ODJ: What God Wants

February 3, 2017 

READ: Micah 6:1-8 

The Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God (v.8).

Many years ago, a poor orphan advertised her piano recitals in order to raise funds. Posters boldly declared that she was a pupil of the celebrated Hungarian pianist Franz Liszt—a blatant lie. To her horror, she discovered that Liszt was coming to the village where she was giving the concert. With trepidation she requested an interview with him, sobbed out her confession, and awaited his stern rebuke. Liszt acknowledged that she had been wrong, but recognized her repentance and asked her to play for him. At first she stumbled over her notes, but as she grew in confidence, she played well. He corrected her a few times and said, “My dear, now I have given you a lesson. You are a pupil of Liszt. Go on with your concert and put on the program that the last piece will be played, not by the pupil, but by the master.”

Franz Liszt had every right to expose the girl as a liar; yet he showed mercy, covering her shame and celebrating her. In the same way, God showed us His mercy as Jesus bore all our sins on the cross. He even went so far as to delight in us (Romans 8:3; Zephaniah 3:17).

When a defiant and rebellious Israel questioned God’s faithfulness, He urged them to recall the many stories that proved otherwise (Micah 6:1-5). Micah the prophet, lamenting the misguided views of his people, rattled off some wrong ways they thought they could appease the Lord (vv.6-7).

Sin exposes us to guilt, and the more we try to make amends in our own strength, the worse it can get. The prophet Micah reminded Israel, however, that all God requires of us is “to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God” (v.8). Just as we’ve received God’s mercy, may we show mercy to those who have wronged us.

—Ruth O’Reilly-Smith

365-day plan: Exodus 4:1-17

Read John 13:35 and James 1:27 where we’re reminded that our love for one another and our care for those on the edges of society prove we’re true disciples of Jesus. 
What does it mean for you to receive the mercy God has extended to us? Who can you offer mercy to today?