Your life is the Lord’s. Rise up and live for Him.

Text: Micah 6:6-8 Speaker: Festival: Passages: Micah 6:6-8

Full Service Video

Micah 6:6-8

What Does the Lord Require? (Listen)

  “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 with1 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,2
    and to walk humbly with your God?


[1] 6:7 Or Will the Lord accept
[2] 6:8 Or steadfast love


So, what about all the violence tyrannizing college campuses? Not everyone involved has the same philosophy but one philosophy is prominent in the violence, disruption, and destruction of property. The battle cry of, “My life is my own; I will rise up for my view of justice.” It even claims some moral principles: “Every life is valuable. Equality for all. No person has the right to tyrannize other people.” And shouts, “Do what we demand or we will disrupt and destroy.” So ironically, they violate all three moral principles they claimed.

What is being left out? The LORD! If there is no personal God then life merely came from some chemical accident in an accumulation of pond scum, every thought and impulse remains then only an unreliable chemical accident, and every struggle is just animals, whether cockroaches or people, seeking to get their way, to survive, to kill or be killed. But if we are merely such random chemical accidents, then there is no basis for trusting one aspect of our thinking or feeling. Yet our rational mind, moral awareness, and the amazing complexity of our genetic code all testify that we had to be designed by the all-wise, all-powerful God. Yet, far more, you were bought with the price of Jesus’ own holy, precious blood. So, “Your life is the LORD’s. Rise up and live for Him.”

Can we come before the Lord and plead, “I was trying to demand justice, I didn’t know better, I had to live the life that was right for me, surely, I’ve made up for my errors?” Such were the claims the Jews tried before our text. Yet the LORD brings the testimony of the mountains and streams to reveal all their actions – our actions, He brings the testimony of our cars and yards, the tools of our work and the walls of our home, brings the testimony of our conscience to the thoughts within us, and brings the testimony of the heavens above declaring the evidence of His eternal power, Godhead, and righteous judgment on sin. Such cumulative testimony would create quite a list against us, wouldn’t it, of every way we have fallen short of the glory of God?

The Lord tells us what Israel was thinking when they, “bowed before the Most High God?” They were thinking they could surely make up for their guilt with a few burnt offerings, if necessary even a thousand offerings, millions of dollars, or even the blood of their own child. Yet, God demonstrates with the contrast in V. 8 that this was not doing justly, loving mercy, nor walking humbly with their God, your God. This is in fact blatant arrogance that thinks we can use treasures which the LORD Himself owns, gave to us to manage for Him, yet then present them back to Him thinking He can be bought off with them. – Arrogance to think that the punishment of some animal or even our child can make up for our guilt rather than adding to it.

The violence of the college protests is a sad illustration that our very claims of doing justice often end not doing justly, loving mercy, nor walking humbly with our God. How well do we do with those three? How often do we think more about sinful desires than being holy to the Lord in thankfulness to Jesus? How often do we think more about defending ourselves than others? How often do we dwell more on other people’s faults than our own? How often are we unwilling to forgive even as Christ has forgiven us? How often do we think more about getting even than about praying for those who have harmed us? How often do we boast more about what I have done than what Jesus has done for me? How often do want to cry out: “My life is my own; I will rise up for my view of justice?” How often do we even resent (2:6) the warnings that we are by nature rebels, guilty of treason, putting ourself on God’s throne?

Yet despite such insurrection, how easily we can fall into that self-righteous trap of thinking, “Look at all I have done, surely God owes me something.” Surely there must be an opening for a plea bargain on the basis of ignorance, undue duress, or even temporary insanity. But in the previous verses the Lord throws every such plea down the sewer with the rest of the excrement. The Lord reminds us how He has surrounded us with His love washing us from our sin in His own blood, covered us with His righteousness His obeying every will of God in our place, and carried us through every trial sustaining us with His loyal mercy. Every sin denigrates His love. Every thought of a plea bargain mocks His justice and mercy. These are all an absolute failure to do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God.

But Jesus did justly, He did all God’s will justly in our place. Jesus Christ is the only one who can say of every action and thought: “I have done justice, Father, loved Your Mercy and walked humbly with You.” He loved mercy to the ultimate point of giving His blood to redeem us from sin, death, and the power of the devil. Yet the Father laid on Him the iniquity of us all. Jesus walked on to the cross in the ultimate humility so He can say to you, “The payment for your sin is finished. You are forgiven. The Father has credited the world, and so you, with my righteousness so you are the holy child of God and heir of paradise.” In Christ, we stand before God as His holy perfect children who have done justly, loved mercy, and walked humbly with our God. And still daily Jesus humbly walks with you to bear you up in your weakness and mercifully cleanse your sin. And so, calls you in thankful love to hold His saving righteousness emblazoned on your heart so every stanza of your life is a doxology of love for His mercy: “I am an ungodly sinner, but Jesus loves me so much He stretched out His arms and died for me.” So, every stanza is a thankful striving v.8 to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God? So, every stanza is a triumphal proclamation, “My life is the LORD’s. I will rise up and live for Him.” Amen. To God alone be glory.