by Jernej Furman

Micah 6:1–8 ‘He has shown you, O mortal, 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.’ (v8)

Minor prophets get a bad rep. Most people do not know of them or, when they read them, they are uncertain what they are saying.

But the little-known Micah has two verses that most Christians know. The one read at Christmas and quoted in Matthew’s account of the birth of Jesus, concerning Bethlehem as the birthplace of Jesus (5:2) and this one.

Micah prophesied sometime between 750 and 686 BC, during the reigns of Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah (cf 1:1; Jer. 26:18).

Micah lists the sins of Israel and Judah. These include: idolatry; sins of the leadership; offering sacrifice without truly repenting; and corrupt business practices and violence; seizure of property; the failure of civil leadership and religious leadership.

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So, Micah is warning of judgment, and this verse is his attempt to remind them of who God intended for them to be: just, merciful and humble.

We like simple instructions, don’t we? Well, here’s a verse you can memorise, with the ideals later displayed in perfection in Jesus, who taught us to ‘seek first [God’s] kingdom and his righteousness’ (Matt. 6:33, my italics), which can be translated ‘justice’.

It has become a bit of a buzz verse. Some may be called to charitable work to campaign for justice but, for most of us, it’s part of a package of desire that people be treated well and fairly, in the way the economy and legal system

are administered. In our work, we seek to ensure that God’s values are translated to the way we treat people, even as we look for opportunities to share the good news with them.


A Prayer To Make:
Lord, we thank You that we can join with You in the work of helping people experience justice and Your mercy. Amen.

An Action To Take:
Are you needing to put into practise any elements of this verse?
Act justly, love mercy, be humble?

Scripture To Consider:
Lev. 19:1–16; Ps. 82:1–8; Luke 4:16–30; Jas 5:1–6

Micha Jazz is Director of Resources at Waverley Abbey, UK.