In our walk as Christians, we need to have a sense of direction where God lead us. The Old
Testament is rich of teachings of Grace and Mercy, preparing the road for the coming of the
Messiah, the fulfillment of the Law, full of Mercy and Love. How can I follow His teachings? What
Does God Wants From Me?
Act with fairness, honesty, and integrity. When I thought about Micah’s words about “wealthy
oppressors,” I couldn’t help but reflect on some of the banking practices in our times—practices
which are certainly legal, but which make you wonder. The current going rate in our area for
overdraft fees is $29.00 in most places. One thing that has always made me wonder—when it comes
to charging that fee, they will assess it even if it causes it to show a negative balance. Why not do
that in the first place and contact you to make a deposit?
Okay, enough of my frustration with banks, let’s try another subject. How about donations at the
Salvation Army? Most of the people ask for a receipt that afterwards exaggerates with the amount of
the value of the donated items. Do they “do justly” when it comes to filing the tax returns each year?
Micah mentions also the “short measure” (v. 10) that unscrupulous merchants were using in selling
their goods. There is an old saying, “honesty is the best policy.” But for the Christian, that slogan
should be, “honesty is the ONLY policy.” Because the witness is consistent in all of Scripture that we
are called to be people of fairness and integrity in all our dealings: Psalm 51:6, “You desire truth in
the inward parts”; Proverbs 4:23, “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring all the
issues of life”; Matthew 12:34, “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” We must settle
it deep in our hearts to be a people of integrity, and be on guard in the battle to “do justly.”
We are also to fill our hearts with compassion and kindness toward one another. The Hebrew word
“hesed,” translated as “mercy,” is a rich one, used variously as mercy, tender mercies, loving
kindness, and steadfast love. It is most often used in a covenant sense, involving the attitude of two
parties who are in covenantal relationship with one another. In relation to God’s mercy, it is used
most often of His grace, or of UNEXPECTED kindness. Notice also that the requirement here is not
that we HAVE mercy, but that we are to LOVE mercy. There is a big difference between the two. One
way of describing the difference is to say that we don’t just do acts of kindness from a sense of
obedience or compulsion, but we do them out of love.
Because we have such a merciful God, we are exhorted to have mercy. Jesus said, “Blessed are the
merciful, for they shall obtain mercy” (Matthew 5:7).