Humbly Before Our God
"He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God” --Micah 6:8
A verse related to our walk with God and sheds light on our need to walk humbly before God is Deuteronomy 10: 12-13: "And now, O Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in His ways…” One of the marks of walking humbly with the Lord is to fear God. This is confirmed by Proverbs 22:4 which says, “By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches and honor and life.” Reading this verse on the surface may not be apparent to you what is truly being conveyed here. However, if we look into the Hebrew syntax, it is clear that “humility” and “fear God” are in apposition to each other. In other words, you can say that humility equals fearing God or humility leads to the fear of God. What is to fear God? Some say to fear God is simply to revere to Him. That is not entirely incorrect, but that is interpreting and not taking the meaning that is starring right in our faces, that is, to fear God is to fear/be afraid of Him. Whenever we do not humble ourselves before another person, it is partly because we are seeking to exalt ourselves above that person. Yet if we are fearful of the person who stands in our presence constantly, we dare not exalts ourselves but will rather be humbled before him. It is indeed very sobering and humbling to consider that we are invited to walk with the Living God. He is eternal, immortal, invisible, the Creator and Sovereign Lord over all, majestic in holiness and awesome in glory, all-knowing and all-powerful, the Giver and Sustainer of life; at the same time, He is also “a consuming fire” (Heb 12:29) and the Judge to whom we must give account (1 Cor 3:13, 2 Cor 5:10). When we fear a person, it is automatically accompanies an attitude of humility towards that person. In the following verses, we can see both a sense of fear and humility that goes hand in hand: The prophet Isaiah was greatly humbled when he "saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted" and cried out in fear, "Woe to me! I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty” (Isa 6:1-5). Job, overwhelmed by the presence and power of the Lord, declared, "My ears had heard of You but now my eyes have seen You. Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes” (Job 42:6). Simon Peter, when he first encountered the power of the Lord, was humbled with fear, fell on his knees and said, "Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” (Luke 5:8). And when the Apostle John saw the exalted Lord, he fell at His feet as though dead out of fear and humility (Rev 1:12-17).
A humble walk in fear of the Lord is also marked by obedience to Him and His Word. Psalms 119:63 shows that to fear the Lord and keeping His Word, which is essentially walking in obedience to His Word, goes hand in hand: “I am a companion of all who fear You, and of those who keep Your precepts (His Word).” "Seek the Lord, all you humble of the land, you who do what He commands…” (Zeph 2:3); "…walk in My ways and do what is right in My eyes by keeping My statutes and commands…” (1 Kings 11:38). Those who walk humbly with the Lord are careful to live in accordance with the Lord’s Word. Noah, for example, is recorded as a man who "walked with God” and who "did everything just as God had commanded him” (Gen. 6:9,22). Psalms 119:2-3 shows our keeping His Word, which can be paraphrased to obedience to His Word, is in dispensable to our walk with the Lord in His ways: “Blessed are those who keep His testimonies (His Word)... They walk in His ways.”
Obedience is vital to our walk with the Lord and is more important than sacrifice. The prophet Samuel asks, in words that closely parallel Micah 6:6-8, "Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams” (1 Sam 15:22). However, the Lord is not so much interested in a cold-hearted obedience or an obedience that is birthed solely out of the fear of Him. Instead, He desires obedience that is motivated by love and appreciation for Him. Therefore, the most important aspect of our walk with Him is our love relationship with Him. Consider again Deuteronomy 10:12-13: "And now, O Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in His ways, to love Him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to observe the Lord’s commands and decrees….” Notice that in the midst of reverence and obedience are love, heart and soul. Also, in Psalms 119:2 quoted above reveals that love for the Lord and keeping the Lord's Word are inseparable, “Blessed are those who keep His testimonies (His Word), Who seek Him with the whole heart!” The Lord Jesus Himself puts it quite plainly in John 14:15 that if we love Him, we will keep His Words or be obedient to His commands. The Lord deeply desires that we love Him with our whole being—with all of our heart, soul and strength (Deut 6:5).
This love is to spring, in part, from our appreciation for what He has done for us. In Micah 6:4, the Lord reminded the Israelites that He brought them up out of Egypt and redeemed them from the land of slavery. His intervention on our behalf is much greater as He has redeemed us from the bondage of sin. This redemption clearly demonstrates His love for us: "This is how God showed His love among us: He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins” (1 Jn 4:9-10). His love became the source of our love: "We love because He first loved us” (1 Jn 4:19). In other words, the Lord desires that we have a very personal relationship with Him. As Micah 6:8 states, we are to walk humbly with our God. He wants us to walk in close fellowship with Him and He promises to draw near to those who draw near to Him (Jam 4:8). He wants us to know Him and to place our faith and our hope in Him.
Although we are to live in fear of the Lord, we also can rejoice in Him because we know that He is full of compassion and is willing and ready to forgive, save, regenerate, deliver, cleanse, transform, resurrect and re-create. We can marvel along with the prophet Micah: "Who is a God like You, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of His inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy” (Mic 7:18). We can rejoice in the Lord’s love toward us, for "it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast” (Eph 2:8-9). Our boasting is reserved for the Lord alone.
Our walking humbly
before the Lord also calls for our spontaneous service to Him.
Let us revisit Deuteronomy 10:12-13: "And now, O Israel, what
does the Lord your God ask of you but…to walk in His ways…to
serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul….”
Heartfelt service unto the Lord is an integral part of walking humbly
with the Lord. Of course, one of the primary ways we serve the Lord
is by serving others (Matt. 25:40). In other words, to "act
justly and to love mercy” -- our service to others –
go hand in hand with "to walk humbly with your God.” On
the one hand, our love and fear of the Lord lead us to express love
and compassion toward others, and on the other hand, the love and
compassion we show to others is a practical expression of our love to
In short, we see that at the heart of the Lord’s message in Micah 6:1-8 is His desire that we give Him our hearts, our soul, our strength, our love, our devotion, our obedience, our faith and our service. He longs for you seek Him wholeheartedly and to walk humbly in close fellowship with Him. He is still calling us this day that we forsake sin, the world, and self in order to draw nearer to Him. "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you...” (Jam 4:8).