HOW MUCH IS ENOUGH? Today’s readings are Micah 5-7 and Hebrews 7.
HOW MUCH IS ENOUGH?
Today’s readings are Micah 5-7 and Hebrews 7. We are reading from the New Living Translation.
How much is enough? How much do I owe? What’s it going to take to settle up with my past, my regrets, and my shame? How much should I pay for the wrong that I’ve done and the pain that I’ve caused? How much is enough? What’s it going to take to pay for my sins? What does God want? That’s the question that Micah poses here in chapter 6:6.
He tells us what he wants in verse 8.
No, O 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.
There you have it. That’s what it’s going to take. It’s not offerings of olive oil and rams or the sacrifice of our firstborn (Micah 6:6-7). It’s something far more simple. Simply, do justly, love mercy and walk humbly with God
As sublime and poetic as that sounds, there’s a problem with this poetry. I can’t do it. If it’s going to require me doing what is right – loving mercy and walking humbly with God – I can’t pay the price. Apart from God, I do not do what is right. Apart from God, I have not been one who loves mercy or walks humbly with God,. In fact, none of us meet that standard. That’s the problem. Adam didn’t walk humbly with God. And all the sons of Adam since, have not walked humbly with God. They have not loved mercy. They have not done right. We have all sinned and fallen short. But praise be to God, there is one person, one man, a priest in the order of Melchizedek, who has not fallen short. That is Jesus, our Savior, Messiah, and our High Priest. He is the one who has done what is right, who has loved mercy, done justly and walked humbly with God his Father. He’s the one who has paid the price for our sin. In Hebrews 7:27 we hear that:
Unlike those other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices every day. They did this for their own sins first and then for the sins of the people. But Jesus did this once for all when he offered himself as the sacrifice for the people’s sins.
What’s it going to take to pay for our sins? That’s the question that Micah wants to know the answer to. And the answer is Jesus:
– the only one who has done what is right,
– the only one who has loved mercy and justice and walked humbly with God,
– the only who who has offered the perfect sacrifice for our sin.
And because of what he has done, we have the freedom to learn to walk humbly with him, each day, because his Spirit abides in us. We can begin to live the with-God life, no longer trying to pay the price. The price has been paid. Now we can learn, through trust and obedience, how to walk with our God. This journey of child-like faith is what will transform us into the people we were created to be.
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