The Micah Mandate

Posted: October 10, 2013 by revivalbiblestudy315 in Abortion, Bible Study
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The Micah Mandate
by Rusty Lee Thomas

“He hath showed 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” (Micah 6:8).

This particular passage of Scripture was chosen for the life verse of my sixth child, Micah Samuel Thomas. He is one of thirteen children God has blessed us to raise. He is named after the prophet who under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost penned these powerful admonishments. Micah 6:8 contains the great Biblical principles and the triad virtues that are summed up in the law, the prophets, and most importantly, in the life of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

It is clear in the Gospels that the King of kings and the Lord of lords was on mission to establish the Micah Mandate in the New Testament. Jesus boldly confronted the religious leaders of His day for neglecting the “Micah Mandate” that transcends dispensations. He denounced their religiosity for rendering useless the virtues of justice, mercy, faith, and humility which the mandate requires. He cried out, “Woe unto you, scribes, Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye pay tithe of mint and anise, and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone” (Matthew 23:23).

There have been times when I wondered what Jesus would say to the modern church concerning these very issues. Have we pursued money, reputation, and comfort at the expense of justice, mercy, and humility? Do we by our silence, neglect, and abandonment of the culture strengthen the oppressors in our society? Do the poor, the needy, the afflicted, and those being led to slaughter take a secondary role as a priority in the Church? Has the pursuit of theological escapism, cultural retreatism, and feel good religion within the church help to contribute to the demise of America? In our pursuit of being relevant to our crooked and perverse nation, are we increasingly become irrelevant? Has the church lost its saltiness and thus dimmed the light of Christ in the world? Are we violating and rendering useless the “Micah Mandate” like our religious predecessors? I believe it is vital we answer these questions honestly and make the necessary adjustments to fulfill what was to foreshadow the New Testament, the “Micah Mandate.”

The term “Micah Mandate” was a phrase coined by President Theodore Roosevelt. In 1917, when American troops were preparing to sail across the seas to fight in World War One, the New York Bible Society asked the former president to inscribe a message. It was to be located in the pocket of the New Testament and issued to each soldier. He graciously complied. He started his text by quoting Micah 6:8. This passage facilitated the theme he wanted to impart to those who were about to risk their lives on the battlefields of France and Belgium. The following is the brief message he encouraged the soldiers with as they went off to war:

The teaching of the New Testament is foreshadowed in Micah’s verse, “What doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justice, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God.” To do justice; and therefore fight valiantly against those who stand for the reign of Moloch (The demon idol associated with child-sacrifice) and Beelzebub on this earth. Love mercy; treat your enemies well, suffer the afflicted, treat every woman as though she were your sister, care for the little children, rescue the perishing, and be tender with the old and helpless.

Walk humbly; you will do so if you study the life and teaching of the Savior, walking in His steps, and remember, the most perfect machinery of government will not keep us as a nation if there is not within us a soul, no abounding of material prosperity shall avail us if our spiritual sense is atrophied. The foes of our own household will surely prevail against us unless there be in our people an inner life which finds its outward expression in a morality like unto that preached by the seers and the prophets of God when the grandeur that was Greece and the glory that was Rome still lay in the future.

George Grant, who authored a book called The Micah Mandate, explains Roosevelt’s reasoning for choosing Micah 6:8 to encourage the troops going into battle:

Roosevelt believed that the ultimate security of men and nations depended on a faithful adherence to Micah’s threefold demonstration of biblical balance: a commitment to justice, a concern for mercy, and a reverent humility before Almighty God. He was certain that even with the deployment of superior forces in superior numbers with superior armaments, the American armies would ultimately be defeated during the war if they took to the field without this kind of spiritual integrity. He was also convinced that if we as individuals and families took only our limited material resources into our daily warfare, we too will be defeated and destroyed.

When one observes the condition of America today, it is clear we have rejected these admonishments. The only question that remains is has Roosevelt’s warning of dire consequences come to pass? If so, perhaps it is time to recapture the balance, virtue, and activism of true religion contained in the “Micah Mandate.”

First, we must act justly. The word for justly that Micah utilizes means, “The way prescribed, the rightful action, or the appropriate mode of life.” To build upon this definition, justice includes the righting of wrongs, correcting error, relieving the oppressed, conquering evil, defeating tyranny, overthrowing falsehoods, and plundering darkness to set the captive free. The heavenly agent to exemplify and manifest this in the earth is none other than our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Though God is love, He is also a God of Justice (1 John 4:8). In fact, “Righteousness and Justice are the foundation of thy throne: mercy and truth shall go before thy face” (Psalms 89:14). One of the main reason why Christ came to earth was to lead justice to victory (Matthew 12:20). “He will not fail nor be discouraged, till He has established justice in the earth; and the coastlands shall wait for His law” (Isaiah 42:4).

It displeases the Lord when “No one calls for justice, nor does any plead for truth” (Isaiah 59:4, 15). As a result of turning a blind eye and a deaf ear to injustice, “Justice is turned back, and righteousness stands afar off; for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter. So truth fails, and he who departs from evil makes himself a prey” (Isaiah 59:14, 15). This is an apt picture of America today.

Those who play by the rules get penalized, while those who break the law get promoted. Those who work hard get plundered, while those who are lazy are rewarded. Abortionists, who murder, are protected, while innocent babies are led to slaughter. Homosexual perversion is glorified, while marriage is being destroyed. Christianity is mocked, impugned, and slandered with impunity, while Islam enjoys most favored religious status.

