Divine Requirements: Justice, Mercy & Humility

August 2, 2014

“And what does the LORD require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8)

The great prophet Micah asked a very important question, in effect:  what are the divine requirements of God? What does God expect, require, demand, and command from me?  Micah gives us three answers to that question.

His first answer is that we should do justly.  In other words, we should be a conduit of justice. We should stand up against injustice anytime and anywhere we see injustice.  Since we live in a world that is filled with injustice this could be very dangerous.  Jesus Christ did this perfectly and it got Him crucified.

Micah’s second answer is that we should love mercy.  Mercy is unconditional love.  This is the chief characteristic of the love of God.  David believed that the mercy and the unconditional love of God would follow or pursue him all the days of his life.

Micah’s final answer to his profound question is that we are to walk humbly with our God. Humility has consistently been a characteristic of the great old souls we have known in this life.  C.S. Lewis wrote that pride is the mother of all sins and we read in the Proverbs that God hates pride.  We can see why God would hate pride because He hates sin.

Are you willing to be the person Micah profiled?  There is a sense in which we cannot become that just, merciful and humble person through our own efforts.  But these three answers give us a profile of the person God wants us to be.

Are you willing to let God give you the grace to cultivate the divine requirements of justice, mercy and humility to be that person?

Dick Woodward, 20 March 2011

The Wrath of God

September 24, 2013

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men… ” (Romans 1:18)

‘The wrath of God’ is the most unpopular phrase in the Bible.  The best definition of this concept I’ve ever heard is: “The wrath of God is the annihilating reaction of a loving God toward that which is destroying His love objects.”  Sin and unrighteousness destroys God’s love objects.  God therefore hates sin because sin will destroy us.

If you are into history you know that many nations have tried to destroy the Jews. Modern nations like Nazi Germany applied a horrible genocide holocaust against the Jewish people. Nazi Germany was destroyed.  I’m proud to be a citizen in a country that was one of many which were the vehicle of the wrath of God that destroyed Nazi Germany.

Throughout history nations that tried to destroy the love objects of God were themselves destroyed and the Jewish people are still here with us.  Some ask if it is not inconsistent with the love of God for Him to express His wrath.

As a social worker one night I saw a loving father express great wrath toward a man who had raped and murdered his seven year old daughter.  When that perverted rapist was brought into the police station it took every policeman in the station to hold that loving father down and keep him from trying to destroy the man who had destroyed his love object.  You see, great love gives us the capacity for great wrath.

The original language tells us that God is love but He can cross over from love and express His wrath until He has completely destroyed what is destroying His love objects.

The Original Talk Show

March 30, 2012

“… the just shall live by his faith.”   (Habakkuk 2:4)

 The prophet Habakkuk lived in one of the most difficult times in Hebrew history.  God gave him a prophetic message to preach when the Babylonians were about to conquer God’s people.  The watchtowers were manned with soldiers who were listening for the dreadful sounds of the Babylonian army.  This little prophet had witnessed the terrible ways the great Prophet Jeremiah was treated when he preached his message.  Being a simple choir director he could only imagine how he would be treated if he assumed the role of a prophet.

He therefore came up with a very clever literary form.  He proclaimed that he was going to build a spiritual watchtower and ask God all the difficult questions that were on their hearts at that time.  Questions like, “Why will you use a people more sinful than we are to chasten us?” He told them that when he heard from God he would tell them what God said in answer to these and other questions.  His literary form was like a talk show in which he was the host and God was the Guest being interviewed.

God’s answer was that the wickedness of the Babylonian would be their undoing, but the just would live by their faith.  Originally this meant faith in the prophecy of Jeremiah that they would return from the Babylonian captivity.  By application these seven words, which are quoted three times in the New Testament, were used to inspire the great protestant reformation.

People say God does not speak today as He did then.  The truth is we do not listen for God as this prophet did.  Do you have a spiritual watchtower? Do you listen for God and expect to hear from Him?