This Sunday we will complete our current series on the Micah Mandate, Micah 6:8, by considering the third instruction/expectation: walk humbly with your God.
One of the commentators I read suggested that the order of the instructions is key to understanding what God was requiring of the people. First, do justice: do the right thing. Seek to live equitably. Consider who/how God is and how God wants us to live.
Then, love fiercely–because that’s how we are loved by God. Yes, we are to be kind. Definitely we are to show mercy: not giving unto others what they deserve, but we are to go beyond that expectation and show God-type love.
Finally then, walk. Live. Live daily. Jesus’ very instructions to his disciples was that they were to take up their cross daily and follow him (Luke 9:23).
One of the things we’re going to do in the Sunday message is look at each of the words in the final instruction. As I meditated on the phrase, looking at each word on its own, I began to wonder where God would place the emphasis. Honestly, I’m not sure.
The word, though, that kept rising to the top for me today is the word: humbly. Pondering this, I recalled a book I got last year by Christopher A. Hutchinson entitled, “Rediscovering Humility.” (Confession: I wasn’t in a place spiritually or mentally where I could read last year. Being in a different place now, I’m ready and reading. So far: it’s spot on!)
Right from the top, Pastor Hutchinson makes it clear that humility is not something we can add to our list of qualities to strive for in our faith journey. He puts it this way: “I wish instead to advance humility as the central paradigm of the Christian life. I believe humility to be at the very heart of Christian faith and even to be the best paradigm of all proper thought regarding God, oneself, and others…It is the alpha and omega of the gospel at work in God’s people (pg. 3).”
What does he mean when he calls it the “best paradigm of all proper thought regarding God, oneself, and others”? A paradigm is the example or pattern. In this case the author is saying when you peal away all the layers and get to the heart: you’ll find (or should) humility.
Who we are and how we are to be as a people following Jesus is summed up in humility. When Jesus preached his Sermon on the Mount, he began with the beatitudes, and the very first one (blessed are the poor in spirit), points to a clear awareness of who we are and how we are to be in relationship with God. When Jesus responded to the disciples request to be taught about prayer, Jesus began by pointing again to that relationship (our Father).
Micah leads to that same place. Get it right with your brothers and sisters (do justice). Love like God (hesed, everlasting fierce love). And keep walking, living in that proper relationship with God.
The very first scripture I learned as a child was Psalm 100. Those words are the bedrock of my faith: It is He who made us, and we belong to Him (Psalm 100:3). That for me points me clearly to who God is, and my relationship with the Creator. In awe and wonder, thankfulness and humility then I live my life…I will walk humbly with God.