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(Part 103)


July 21, 2014
Today’s reading: Micah 6:1-8

At times we gripe against God. We ask for relief from pain and suffering and He does not take these away. We ask for things and He does not give them. We are disappointed, we are angry, we back off from our Christian commitments. But do we ever think that God might be the One who has a gripe against us? Indeed. “For the Lord has a case against his people” (v.2b).

God reminds Israel what He has done for them (v.4-5). In the same way, God has done so much for us. He brought us salvation, a living relationship with Jesus, better order in our marriage and family life, a vibrant community life, the privilege of service. But oftentimes we forget what God has already done for us.

Oftentimes we are focused on what we think is wrong in our lives, insist that God do something about these, and when He does not act according to what we want Him to do, we turn away. Oftentimes we simply become weary with the demands of discipleship.

God is perfect, but we are sinful, carnal, disobedient and rebellious. God should be the one weary about us! But God who is perfect love is concerned about us, and will patiently, even desperately, listen to our complaints. “My people, what have I done to you? how have I wearied you? Answer me!” (v.3). How truly ironic.

We do become weary, not because of God, but because of our own sin. How do we manifest weariness in our Christian life and service?

  • We fail to pray and read the Bible everyday.
  • We readily give up on the hard work of improving our difficult relationships with our spouse and children.
  • We at times get tired of attending households or assemblies.
  • We get discouraged by small harvests in our evangelizing work.
  • We give up on recalcitrant subordinates.

God demands an answer, and, if we are honest, we really have no answer. God has not failed us in any way. We have failed ourselves. If we remain faithful to God and to His call, we should never become weary, discouraged or afraid. Difficulties, trial, suffering and pain would in fact be prods to greater holiness and intimacy with God. These will be blessings, not curses. Rather than wearying us, we should be energized even more.

So God then tells us what we are to do. “You have been told, O mortal, what is good, and what the Lord requires of you.” (v.8a). And what is that? “Only to do justice and to love goodness, and to walk humbly with your God.” (v.8b).

God tells us to do three things.

First, we are to do justice. Justice is giving to everyone what is his due.

  • To God is due worship, and so we should come before Him to worship Him. We should pray everyday, partake of the Eucharist at least every Sunday, and participate in community worship.
  • To our brethren is due respect and loyalty. We are not to malign anyone or engage in gossip. We are to look to mutually caring for one another.
  • To our leaders in community is due respect and submission. We should be obedient, handle disagreements in a good way, not foment dissent, cooperate in moving the life and mission of the community forward.
  • To the poor is due an equitable share of the world’s goods. We should live simply so that we can share resources with those in need.
  • To those who need to meet Christ is due the proclamation of the gospel, which Jesus entrusts to his disciples and so we are to evangelize.

Second, we are to love goodness.

  • We are to avoid sin and wrongdoing.
  • We are to grow in holiness and righteousness, and be conformed in the image and likeness of our God who is good all the time.
  • We are to live out and be faithful to our covenant in community, which is actually our covenant with God.
  • We are to do good to others, loving our neighbor as ourselves and being our brother’s keeper.
    We are to work for social justice in the world.

Third, we are to walk humbly with our God.

  • We are not to be self-referential. We are to deny ourselves and embrace our crosses.
  • We are not to succumb to pride when we are honored for our work or when we achieve great success in our mission.
  • We are not to seek power or position or prestige in our community, but when called to leadership are to serve as servants.

How then do we come before our God? “With what shall I come before the Lord, and bow before God most high?” (v.6a). With burnt offerings, with multiple offerings, with offering even our children? (v.6b-7). No. Rather, we are to do justice, love goodness, and walk humbly with our God.

* * *

For household discussion and sharing:

(1) Do we understand what God requires of us? How do we personally rate in the bullet points above? Do we weary our God by not acting in such ways?
(2) Add to the list (bullet points) your own convictions as to doing justice, loving goodness, and walking humbly.

* * *

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