Course Correction

Micah 6:6–8 “With what shall I come to the Lord and bow myself before the God on high? 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? Shall I present my firstborn for my rebellious acts, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? 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?”

Observation: These verses begin with the desperate cry of sinful Israel. God had brought an indictment against them as in a court of law. He had already declared their awful penalty, and in desperation they cried out hoping to appease Him with burnt offerings, yearling calves, thousands of rams, ten thousand rivers of oil, and even suggesting human sacrifice, offering up their own firstborn children.

Application: How like me! I am gripped by the fact that these pitiable people were proposing to placate God with the very fruit of their hedonistic, sinful behaviors that had so angered Him in the first place. Like me so often, they had kept God well positioned on the back burners of their lives while the hottest fires of their hearts burned to pursue things of this world.

Apparently they had done very well for themselves, having accumulated rivers of precious oils and countless herds. So from the fruit of their sin they hoped to win God’s favor. Then comes Micah 6:8, where God reminds them that all He ever wanted was their hearts.

I become guilt-laden over some shortcoming in my life and decide to throw extra money into the offering. Or I solemnly promise myself (and Him) that I will improve my behavior; next time I’ll eat more wisely or turn away from the pornography or better cork my anger. But all of that misses God’s mark. He is interested in my heart’s being His, for He wisely knows that all else will follow. The fruit of my life will be consistently good once He has fully captured my heart.

Prayer: Father God, forgive me for trying to win Your approval by some sort of man-conceived payoff. Draw me close to You, Lord, that my heart would be changed. Infuse me with the fragrance of Christ, that I might be pleasing to You forever.

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