What Does God Require?

About a century before Judah would go into Babylonian captivity for their repeated idolatry and unfaithfulness to God, the prophet Micah asked, “With what shall I come to the LORD And bow myself before the God on high?” (Mic. 6:6).

While Micah lived, the temple in Jerusalem was fully functioning, and two of the three kings in his lifetime (Jotham and Hezekiah) were faithful men who made sure the priests carried out all the appointed sacrifices. But the key to approaching God was not found such offerings. “Shall I come to Him with burnt offerings, With yearling calves? Does the LORD take delight in thousands of rams, In ten thousand rivers of oil?” (6:6).

The real requirement was something God had said before, “He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God?” (6:6,7). The prophet was reminded of the words of Moses in Deuteronomy, “Now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require from you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and love Him, and to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the LORD'S commandments and His statutes which I am commanding you today for your good?” (Deut. 10:12,13). Such service is always for our good, and when has God ever asked for anything else?