Al asked me to share his commentary on today’s reading.
July 14 (Daily reading: Micah) The “golden rule” of Micah is 6:8, “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?” This verse answers the questions posed in verses 6 and 7 by a man who is seeking to please God: “How, and with what, should I come before the Lord? Will He be pleased with my offerings and my sacrifices, even if they are bountiful” (my paraphrase)? The seeker even includes the sacrifice of some pagan religions: “Shall I sacrifice my firstborn to pay for my sins?”
These human questions follow God’s question in 6:3, “My people, what have I done to you, and how have I wearied you?” The scene has the feel of a courtroom. “The Lord has a case against His people,” and He invites man: “Arise, plead your case.” God presented His case: “I brought you up from the land of Egypt and ransomed you from the house of slavery” (6:4). Over and over, God had done things for His people so that they “might know the righteous acts of the Lord” (6:5).
Why does man treat God shamefully, ignoring Him, denying Him, when He had done everything necessary to give man eternal life? No, God will not be pleased with meaningless offerings and sacrifices, but He is pleased with justice, mercy, and faithfulness. These qualities concern our relationships with God and with one another. Show justice and mercy to one another and prove our faithfulness to God by walking humbly with Him.
God deserves our faithfulness! Micah asked: “Who is a God like You, who pardons iniquity and passes over the rebellious act of the remnant of His possession? He does not retain His anger forever, because He delights in unchanging love” (7:18).
– Al Gary