The Holy Scriptures are replete with pertinent messages for these challenging times. Micah 6:7-9 is spot on.
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 6:7-9 (English Standard Version)
The prophet Micah had a keen sensitivity to the social ills of his day. As did Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., Corrie ten Boom, Toyohiko Kagawa. As did and as do millions of our fellow sojourners on planet earth. Thanks be to God.
Each age, each nation, has had to deal with injustice, cruelty, hate, depravity. Each age, each nation, has had to deal with SIN.
I love this prayer by Toyohiko Kagawa.
O God, keep our whole country under your protection. Wipe out sin from this land; lift it up from the depth of sorrow, O Lord, our shining light. Save us from deep grief and misfortune, Lord of all nations. Bless us with your wisdom, so that the poor may not be oppressed and the rich may not be oppressors. Make this a nation having no ruler except God, a nation having no authority but that of Love. Amen.
Toyohiko Kagawa was a Japanese Christian pacifist, a Christian reformer, and a labour activist who lived among the poor and advocated for “the least of these” in the early 20th century. His words are timeless, his prayer spot on for today. Oh Lord, bless us with your wisdom!
The Lord God told us what is right and what he demands: “See that justice is done, let mercy be your first concern, and humbly obey your God.”Micah 6:7-9 (Contemporary English Version)
Justice. Mercy. Obedience. The Lord God demands all three???
Last week my daughter Brett Beeson wrote a blog post lamenting “All I Have Are Questions.” Today I add a few more to that list.
- What is justice? How do we know when “justice” is “done”?
- What is mercy? How do we make it our “first concern” in 2020?
- What is walking humbly with our God? How do we apply that concept to our daily lives?
Searching for versions of Micah’s oft-quoted words, I discovered this one:
He has made it clear to you, mortal man, what is good and what the Lord is requiring from you—to act with justice, to treasure the Lord’s gracious love, and to walk humbly in the company of your God.Micah 6:7-9 (International Standard Version)
Ah! So beautiful. So clear. So challenging!
Each of us is to act with justice.
Each of us is to treasure the Lord’s gracious love.
Each of us is to walk humbly in the company of our God.
As a former defense attorney, I did my best to “act with justice” as I advocated for those who had been accused of breaking the law.
As a child of God and daughter of the Most High, I treasure my Father’s gracious love by extending that love to others and to myself.
As a follower of Our Lord Jesus Christ, I trust in Him and His will for my life–not in my own mortal thoughts and ruminations. To me, walking humbly with my God is keeping my heart, mind, and soul fixed on Jesus.
What do Micah’s words mean to you?
- We all prayed for wisdom and grace before taking action.
- We all protested injustice with love in our hearts, not weapons in our hands.
- We all extended God’s love to the Family of Man, regardless of race or creed.
- We all fixed our hearts and minds on our Creator, the lover of our souls.
What’s going on in the United States of America AND around the globe gives us ample opportunities to do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with our God.
What is one thing we can do — you can do — TODAY?
O God, keep our whole country under your protection. Wipe out sin from this land; lift it up from the depth of sorrow, O Lord, our shining light. Save us from deep grief and misfortune, Lord of all nations. Bless us with your wisdom, so that the poor may not be oppressed and the rich may not be oppressors. Make this a nation having no ruler except God, a nation having no authority but that of Love. Amen.Toyohiko Kagawa