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What a wonderful verse.  To get the sense of the context, let’s read Micah 6:6-8, “Wherewith shall I come before the LORD, and bow myself before the high God? shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old?  Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?  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?”

As had happened often in Israel’s history, the people had turned away from the Lord.  Even in their turning away from Him, the Lord had acted in grace towards His people.  In this chapter, the Lord decides to have a hearing against these ungrateful people.  We read in Micah 6:2, “Hear ye, O mountains, the LORD’S controversy, and ye strong foundations of the earth: for the LORD hath a controversy with his people, and he will plead with Israel.”  The Lord then reviews his acts of grace and mercy before His people.  In Micah 6:6-7, we find the people responding, “Wherewith shall I come before the LORD, and bow myself before the high God? shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old?  Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?”  In other words, they were asking just what they needed to do to reconcile to the Lord; what does the Lord require of them in order for them to approach him?  Does the Lord want burnt offerings?  Does He want great and many sacrifices?  Would he be appeased by the offering of the firstborn child?  Whether these questions were asked out of genuine hearts, or hearts that were hypocritical, the Lord’s answer to them was so important to them and to us today.

Micah 6:8 says, “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?”  What does the Lord want?  He wants the heart!  He requires that men act rightly towards themselves and others; that they would love to show mercy to others and appreciate the mercy that has been shown to them; and, most importantly, that they would humble themselves and walk with Him.  Listen to the words of the prophet Samuel in 1 Samuel 15:22, “And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.”

In Psalm 51, we have the confessional prayer of King David.  David confesses in Psalms 51:3-4, “For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.”  David completely vindicates the Lord and acknowledges the rightness of the Lord’s judgment upon him for his sins.  I encourage you to read this entire chapter.  David’s desire was to be restored to the Lord.  He was willing to do what the Lord required of him.  He says in Psalms 51:15-17, “O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise. For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering.  The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.”  David realized that the sacrifice of animals would not appease the Lord.  He says that if the Lord wanted sacrifice, he would gladly do that.  The Lord wants the heart!  A broken spirit and a broken and contrite heart are pleasing to the Lord.  That shows true repentance and a desire to please the Lord.

My dear fellow believer, what does the Lord desire from you?  He wants your heart!  When we give him our heart completely, everything else will fall into place as it should.  As we are told in Mark 12:30, “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength.”  (115.5)