How can I stand up before God
and show proper respect to the high God?
Should I bring an armload of offerings
topped off with yearling calves?
Would God be impressed with thousands of rams,
with buckets and barrels of olive oil?
Would he be moved if I sacrificed my firstborn child,
my precious baby, to cancel my sin?
But he’s already made it plain how to live, what to do,
what God is looking for in men and women.
It’s quite simple: Do what is fair and just to your neighbor,
be compassionate and loyal in your love,
And don’t take yourself too seriously—
take God seriously
Micah 6:6-8 (The Message)
The prophet Micah delivered this message to the people of Israel after reminding them how God had delivered them time and again from their enemies. He had even made an analogy earlier in this passage about pleading a court case. Here was his simple plea – Do what is fair and just to your neighbor, be compassionate and loyal in your love, and don’t take yourself too seriously — take God seriously.
He told people that God is not moved or impressed by multiple sacrifices of animals, and ample gifts of oil, etc. God’s simple desire is that we treat his creation with love and respect. He wants us to honor one another and care for each other. Oh, and by the way, we are not to take ourselves too seriously!
What a great simple message. Religion over the millennia has gone to great lengths to find formulas to please God. For the most part, I think intentions were good, but religion takes itself too seriously. If rules and formulas are too complicated, they can’t be followed.
I like the way Micah thinks.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for loving us, and asking only love for others in return, Amen