December 13 I Sunday
“Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousand rivers of oil? Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?” —Micah 6:7
Micah 6 plays out much like a courtroom. The nation of Judah is in the dock, God is the counsel for the prosecution and Micah is the counsel for the defence. God opens His case by saying, “My people, what have I done to you? How have I burdened you? Answer Me” (Micah 6:3). He recalls how He redeemed Israel from their slavery in Egypt and how He preserved and protected them in the wilderness.
The people of Judah respond with their own questions: “With what shall I come before the LORD and bow down before the exalted God? Shall I come before Him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousand rivers of oil? Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?” (Micah 6:6-7). The Jews believe that they have done right. They have fulfilled every requirement God gave them regarding burnt offerings and sacrifices, but this has not pleased God. Now, they suggest offering thousands of rams, rivers of oil and their own children, essentially saying, “Will that be enough, God? What more do You want?”
To contextualize, this would be like Christians saying to God, “Do you want us to confess our sins over and over? Are we not singing enough songs of worship to You? Do You want us to be baptized again, maybe ten or 100 times? Must we constantly ask for spiritual gifts or more of the Holy Spirit? Is that what You want?” The answer, of course, is no. God had put the sacrificial system in place, which He was not trying to add to or abolish. Instead, He brought forth His complaint because the Jews had separated their spiritual lives from their material lives.
Earlier in Micah, the prophet expressed God’s anger that His people were taking advantage of the poor and oppressed. He questioned why the Jews thought they were living rightly while driving widows and orphans from their homes or exploiting the poor simply because they had the power to do so.
The Christian life is not about rituals or Sunday morning gatherings. Our worship means little if there is a disconnect between our spiritual and material lives. Serving in ministry and believing rightly will prove empty and fruitless when we lack compassion and the will to give. What more does God want from us? He wants our walk with Him to penetrate our hearts; so that every day, His love, goodness and righteousness are expressed through us, not only to those in need, but in all our interactions with others.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I want my walk with You to involve my whole life, not just Sundays. Grow a desire within me to spend time with You and to serve others today and every day. Thank You, Lord.