Friday, July 17, 2015

WEEKLY SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON
An international Sunday school lesson commentary
For Sunday July 19, 2015

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JUSTICE, LOVE, AND HUMILITY
(What GOD requires)
(Micah 6)

In Micah 6 we find the prophet’s third message to Israel. Here he reminds GOD’s people, then and now, just what the LORD requires from those who profess to be HIS children. First the LORD asks the people to state their case against HIM, and, to let all creation testify on their behalf. Knowing that they had no case against HIM, the LORD then begins to present HIS case against Israel, and in verse 2, the LORD says that HE will prosecute Israel to the full extent of the law.
In verse 3, the LORD begins HIS case by asking Israel “What have I done to make you turn from ME? Tell ME why your patience is exhausted! Answer ME!” Then, without actually waiting for an answer (for HE knew they had no excuse for their abandonment of HIS laws) the LORD reminds Israel of how HE redeemed them from slavery in Egypt (Exodus), using Moses, Aaron, and even Miriam (because of her role as a prophetess - Exodus 15:20-21), to deliver them into a state of freedom (v.4). Moses represented GOD to man, while Aaron represented man to GOD.  
In verse 5, the Israelites are reminded by GOD of how King Balak of Moab tried to have them cursed through the prophet Balaam, and how HE caused Balaam to bless them instead (Numbers 22-24). GOD also reminded them of how, on their journey from Acacia to Gilgal (Joshua 3:1 & 4:18-24), HE tried desperately to teach them about HIS OWN faithfulness to them as HIS chosen people, by drying up the Jordan River, just as HE had done with the Red Sea, so that they could cross over into the “promised land” without getting their feet wet.
And so, in this third message from the prophet Micah (Vs.6-8), he reminds GOD’s people, then and now, just what the LORD requires from those who profess to be HIS children. Here in this passage, the people ask what they can bring to the LORD that would serve as an acceptable sacrifice of atonement for their evil deeds. They then suggest everything from yearling calves, to their own children.
Child sacrifice is one of the things that their, newly found, idol god Mollech requires. GOD would never require a child sacrifice. They had become so spiritually confused, that they were actually suggesting to GOD, the same kind of worship that they provided for their idols, instead of worshiping GOD “HIS way”, which is how we are all supposed to worship HIM. Micah reminds the people at this point, that, the LORD has already told them what is good, and, what HE requires from each of us. HE requires us to “do what is right”, “to love mercy”, and to “walk humbly with HIM”.
GOD does not wish for us to only be related to HIM in a ritualistic way, but rather, HE wants us to possess an inward desire to obey HIM, and relate to HIM in a “personal” way. HE does not want us to look at obedience as a burden, or a mental task, because, when we take on that attitude, over time, we will begin to loathe HIS standards, instead of seeking to learn and incorporate them into our lives.
Micah 6:8 is a powerful statement. It is one of the many great “pure statements” that can be found in the annals of Old Testament literature. It sums up the very heart and make-up of the Christian Walk with GOD. It is an ethical injunction that is not intended to be a way of salvation, but rather, it is simply meant to express the way “the saved person” should walk, not in the world, but rather, the way he or she should walk with GOD.
The word “good”, in this passage, is defined as “practical” and “moral”, not “speculative” or “philosophical”. GOD’s definition of “good” contains three elements, and they are;

·         To act justly
·         To love mercy
·         To walk humbly with HIM

And when we desire and act upon obtaining those qualities, and then, begin to live by them, we are doing that which GOD requires of us. We show through our behavior that we have gained a desire in our heart to please GOD, and we no longer embody, or exhibit, the desire to please the world.

A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander





                                 
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