Micah 6:8 – Revisited

My dear friend Roo found a blog post about this verse from This Day: A Wesleyan Way of Prayer, by Laurence Stookey. (I’m not going to post it here because I’m not sure about copyright issues…) I liked what it had to say. It posed some good rhetorical questions, like “how can I love mercy if I seek justice for myself?” But, like any good rhetorical question, upon further reflection, it left me with the same puzzled feeling as this verse always has: If mercy and justice are opposite sides of the same coin, how can we do both at the same time?

So, taking my friend’s lead, I did some internet research on the verse.

I love the internet.

I found a blog by a Professor of the Old Testament at Northern Baptist Seminary. He says that “mercy” is a poor translation of the Hebrew word in this verse. He says that the word is best translated “loyalty” or “commitment.”

The professor goes on to say something very profound. I will paraphrase. He says, that the verse should be translated “This is what the Lord requires. To act justly. To love being committed to God. And to walk (like Enoch and Noah) humbly before our God.”

The loving being committed to God? It’s the same refrain as the Psalms, as Jesus accuses the Pharisees. God does not desire sacrifices. The professor says, God is not interested in quantifiable gifts. What he is interested in, is the unquantifiable – our attitudes, hearts, minds and actions – us LOVING being committed to Him.

I thought that was quite profound because I hadn’t ever thought about “gifts” as being something that is easily quantified. But they can be. Or, at least, they are something that man thinks can be quantified. And God doesn’t want us to quantify. He’s got His own economy.

It’s interesting to me because this concept of quantifying the intangible is something I deal with a lot in my business. A person gets hurt and all we can do for them is get them money. And a common problem people have with that is: “well, money won’t bring back the dead.” Or, “money won’t make the pain go away.” So, here I am, in my work, trying to quantify what is really hard to quantify.

That’s ok for work. It’s all we’ve got because we’re not God. Lawyers can’t work miracles. Insurance companies can’t up and heal someone. We can’t raise the dead.

But, God is God. In the spirit realm, it’s not ok to quantify our gifts to God. He wants us to give ourselves. Like a lover. Everything.

I have many issues with putting this into practice. Not the least or most of which is: I am really truly busy in my life. So, I think my challenge in this season of life is to give myself to God as I go about doing everything in my life that I have to do. Work God and honoring God into every aspect of my life.

I wonder what your challenge with this is in the season you are in?

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