I had several dreams that were mixed up and random last night, but one stayed with me after I woke up this morning. I dreamed that I was writing the words “do justly, walk humbly” from a Bible verse on my (homeschool) chalkboard, so I searched for the scripture and it was Micah 6:8.
I promptly wrote out the complete verse on my chalkboard and looked up the definitions of the words in the phrases: do justly, love mercy, walk humbly. I decided it made a great biblical word study to share with you all, so here it is.
As always, these are intended to make you think more deeply about God’s Word by studying words and to spark a desire to study scripture deeper. My personal thoughts are not meant to replace God’s Word!
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Micah 6:8 – Biblical Word Study
“He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” Micah 6:8
DO, verb transitive or auxiliary [G.] To perform; to execute; to carry into effect; to exert labor or power for bringing anything to the state desired, or to completion; or to bring anything to pass.
JUST’LY, adverb [from just.] In conformity to law, justice or propriety; by right.
LOVE, verb transitive luv. [Latin libeo, lubeo. The sense is probably to be prompt, free, willing, from leaning, advancing, or drawing forward.] In a general sense to be pleased with; to regard with affection, on account of some qualities which excite pleasing sensations or desire of gratification.
MER’CY, noun [Latin misericordia.] That benevolence, mildness or tenderness of heart which disposes a person to overlook injuries, or to treat an offender better than he deserves; the disposition that tempers justice, and induces an injured person to forgive trespasses and injuries, and to forbear punishment, or inflict less than law or justice will warrant. In this sense, there is perhaps no word in our language precisely synonymous with mercy That which comes nearest to it is grace. It implies benevolence, tenderness, mildness, pity or compassion, and clemency, but exercised only towards offenders. mercy is a distinguishing attribute of the Supreme Being.
WALK, verb intransitive [G., to full, to felt hats; a fuller; to stir, to be agitated, to rove, to travel, to wander, to roll.] In Scripture, to live and act or behave; to pursue a particular course of life.
HUM’BLY, adverb In a humble manner; with modest submissiveness; with humility. In a low state or condition; without elevation.
Scripture To Study & Thoughts To Ponder
“And thou shalt speak unto him, and put words in his mouth: and I will be with thy mouth, and with his mouth, and will teach you what ye shall do.” Exodus 4:15
The Bible really is a life manual or roadmap, we have only to study and seek to find His direction! Many of the choices we face daily are less about the choice itself, and more about our heart attitude when facing that choice. Even when we may not find the answer to a question explicitly stated in the Bible, we can still see the heart of God and what He desires from us in the scriptures, therefore making decisions much easier to face!
“Ye are witnesses, and God also, how holily and justly and unblameably we behaved ourselves among you that believe:” 1 Thessalonians 2:10
Not only has the Lord given us detailed instructions on how we ought to behave, but he has also given us examples through the people in the Bible. Their lives were recorded for our benefit and are worth studying with a teachable heart.
“But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him.” 1 John 3:17-19
Jesus teaches us to truly love in action. When we say we love a person, let us mean “I am committed to doing right by/for you, I will be here for you, I choose you, your soul matters more than my emotions” and then let us live that out in actions every day.
“The Lord is longsuffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation. Pardon, I beseech thee, the iniquity of this people according unto the greatness of thy mercy, and as thou hast forgiven this people, from Egypt even until now. And the Lord said I have pardoned according to thy word:“ Numbers 14:18-20
We are SO undeserving of the Lord’s mercy, yet He gives it. How much more should we extend mercy to those around us who are NO worse than ourselves?! His mercies are new every morning, without us asking it of Him. May we strive to show others even a little bit of the mercy He has shown us!
“And he said, Lord God of Israel, there is no God like thee, in heaven above, or on earth beneath, who keepest covenant and mercy with thy servants that walk before thee with all their heart:” 1 Kings 8:23
Walking with God (as referenced many times in the Bible) should be done with all of our hearts – our best efforts. I often tell my children that all I want from them is their best effort (as demonstrated by their attitude – mama knows whether they are trying their best or not) and that their willingness to try is often more important than the outcome … perhaps our God feels the same?
“Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:4
Just as little children depend 100% on their parents for their care & livelihood, so must we depend on God. What a beautiful picture of our relationship with the Lord!
So, we can conclude that it is indeed good for us to do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with God. However, how amazing that while He shows us what is good and required, in the same breath He reassures us that He will not leave us to do it on our own. By definition, the requirements simply can not be done except through the Holy Spirit and the strength of Jesus!
“And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” 2 Corinthians 6:16
More Scriptures Relevant To Micah 6:8
12 And now, Israel, what doth the Lord thy God require of thee, but to fear the Lord thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul,
13 To keep the commandments of the Lord, and his statutes, which I command thee this day for thy good?
5 But take diligent heed to do the commandment and the law, which Moses the servant of the Lord charged you, to love the Lord your God, and to walk in all his ways, and to keep his commandments, and to cleave unto him, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul.