March 4, 2013

Micah 6:8 He has showed you, O man, what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.

This dearly loved verse is a beautiful expression of the simplicity of what God asks of us. We tend to complicate things in our minds and by our actions, but when we compare our lives against the complexity of the universe, our lives are pretty simple indeed! Just as yesterday’s passage distilled everything to “Seek God and live,” this verse likewise restores order in confusion. God has given every human being at least a taste of His character. Secular psychologists have a hard time explaining why small children express a sense of fairness, as well as a tendency to altruism. They would find the answer in this verse, if they would only look! We instinctively know what it is to “do justice,” because that’s how God made us. We tend to complicate it with greed and lusts of all sorts. The same goes for loving mercy. The way to uncomplicate things is to walk humbly with our God, but that’s where we hang up. Pride is at the root of so much of the junk that is in the world! The reason small children express a pure sense of justice and mercy is that they haven’t complicated life with pride. Micah has just gone through a list of things that man might think of to try to earn favor with God, with the clear message that none of those are appropriate. This verse is a call to let go of prideful striving and receive God’s grace.

As I’ve been discussing with several people this week, this is a major issue in the resistance of Japanese people to the Gospel. They so want to be able to say they had a hand in their salvation! Their level of commitment to tasks, of dogged effort to achieve goals, is admirable on some levels, but it gets in the way of their receiving God’s free gift of salvation. They think, “This is too good to be true; there must be a catch,” and so they don’t receive. I cannot get through that barrier by my own wisdom or persuasive abilities, but nothing is impossible for God. That’s why I need to seek God, walking humbly with Him, and leave the results to Him.

Father thank You for this further confirmation of what You were saying to me yesterday. It’s been quite a week: not at all what I expected, but beautifully blessed. Thank You that I go home today. This week too has a full, unusual schedule. Help me do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with You each moment of it, so that all of Your purposes, for me and for this week, may be accomplished on Your schedule for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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