When interviewing or applying for a new job it is important that you understand the expectations for your new role. A lack of clarity in this area can create considerable tension between the employer and employee. In Micah 6 we find the people of Israel frustrated with God because they do not believe He has clearly communicated His expectations of them.
The situation in the nations of Israel and Judah are not good. The nation’s leadership in both the political and religious arenas are corrupt. The people are far from God. And on top of all of this the dreaded Assyrian empire is knocking on the doorstep to conquer the two countries.
In this passage we find the people angry with God. They cite their religious fervor and willingness to offer God whatever He wants in sacrifice if He will simply remove the foreign threat of the Assyrians and return them to a state of peace and prosperity. You can almost hear these imaginary worshippers crying out “what more do you want from me God?!”
Though these people deserve rebuke, God shows mercy and grace. He lovingly reminds them of what He has always required of them. This is nothing new. God does not just want their sacrifices, He wants their whole heart. The people have forsaken God as their first love. They have gone after material pleasures and false Gods and then offered God an appropriate sacrifice thinking this should be enough to placate “the curmudgeon in the sky.”
But in Micah 6:8 God reminds the people that He does not want dutiful religious obedience. He wants the nation to treasure Him, submit to Him, love Him with all their heart, and allow this love to flow into the community around them.
This solemn reminder is appropriate for us today as well. We too can be like the worshippers in Micah 6. We can separate our Sunday morning lives from the rest of our week. We can pursue joy and happiness in things that do not honor God Monday through Saturday and think that our worship attendance on Sunday should be enough to offset our other pursuits.
Or, we can dutifully serve God by giving Him our time, talents, and money and develop a mindset that expects God to reciprocate our devotion in a certain manner. But when life does not go as we think it should, we blame God for not living up to His end of the bargain.
Either of these mindsets is incredibly dangerous to the spiritual health of a Christian. Therefore, it is important for us to follow the call of God to us in Micah 6. We must remember all of the good things God has done for us out of His love, grace, and mercy. Namely, providing for us the means by which we can be reconciled back to God through the death and resurrection of Jesus. And then, we must follow the requirement of Micah 6:8 to walk humbly with God. Recognizing that He is our Sovereign King. He has a purpose for everything that occurs in our lives. We must therefore, follow Him and trust His plan for our lives.