What Does the Lord Require of You?

“What does God want from me?”  This is a question men have been asking since time began.  While it is true that God has placed specific requirements on various men from time to time (Hebrews 1:1-2), the prophet Micah answers the question beautifully in a way that applies to every righteous man who has ever lived.

In Micah 6:6-7, he begins by contemplating answers that reflect human wisdom: “With what shall I come to the LORD and bow myself before the God on high?  Shall I come to Him with burnt offerings, with yearling calves?  Does the LORD take delight in thousands of rams, in ten thousand rivers of oil?  Shall I present my firstborn for my rebellious acts, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?”  What grandiose feats will satisfy the Creator of the universe?

The true answer to the question, “what does God want from me?” stands in stark contrast to the monumental accomplishments of verses 6 and 7.  “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” (v. 8)

From the time God created us, all He wanted was for us to do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with Him.  Adam and Eve failed, and by the time of Noah, only eight people on earth exhibited those qualities.  From the time of the flood until now, every man God has considered righteous has been just, kind and humble, without exception.  We could consider any number of men or women as examples, but perhaps none better than Abraham.

When he and his nephew, Lot outgrew their pasture lands and needed to part ways, Abraham insisted that Lot choose first.  He was willing to settle in Canaan when his nephew chose the well-watered Jordan valley.  Kindness was more important than getting the best deal.

When his beloved wife, Sarah, died, Abraham arranged to buy a plot of land with a burial cave.  He was so highly respected among his neighbors, they insisted on donating Sarah’s burial plot.  But Abraham’s sense of right and fairness compelled him to pay for the property.

If anyone ever walked humbly with his God, it was Abraham.  When God told him to leave his home and take his family to a land to which He would lead him, Abraham obeyed.  When God promised that Isaac, the son of his old age, would be the father of a great nation, Abraham believed him.  When God commanded Abraham to offer his beloved son as a sacrifice, he complied; at least to the point that the angel of the Lord stopped him.  He knew that God would have to raise Isaac from the dead to keep his promise (Hebrews 11:19). 

Even Jesus emphasized the importance of justice and mercy and faithfulness (Matthew 23:23). 

To do justice means, not only to be concerned that others are treated justly, but also to deal with them truthfully and fairly myself.  To love mercy means to cultivate true and sincere kindness toward my fellowman and to value highly the kindnesses of others.

To walk humbly with my God means to live my life in fellowship with Him, allowing Him to direct my every step.  The character of the righteous man and woman has never changed.  God wants to walk with just, kind and humble people who love Him more than anything else.