This is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God (Micah 6:8).

In the midst of the rain and cold of an icy winter in 2014, more than 800 illegal shack-dwelling families were evicted from their homes along the southwest coast of South Africa. Although the eviction followed a high court order to prevent further land invasions and had come after many years of wrangling between land owners and the city council, the timing and the method of the eviction caused a public outcry. There appeared to be a lack of compassion shown by the leaders involved.

Micah lived at a time when great emphasis was placed on acquiring wealth and when unjust leaders habitually oppressed and showed no compassion for the poor and vulnerable (Micah 2:1). Testing the Lord’s patience, the rich and powerful would steal from those who trusted them, seize their land by fraud or violence, and cut short their inheritance (Micah 2:2,7-9).

False prophets spoke only what the corrupt wanted to hear, and willfully ignored their wickedness (Micah 2:6,11). Micah, on the other hand, put a stop to Israel’s self-deception and delivered a damning message from the Lord, charting the consequences for their selfish ambition (Micah 1:10-16, 2:1-5).

God, upset by the injustice, brought the full weight of His awesome presence to bear on those responsible (Micah 1:2-4). He sued them for breach of contract and violation of the covenant He had made with them through Moses (Exodus 19:1–24:18). The people responded by offering to bring sacrifices of calves, rams, and rivers of olive oil as a sign of their repentance.

But all God wanted was for them to do what was right—to love mercy and to walk humbly with Him (Micah 6:8).

May God help us submit to Him and to His just and compassionate heart today.

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