Micah the prophet’s name means who is like God, or more literally: “who but God?” The implied answer, of course, is no one!
Micah opens his letter by telling us his name, and then he closes his prophetic words with a play on his name when he says, “Who is a God like You?” (7:18-20). Who else but God could…
- …pardon sin?
- …forgive transgressions?
- …not stay angry at sinners?
- …delight to show mercy?
- …have such boundless compassion?
- …tread our sins under His foot?
- …hurl our iniquities into the sea?
In light of this, how should we respond to this amazing God? Micah asks a series of rhetorical questions about what sort of religious practices would somehow “balance the scales” for God’s amazing gifts to us. But here’s the deal: there is no way for us to balance the scales! Instead, Micah tells us this, “God has showed you what is good. What does the Lord require of you? To act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.”
In other words, our response to God’s invaluable gifts must transition from a have to lifestyle to a get to lifestyle! Micah makes it clear that God’s Spirit empowers us to live this way (Micah 3:8).
It is the Holy Spirit who empowers Christians to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God.
The apostle Paul agrees with Micah, even echoing some of Micah’s own phrases—God’s great love, His rich mercy, His unearned grace, His forgiveness of sin, His kindness, and His salvation (Ephesians 2:4-10). Why did God do all of this? So that we could “do good works”—like acting justly, loving mercy, and walking humbly—“which God prepared in advance for us to do”!
I am saved by grace SO THAT I am free to do grace-filled, Spirit-empowered, good things.
All of this prompts me to ask myself three introspective questions:
- Do I continually remind myself that I was saved by grace and not by works? I need to check my have to vs. get to attitude.
- Am I aware that people are watching me? What are they seeing? Do they see godly justice, loving mercy, and humility?
- Am I living like Jesus? Peter explained that Jesus “went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with Him” (Acts 10:38). Can that be said of me too?
Who but God could call us, forgive us, and forget our sins? NO ONE!
Who but God could empower us to live in such a way that others see His greatness too? NO ONE!
Let’s never, ever become self-reliant or works-dependent (that’s have to living), but let’s stay so Spirit-reliant that we cannot help be get to people!
If you’ve missed any of the other messages in our series about major lessons from the minor prophets, you can find the full list by clicking here.