6:8 offered by Maranatha! Singers:

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