The more I read the Old Testament, the more I see what an example Israel is to Christians. Often they are an example of what not to do or how to displease God. But God’s conversation with them is also what He is saying to me.
God said: Obey me, do everything as I say, then I’ll be your God and you’ll be my people and all will be well.
But they didn’t listen and they stubbornly did what they wanted, following their evil desires. They went backward, not forward.
My relationship with God requires obedience to everything He says to do. I can’t do what I want because it’s evil. That sets me back in my relationship with him.
I have a choice. I can get closer to Him by obeying. Or I can draw away from Him by doing what I want.
I guess I’d better know what He wants.
It’s not sacrifices. It’s not empty rituals. It’s not doing things because that’s what Christians do.
The Micah verse says what God requires of His people:
Do what is right. The Hebrew word used here is mishpat. It means justice, or being fair to others. When I think about it, I’m not fair to others when I’m focused on myself. That is when I am critical of their words or actions. It’s when I see the specks in their eyes. God wants me to look at Him instead of myself and then I’ll do what is right.
Love mercy. The Hebrew word is khesed. It means undeserved loyalty, or being good to others even though they don’t deserve it. If I’m honest, I’ll admit that others probably deserve to be treated better than I might think they do. But even if they don’t deserve it, I should be nice, and kind, and polite, and thoughtful.
Walk humbly with God. Humility is necessary for mishpat and khesed. The opposite is arrogance or thinking I’m better than others. So God wants me to always be aware of His righteousness and to think of others as better than myself.
Obeying God is staying in right relationship with others by thinking of them as better than myself and treating them well.
God wants me to always walk between Him and others.