With what shall I come before the LORD and bow down before the exalted God? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousand rivers of oil? Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?
He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
Micah has presented the case against Israel and all the wicked things
they have done. They have burned incense in the high places, sacrificed
their children and livestock to the Ba’als, and bowed down to the work
of their hands. Now they have heard the words of the prophet and wish
to make things right with God. They don’t want God mad at them and they
don’t want to experience the punishment for the things that have made
They aren’t sorry for what they did. As a matter of fact, they think
that all of their acts were actually right, but God is mad that they
were offered to the wrong god. They ask if they can do all the stuff
they’ve been doing, but just slap a big fat YHWH sticker on it and that
will make it all ok again. Yeah, that’s it. We used to be judgemental,
but now we can be ‘discerning’ and do the same thing. We can stop our
idolatry and stop being proud of these idols we make and boast in our
creations that have crosses on them instead. We’ll stop writing songs
about falling in love with boys and write songs about Jesus, even
though we’ll still have the same seductive costumes and dance moves.
If our repentance is not a dying to self and a complete new life, but a
baptism of our sin into a Christian form, is it really repentance?
2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new
creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
I realized recently that I’ve been dishing out some of this “I’m sorry
that you’re mad but not sorry I sinned.” It’s tough work to realize the
apology wasn’t from repentance but out of a desire to get out of
trouble. But what will happen if people accept that apology? Won’t I
just repeat my folly again, just as the Israelites were ready to repeat
their folly and offer child sacrifices to God?
He has showed you, oh man, what is good and what does the Lord require
Walk humbly with God.
“I desire mercy, and not sacrifice, and acknowledgement of God rather
than burnt offerings.”
Once again, the pure and simple message of Christianity-the activity of
religion that comes from a real-life faith in Jesus Christ as my Boss
and Friend-is not an act of do and do and you will be, but of be, and
Christ will do through you.