Wallet with five dollar billThe present economy has created great uncertainty for many. Believers re-defining their future often struggle, trying to understand God’s will for their lives. It’s easy in times like this to allow anxiety and uncertainty to overwhelm us. No matter how unstable our environment, though, we can rest in knowing God loves us and He is in control. We must remain faithful as we trust Him.

History reveals that seasons of unrest and poverty often follow years of peace and prosperity. Mankind finds it easy to forget God when all is going well, but often return to Him when times are tough. During the days of the prophet Micah, times had grown tough. Micah began his ministry about 735 BC. His “calling” was to help the nation of Israel turn its attention back to God. Read the first six chapters of Micah and you’ll see that the religious condition of Israel had deteriorated. The rich turned their backs on the Lord and began to imitate the lifestyles of pagan nations. When the peasant farmers couldn’t produce the required luxury goods, the rich landowners took over their holdings, perverted justice, and took advantage of the poor. The poor then drifted to the cities seeking shelter. For the first time in Hebrew history, serious overcrowding threatened their cities. Squalor and disease soon accompanied poverty.

The situation grew quite bleak, but Micah told the nation of Israel exactly what God desired from them. God wasn’t interested in mindless lip service or a religious façade. God wanted them to obey Him out of desire, devotion, and love for Him and not from mere obligation. Obedience was never meant to be a burden.

The prophet Micah stated God’s expectations clearly and concisely in Micah 6:8. God saw their suffering and gave them instructions, explaining how to make things right again. He gave them the antidote to their bleak situation, “To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah’s ancient message aptly applies to us today as well. They are certainly words to live by, not as a formula for a “good life,” but as a template for a pure and loving heart. God wants us to be fair in our dealings with others, follow through on our commitments to others, and pursue Him humbly.

Justice, mercy, and walking humbly with God are all intertwined — the result of loving God and loving others. As Jesus explained, “All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments…” to love God and love others (Matthew 22:37–40). Living in this manner is not merely the antidote for troubling times, but for all times.

Scripture Reading: Matthew 23:1–12

Personal Application

In what ways is the message of Micah 6:8 speaking to you? Spend time humbly before the Lord in prayer and ask Him to express His love, mercy, and justice through you today.

Jim and Wendell signatures Jim Grassi, D. Min. and Wendell Morton

We cherish any verse in Scripture that reminds us to keep focused and intentional about evangelism and discipleship. “But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.” 2 Timothy 4:5