“With what shall I come before the LORD, and bow myself before God on high? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, 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? He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” Micah 6:6-8
What does it mean to do justice, love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? Does it mean to ignore sacrifice in the form of worship? Do we ignore aspects of worship?
The Christian life is not an either/or proposition. These words of Micah to the Israelites are condemning the empty rituals. Some thought that as long as they were performing those outward rituals of worship, they were free to live like they wanted to live, even to engage in idolatry. And yet God sees through our empty worship. We cannot earn our salvation by the things we do. Our worship is not a matter of crossing things off of a list. ‘Well I attended a worship service I’m good for this week.’
But neither is faith about abandoning the aspects of worship for a misplaced idea of social justice. The idea of it doesn’t matter what I believe only what I do. As long as I treat others with love and kindness, and I act humble I can do me, and you can do you. Live and let live.
Neither position is right. While Micah condemned empty ritual, he did not condemn right and true worship. Our worship is out of a great love for God. But so is the way that we live out our faith in day to day matters. There ought to be right worship yes, but we should also do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with our God.
May God bless you as you walk with Him this week. And I look forward to gathering with the saints of God as we joyfully worship together every Lord’s Day.