My neighbor and I are writing short columns for our monthly ward (congregation) newsletter, focusing on the Old Testament and related scripture in 2014. Here’s one of my “short takes,” as previously published there.
It’s natural to wonder: in the endless list of things I could or should be doing, what would most please the Lord?
Micah first puts the question in the Mosaic language of animal sacrifices and consecrated oil:
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?
Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil?
He is asking, how would the Lord have me worship him?
He asks again, in chilling and poetic words, suggesting now that his desire is to be forgiven:
Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?
In four different ways Micah has asked, what can I give to the Lord? Then he offers an answer that is as perfectly suited to our time and place as it was to his. He says – asks, really –
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? (Micah 6:6-8).
Do justly, love mercy, walk humbly. If that doesn’t please the Lord, what will? And if we fail in these things, will anything else really please him?