February 3, 2020
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?
Micah 6:8 NRSV
Eating and meals and food in general are “something good.” Today, our text tries to identify what is good, but it is not concerned with a meal for the people. Instead, it has to do with the animal sacrifices which were part of the religion of the Hebrew people. These rituals are no longer part of our worship today, but most of us can identify with Micah’s proclamation from a truly real and basic human level involving food, or even the absence of hunger.
But, the Hebrews knew that God is not a physical entity, and they were unique in this belief. At the time of Micah, long before Christ entered the world, those outside of the Hebrew nation gave pagan gods a physical appearance. Nearly all of these false gods were depicted in stone, clay, metal, or wood over thousands of years. Since the time of Moses, the Hebrew people had left this far behind (Exodus 32). But, these outward expressions, even the sacrifices, were not what God wanted. So, what did God really want? The prophet Micah laid it out pretty plainly in our scripture excerpt above. And, with that the people of Israel and Judah should have gotten the full message.
God told these people of Israel that these sacrifices meant nothing at all. Instead, the most important thing to God was the attitude and conviction in their hearts. In addition, it did not stop there. Their actions on those convictions would be living proof of what was at the core of their being, their minds, and their living.
Micah asked the question, and offered advice on doing something good. The prophet was speaking the Word of God. Could the people of God make it part of their very being? For, God’s Word did not end with the prophet Micah 800 years before the birth of Christ. Indeed, for the Living Word it was only the beginning! And, God expects us to act on the Word today: and, every day.