The Micah Mandate
by Katherine Britton
He has showed you, O man, 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.
As you read this devotional, people are flocking to the polls. I don’t yet know who claims the coveted title of president-elect, or how the runner-up will respond to his defeat. But by the time you read tomorrow's devotional, the campaign season will officially (finally) be over, and our linear little world will move on.
In the past few months, so much attention has centered on Election Day that the importance of every day leading up to it – and following it – has been eclipsed. My own perspective has often been wrenched from the eternal to the worldly as I fretted and worried over how to vote and what it would mean for the nation. I have often forgotten my unchanging marching orders from Micah 6:8 in the hubbub.
In political season and out, my Lord requires three things of me:
- Act justly
- Love mercy
- Walk in humility with my God
After all the roar in our ears, sounds simple, doesn’t it? These commands aren’t political; they’re intensely personal with communal impact. They foreshadow the greatest commandment, to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind, and love your neighbor as yourself.”
I’m so thankful that, as Christians, we are part of an eternal kingdom that values everyday acts of justice, mercy, and humility so highly. By faith, we have a far bigger perspective than anything going on in government. We know that our God sits enthroned in Heaven and laughs at the plans of the nations (Psalms 2:4), because his plan will overrule them all (Isaiah 46:10). And so we don’t worry about tomorrow, but simply follow the Micah mandate everyday: act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God.
Here’s one more thought: As I reconsider the Micah mandate in light of the political scene, I’m reminded that mercy and humility extend far beyond party lines. If we really are trying to cultivate mercy and acknowledge our humility before God, doesn’t that affect how we respond to our leaders? If we take the verses in Micah seriously, then we can’t help but take Paul’s words to Timothy seriously as well.
Paul gave the young pastor a directive to pray for the leaders in his world, even though the government was foreign and its leaders sometimes corrupt. "I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone," Paul wrote, "for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior" (1 Timothy 2:1-3).
It’s tempting to think that our vote matters more than our prayers, more than an attitude of humility that seeks justice and mercy. Nope, the Bible is pretty explicit about keeping our trust in God and not in government (Psalms 118:9). So let’s look out our window, breathe in another day of eternity, and get to work living the Micah mandate.
Intersecting Faith & Life: You’ve probably heard the phrase before – our job is to be so heavenly minded that we do the earth good. Let’s put on the eternal perspective and act in light of eternity – where all that matters is acting justly, loving mercy, and walking humbly with our God.