This Day in History: 0000-01-31

January 31- Micah 6: 6-8

What can we bring to the Lord? Should we bring Him burnt offerings? Should we bow before God Most High with offerings of yearling calves? Should we offer Him thousands of rams and ten thousand rivers of olive oil? Should we sacrifice our firstborn children to pay for our sins?
No, oh people, 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.

Why are we wired, as humans, to believe that we can atone for our sins?  Why is it our desire to make up for our mistakes rather than accept our helplessness before God and chose obedience in the first place?  What is it about sacrifice that appeals to our vanity, when simple righteous living doesn’t?  Is it the drama?  The grand gesture?  Does sacrifice make us feel like we’ve done something to earn right standing before God?  Do we… do I, even realize the impossibility of that endeavor?

Don’t you just love the simplicity of these verses?  I feel so convicted as I read them, recognizing how appealing the pompous show is to my heart.  To bring my offerings before God Most High sounds so grandiose.  I picture myself bowing before His throne and presenting to Him the marvelous sacrifices of my feigned humility. Give me a break!  I think that’s what Micah must have been thinking as he wrote this.  He probably wanted to yell at the Israelites, “Quit it already! You can never do enough to atone for your sin.  It’s never going to be adequate.  Recognize who you really are and humble yourself before Almighty God!”

From this side of the cross I hope we can see more clearly that there is nothing we can bring to the Lord apart from a broken and contrite heart.  There is no burnt offering, no imposing performance, no vastness of riches that we can place before Him that will elevate our wretched hearts to be worthy of His presence.  He paid it all in our place.  He did all that needed doing. His simple requirements of us are that we humble ourselves before Him, and accept our place by His side; that we do what is right, living in obedience to His leading; and that we value the mercy He has given to us with such devotion that it will flow from us onto others.  Let’s do our best to please Him today.