WHAT does Jehovah expect from those who want to worship him acceptably? Does he demand perfection, thus making it impossible for us imperfect humans to please him? Or does he expect only what is within our reach? The answers to those questions are vital if we are to find joy in serving God. Let us examine how the prophet Micah summed up God’s requirements.
“He has told you . . . what is good.” We do not have to guess what God expects of us. He has told us, plainly outlining his requirements in the Bible. What God asks of us “is good.” It could not be otherwise. “God is love,” so he has our best interests at heart. (1 John 4:8; 5:3) Heeding his requirements is not only pleasing to him but also beneficial to us.
“What is Jehovah asking back from you?” Does God have the right to ask back anything from us? Of course he does! We owe him obedience as the Source and Sustainer of life. (Psalm 36:9) What, then, does he ask back from us? Micah sums up God’s requirements with three phrases. The first two principally involve our dealings with fellow humans, and the third involves our relationship with God.
“Exercise justice.” The Hebrew word for “justice,” according to one reference work, “involves right and fair relationships in the community.” God asks us to treat others according to what is right and fair by his standards. We exercise justice by being impartial, upright, and honest in our dealings with others. (Leviticus 19:15; Isaiah 1:17; Hebrews 13:18) When we act justly toward others, they may be moved to act justly toward us in return.
“To love kindness.” God asks us not merely to show kindness but to love it. The Hebrew word rendered “kindness” (cheʹsedh) may also be rendered “loving-kindness” or “loyal love.” Says one Bible scholar: “Love, mercy, and kindness are inadequate translations of [cheʹsedh]; it is no one of these virtues, but all of them together.” If we love kindness, we show it willingly; we find pleasure in helping those in need. As a result, we experience the happiness that comes from giving.
“To be modest in walking with your God.” In the Bible, the phrase “to walk” means “to follow a certain course of action.” We walk with God by following the life course he has outlined in the Bible. We need “to be modest” in pursuing such a course. How so? When we are modest before God, we realistically evaluate our position before him and recognize our limitations. Therefore, “to walk modestly with” means to have a realistic view of what he requires and of what we can give.
Thankfully, Jehovah never requires more than we can give. He is pleased with our best efforts to serve him. (Colossians 3:23) He understands our limitations. (Psalm 103:14) When we, with due modesty, learn to accept them as well, we can find joy in walking with him. Why not learn how you can begin walking with God? Such a course brings rich blessings from him.