God’s Call to Right Living

MEMORY SELECTION: “He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” —Micah 6:8

SELECTED SCRIPTURE: Micah 2:1,2; 3:9-12; 6:8

THIS passage of scripture, although addressed by the Prophet Micah to the children of Israel in connection with their relationship with the Law Covenant, also has its application to the child of God who seeks to walk in the Master’s footsteps during the present age of sacrifice. It further serves as a guide to the whole family of man, who will be given an opportunity to walk up the highway of holiness in that future millennial kingdom under a new and better Mediator—Jesus the Head, together with the faithful members of his body—who will act in bringing the whole world of mankind up to perfection.

Micah’s message was no doubt meant as an encouragement to those Jews who sought to live after the requirements of divine justice. They were, of course, unable to keep the Law, as it represented the standard of righteousness demanded by God. No one could keep the Law in its perfection at that time, and no one can keep it now. Nevertheless the children of Israel were admonished to observe three things of importance in their relationship with God. They were counseled to conduct themselves in a just manner with those with whom they had to do; to act in a loving and merciful way, treating others in the same way they themselves would wish to be treated; and to maintain a position of humility before God.

No better admonition could be given by anyone than that which was given by the Prophet Micah to the Israelites. Yet they were bound by the Law and could not fulfill it. It was not until Messiah came among them that there was any hope of a standing before God. Our Lord then promised them a new and better arrangement whereby their stony hearts would be taken away and a new heart of flesh would be given unto them.

As Christians we recognize that to do justly means more than simple honesty in our daily dealings with our friends and neighbors. Justice, in its true sense, suggests a deeper principle, which emanates from the heart. In this sense we would acknowledge the injustice of evil-speaking and insinuation of the faults of others.

The heart is like a fountain that must be kept pure. If we think unkindly and ungenerously toward others, we will, in turn, speak and act unkindly and ungenerously. Unloving words or actions are an index of an unjust heart. Keeping the heart pure is one of the most important elements in the development of a Christlike character. To do justly means to be pure in thought, word, and act, which represents the new creature’s way of life.

Mercy is something that all wish to have extended to themselves, especially when some sort of difficulty has been encountered. When we consider the divine character, we recognize mercy as one of the qualities of our loving, kind, and merciful Heavenly Father. Man was originally created in the image of God and was endowed with the attribute of mercy. As a result of disobedience to the divine law, however, man has fallen from his condition of perfection. Although he desires mercy for himself, he often does not wish to extend it to others.

After the present Gospel Age has ended and the kingdom of Christ has been inaugurated, the whole world of mankind will be given an opportunity to have the divine law rewritten in their hearts. That will be the purpose of the kingdom of righteousness, and all will be given help in attaining the blessings available under the terms of the New Covenant. God’s law is a law of mercy and truth, and as the prophet declares (Ezek. 36:26), “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.”

The child of God who recognizes his own weaknesses and inability to live up to the divine requirements rejoices in the provisions of grace whereby he has been justified. Those who humble themselves before the mighty hand of God have this assurance of abiding under the robe of Christ’s righteousness during the present age of sacrifice.

“What doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?”

Dawn Bible Students Association
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