One of the greatest illustrations of God’s faithfulness is the land of Israel. God has been faithful to His people, the Jews. He chose Abraham and his descendants to be His plan to bring about the salvation of the whole world.
Throughout Israel’s history, we read in the Old Testament (Hebrew Scriptures) how unfaithful His people were, and yet God remained faithful to His promises to them. Israel survived their unfaithfulness to God … only because God remained faithful to them. Today, Israel is our example of how faithful God is to His promises, and in the same way, God will remain faithful to fulfill His promises to us in Jesus Christ.
There is an example of God’s people living apart from the promises and laws of God in Micah Chapter 6. God makes the case that it is because of their unfaithfulness, not His, that is their real problem. God even says, “What have I done that you have become tired of Me?” He goes on to say, “I have done everything to show you that I have been faithful to you and yet you still go your own way, apart from Me.”
The common response from the people always came in the form of doing more for God … more sacrifices, more outward honor … to show that they were serious about their commitment to God. They even offered to sacrifice their children to Him! This has always been the response of humans to God … we will do more, be more faithful to our religious duty, and be more faithful to doing good deeds. Yet, all God says to this is, “I want character, changed lives, to do what is right, to show mercy, and walk humbly with your God.”
God’s requirement has always been changed lives … to give up what we think is right and good and exchange it for what God thinks is right and good. Our motives should always be examined so they don’t violate the relationship we have with God. He knows why we do and say the things we do, but we often hold back enough of ourselves that can and will change our motives.
God’s people changed their motives when they maintained the outward motions of religion, but in reality, they were dishonest and living out lies. God wanted Godly character but instead got dishonesty and lies. His people were dishonest in business when they would cheat people and get rich. The people got so used to hearing and telling lies, that they could no longer hear the truth. When people get stuck into such a rut, the only remedy it seems is an act of judgment. God told His people in this passage in Micah that destruction was coming and it would bring with it a cleansing once again of God’s reality and standards. It is a sobering event to fall into the judgment of God. God says that when His people plant their crops they will not harvest because the crops will not produce. Their lives will come to ruin because of their sins, and nothing will be enough to bring satisfaction.
Judgment is always a reality check, it brings into focus the truth that how we live will be corrected by God, and that we do not have the last say in anything. The key to avoiding the reality check of God’s judgment is to remain faithful to Him:
Micah 6:8 No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.
God’s nature is to be faithful to what He says and what He has promised. That is why the Word of God is so important to read because God is faithful to every word, every commandment, and every promise He has made to us. It is His faithfulness that reassures us of His promise to redeem us in Jesus Christ, and give us a life with Him that will last forever.
I thank God He is a faithful God.
Challenging the Culture with Truth … Larry Kutzler