What Does The Lord Require Of Us?

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Scriptural Text: Micah 6:6-8 Wherewith shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before the high God? shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old? 7.  Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? 8.  He hath shewed 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?

Thesis: Show from Scripture what God truly required centuries ago is still His requirement for us today.

Creatures of the earth must humble themselves before him. The problem was that the people of the eighth century defined humility in terms of sacrificial ritual rather than daily righteousness. [1]


Human sacrifice was an abomination to Yahweh (Lev 18:21).[2]

You shall not give any of your offspring ato 1offer them to Molech, nor shall you bprofane the name of your God; I am the Lord.

We have been told what is good and what the Lord requires!  The Lord looks for three qualities in all mankind.

Jimmy Carter chose to quote Micah 6:8 in his inaugural address.

This verse is inscribed in the walls of the Library of Congress.

Rabbi Simlai in the third century noted that Moses gave us 365 prohibitions and 248 positive commands. David in Psalm 15 reduced them to eleven: Isaiah—in 33:14, 15—made them six: Micah 6:8 binds them into three: and Habakkuk reduces them all to one, namely—”The just shall live by faith.”[3] 


I.          DO JUSTLY

a.       Meaning

Perhaps justice heads Micah’s list because social injustice was the great sin which scarred the society of his day [4]

The Hebrew word is mispat, it comes from a verb which means to decide a legal dispute or case.  I simply means to do what is right!

The noun form of the word means court or judgment

Job 9:32 For he is not a man, as I am, that I should answer him, and we should come together in judgment.

Gen. 18:25 That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?

Prov. 21:3 To do justice and judgment is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.

Deut. 1:17 Ye shall not respect persons in judgment; but ye shall hear the small as well as the great; ye shall not be afraid of the face of man; for the judgment is God's: and the cause that is too hard for you, bring it unto me, and I will hear it.

b.      Illustrations of Injustice

Micah 3:11 The heads thereof judge for reward, and the priests thereof teach for hire, and the prophets thereof divine for money: yet will they lean upon the Lord, and say, Is not the Lord among us? none evil can come upon us.

1-2 And I said, Hear, I pray you, O heads of Jacob, and ye princes of the house of Israel; is it not for you to know judgment? 2.  Who hate the good, and love the evil; who pluck off their skin from off them, and their flesh from off their bones;




a.       Meaning

To show kindness or loyal love; love or affection that is steadfast based on a prior relationship

The word can also mean compassion on the miserable.

It is translated ‘mercy” 149 times and “kindness” 40 times in the KJV.

Ex. 34:6-7 And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, 7.  Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children's children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.

The word is translated favor in Dan. 1:9

Now God had brought Daniel into favour and tender love with the prince of the eunuchs.

Those who came to Jesus often asked for mercy.

Matt. 15:22 And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou Son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil.

17:14-15 And when they were come to the multitude, there came to him a certain man, kneeling down to him, and saying, 15.  Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatick, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water.

Paul refers to Him as the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; in I Cor 1:3

Psalms 86:5 For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.




The word for humbly is sana in Hebrew.  It means to be modest.  It is used only here in the OT.

The walk humbly with God is to see the “nothingness” of self and the “everythingness” of God.

The humble person is not one who thinks mainly of himself; he simply does not think of himself at all! (I think Andrew Murray said that.) Humility is that grace that, when you know you have it, you have lost it. The truly humble person knows himself and accepts himself (Rom. 12:3). He yields himself to Christ to be a servant, to use what he is and has for the glory of God and the good of others. [5]

Andrew Murray said, “When we see that humility is something infinitely deeper than contrition and accept it as our participation in the life of Jesus, we will begin to learn that is  our true nobility.  We will begin to understand that being servants of all is the highest fulfillment of our destiny, as men created in the image of God.”

Murray further states that, “Humility, the place of entire dependence on God, is from the very nature of things, the first duty and highest virtue of man.  It is the root of every virtue.  And so pride, or the loss of humility, is the root of every sin and evil.”


            The Lord wants a heart that is right towards Him. 


1 Samuel 15:22 And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.

Proverbs 15:8 The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord: but the prayer of the upright is his delight.


Hosea 6:6 For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.

Mark 12:33 And to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbour as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.

Ps 51:16-17 For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering. 17.  The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.

Ps 34:18 Psalms 34:18 The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.


[1]Smith, J. E. (1992). The Minor Prophets. Joplin, Mo.: College Press.

[2]Smith, J. E. (1992). The Minor Prophets. Joplin, Mo.: College Press.

[3]Tan, P. L. (1996, c1979). Encyclopedia of 7700 illustrations : A treasury of illustrations, anecdotes, facts and quotations for pastors, teachers and Christian workers. Garland TX: Bible Communications.

[4]Smith, J. E. (1992). The Minor Prophets. Joplin, Mo.: College Press.

[5]Wiersbe, W. W. (1996, c1989). The Bible exposition commentary. "An exposition of the New Testament comprising the entire 'BE' series"--Jkt. (Php 2:5). Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books.

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