"He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?" - Micah 6:8
We don’t often think of laws as loving. We know they are in place to keep us safe, to keep order, and to draw lines between what kind of behavior is allowable vs. punishable, but loving? It’s not the first thing that comes to mind. Perhaps not secular laws, but God’s laws are in place because he loves us and desires that we love him and each other. He loves us enough to give us boundaries, as any good parent does. The Ten Commandments are some of God’s laws that we are quite familiar with, but some of them are static and straightforward; do this, don’t do that.
In the book of Micah, Micah, one of the 12 minor prophets, born about 740 years before Jesus, is speaking to the divided kingdoms of Israel and Judah. After some admonishing of various types of corrupt and sinful behaviors they are engaging in, a word of hope and instruction; he reminds the people of what God wants from them, “Act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God”.
These are not static laws, but dynamic! They are action words. These words were for the people then and they are for us today. They should permeate our lives, change our attitudes and hearts, and be acted upon, not be things we observe now and then. They are a blueprint of how to live, cultivate a right attitude and interact with others.
God loves us enough to know, more than we, that when we live these laws, we reflect God’s Kingdom, and our lives are enriched, not reduced. We are all his children. May we treat one another as if we recognize that beautiful truth. Amen.