The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord like channels of water;
he turns it wherever he wants.
All of a person’s ways seem right in his own opinion,
but the Lord evaluates the motives.
To do righteousness and justice
is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.
You don’t have to know me very long to know that one of my favorite verses in the Bible is Micah 6:8. “He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? But to do justice and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” It has been a favorite of mine since I learned the Maranatha! song back in the early 1990’s.
However, as I’ve grown up and grown into my faith, I’ve realized just how much there is in this one little verse. “He has shown you what is good.” In other words, God has told us what is good. “What does the Lord require of me?” Isn’t that a question that many of us have wanted to know the answer to for quite some time? “If I only knew what God expected of me, I could do what He wanted me to do.” But, we make it so big. We make it a huge list that we couldn’t ever remember. But what follows isn’t a big list. It’s three things. What does God require of you? To do justice. To Love Mercy. And to walk humbly with your God.
Do Justice. Love Mercy. Walk Humbly. That’s what God requires of us. Sure there is a lot that can go into those things. But, if we focused on doing those things, I think the world would be a much better place.
I bring it up because that is where verse 3 comes from. Micah 6:8 combined with Hosea 6:6. Those two verses combined together make up this proverb.
However, there is one thing I want to point out. The two verses that lead into this verse are talking about the heart. They’re talking about the heart of a king and the real motives of a person. And I want to point that out because it’s very important in the ideas of Justice, Mercy and Humility. Those things have to flow out of a heart that is set on doing right. When your heart is right, you do justice, love mercy and walk humbly. When your heart isn’t right, you do the things that seem right to you, but your motives are for your own benefit – not the benefit of others. What comes out of our heart says more about us than our actions say. People can always sniff through false intentions.
So, what are the motives of your heart? Are they for you and your own benefit. Or does justice, mercy and humility flow from your heart?