God’s concern for justice is so great that He warned in Amos 5:21-24:

I hate, I despise your feast days, and I will not smell in your solemn assemblies. Though ye offer me burnt offerings and your meat offerings, I will not accept them: neither will I regard the peace offerings of your fat beasts. Take thou away from me the noise of thy songs; for I will not hear the melody of thy viols. But let justice run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream.

The equivalent of this rebuke in our day would be God visiting a national praise and worship symposium and telling the worship leaders to “stop playing your instruments. I do not accept your songs of worship. Rise up and intervene to bring justice to bear against the injustices that grieve and anger me.”

Love Mercy

According to the Micah Mandate, the second claim of God upon man is to love mercy. Once justice has been established, the love of mercy should follow in its wake. As way of illustration, picture a court trial. A thug is charged with a heinous crime. He is lawyered up and talking smack. His pride and arrogance, which glories in his shame continues until he is found guilty. It is at the sentencing the criminal’s pride is shattered when the weight of his guilt and the awful penalty is pronounced. The criminal experiencing this kind of swift justice typically leads him to a cry for mercy. The Apostle James teaches us, “For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment” (James 2:13).

Mercy does indeed triumph over judgment, but mercy cannot be experienced apart from judgment. The truth is, if we attempt to establish mercy before justice, God’s judgment will surely follow. If God’s justice leads, mercy will follow. This is part of the great error of the American church today. We have forgotten the order of the Micah Mandate. The church is busy passing out God’s goodies of forgiveness, mercy, and grace to a people who do not comprehend their depravity, rebellion, or foolishness before a holy and just God. Proverbs 28:13 affirms the preconditions for receiving God’s mercy, “He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.”

The Micah Mandate teaches us to love mercy. This is especially important for those of us who have been on the front lines in the cultural battles for the soul of our nation. Subtly our hearts can become jaded and our consciences calloused as injustice runs rampant? If we are not careful, a root of bitterness may spring up in our souls that ends up defiling the work of God instead of promoting it (Hebrews 12:15). I know so many who started out well to fulfill the “Micah Mandate” whose lives are shipwrecked today because they forgot mercy. The Bible is clear, however, only the merciful can obtain mercy (Matthew 5:7). We must remember from whence we came and temper our pursuit of justice with the love of mercy.

Mercy in Action

George Grant provides an excellent example of mercy as it relates to true godly leadership in our culture. “Leadership in society is earned-it is earned by faithful, compassionate, merciful service. No theology or political activism can adequately replace the principles and actions of mercy.” This truth is based upon a Kingdom principle. Jesus stated, “And whosoever will be chief (the leader) among you, let him be your servant (Matthew 20:27).”

Serving is the ministry of exercising mercy and a key to sound leadership. It is not a coincidence that even in civil government the foremost leader is known as the Prime Minister. The problem is mercy seems to have become a casualty today. Selfishness in our culture combined with Marxism in our government has depleted the reservoirs of mercy. Marxists always seek to curtail any competition in their schemes to establish their ideology. They know to control people, you must become the source to sustain their lives. Historically, whenever Communists rise to power, one of the first things they do is make it impossible for Christian charities to function properly. Why is that? They know instinctively that he who serves leads. Communists do not want the church through merciful service to lead people to the true and living God, this would devastate their god of statism. This reveals why Communists desire people to become addicted the government dole. This guarantees most people will bow and kiss the image of their man-made beast. Obama with his Messianic impulse manifests this quandary in our day.

Obviously, government as savior programs have failed. They have afflicted untold damage upon the very ones they claim to serve. The point is, however, statists have gained positions of leadership by making a pretense of mercy at tax payer’s expense. This so-called leadership has brought America to the brink of moral anarchy and social collapse. In light of these predicaments, it behooves the church to regain our Christian legacy of mercy high jacked by the statists. It was the church not the state that founded hospitals, orphanages, soup kitchens, and relief agencies that promoted mercy in action. With God’s help, the church can through merciful actions regain our leadership role in society. Prayerfully, it will lead our nation out of the darkness of statist policies and back to the marvelous light of God’s word, will, and ways.

Walk Humbly with Thy God

Humility and meekness should never be confused with weakness. They are not the same. For instance, a wild horse that is tamed to ride does not lose its strength. His power is merely controlled by another. So it is with our relationship with God. A sign that we are truly humble before God is a recognition of His authority to govern our lives. Because he is the true and living God, we could never resist or refute Him. Only a prideful man would dare to do so.

1 Peter 5:6 states, “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time.” America’s pride in our abominations have brought our nation low. Our enemies are being exalted over us as we are being dispossessed from our own land (Deuteronomy 28:43, 44). How long will we stiffen our necks and refuse to humble ourselves before the offended Power? Only the Lord has the mighty hand we need to exalt our nation once again.

As George Grant so aptly put it, ‘Worship of Him, fellowship with Him, service to Him, and communion with Him must be the center of any and all other activities.” The sublime truth is this, any hope of America being restored must necessarily be rooted in humble and holy fear of our gracious Heavenly Father. Biblical faith derives its source in the humble fear of the Living God. That is its essence and from it springs the tree of life and the leaves that brings healing to the nations of the earth (Revelations 22:2).


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