Summary: What God requires of His Children. This sermon touches on what Micah said was "required" of the people of his day.
“What does God Require of Me?’
In our passage of scripture, we have the Prophet Micah foretelling destruction of to Jerusalem for their sinful ways. In verse 1, he tells the people to “Plead their case” as it were before God. He then goes on to list what God had done for them. Led them out of bondage and slavery in Egypt and into a land flowing with milk and honey. He had given them Godly leadership with Moses and Aaron as well as Joshua. But how quickly they forgot their God and drifted into sin.
I have said before that we can often substitute our name for Israel in the scriptures, for we are prone to the same patterns and tendencies as the nation of Israel. If we are not careful, we find ourselves in a lifestyle that is not pleasing to God.
A little boy was attending church one day at a church that had beautiful stained glass windows. On each window was a different apostle. St. Matthew, St. John, etc.. One day in Sunday School, he was asked to define what a Saint was. He answered, “ A saint is a person that the light shines through.” How true. The Lord Jesus Christ commanded us in Matthew 5:16 “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your father which is in heaven.” That is a pretty good verse to live your life by. But what does it mean to “let your light shine before men”. Micah 6 verse 9 gives us a good place to start. Let’s look at what Micah told the people of his day, what God required of them, and let’s emphasize the word required. These were not suggestions.
I. Act Justly
A. what does it mean to “Act justly?”
B. It basically means to “be fair”.
C. There was a great deal of injustice going on in the land when Micah wrote this.
D. Verses 9-13 reference dishonest scales, liars and deceit.
E. The people had begun to cheat and lie to one another.
F. These were God’s people, not the heathens back in Egypt.
G. God does require of his people to be honest.
H. One way to let your light shine is to be Honest in the world today.
I. In the business that I am in, I have found that honesty pays a lot more than deception.
J. When the people would come to purchase grain, the sellers had their hands on the scales. They would misrepresent what they were selling and were cheating the people.
K. To make matters worse, the ones that were being cheated often were the ones who had the least.
L. The old adage, the rich were getting richer and the poor were getting poorer was holding true.
M. We have many opportunities to demonstrate honesty in our lives.
A butcher was asked how his life changed after he accepted Christ. His reply was, “I quit weighing my thumb. He said I used to leave my thumb on the scales every time I weighed a piece of meat which would always short the customer an ounce. Since I became a Christian, I quit weighing my thumb, in fact, I now give them a little more than what they pay for to make up for all the years I overcharged them.
N. Honesty is always important. It is especially important when you are setting an example for your children.
O. Your children trust you as parents more than anyone else in this world.
P. What they see you do, is what they will consider to be acceptable.
Q. Dishonesty is dishonesty. A lie is a lie. Whether it is a dime or a dollar.
R. Whether the lie is to someone you do not know, or to another family member.
S. We are required, not suggested to, but required to act justly or we may suffer the consequences.
II. Love Mercy
A. What is mercy? Mercy is compassion, or love in action.
B. God’s word tells us many times about showing love and or mercy.
C. In the recent Tsunami disaster, their has been an outpouring of compassion from the entire world.
D. But mercy is loving and or giving even when it may not be deserved.
E. It is easy or easier to help someone you love or know.
F. It is easy or easier to ignore someone you do not know, or perhaps dislike.
G. God’s people are required to show mercy.
H. God does not give us any prerequisites for this mercy.
I. He does not say, we have to know them, or love them, or like them.
J. He says we have to show mercy.
K. There were no doubt many examples of unmerciful people in Micah’s time.