How astonished would we be if, during our Sunday morning worship service, a Court Process Server delivered a court summons to our church, along with other local churches, informing us that we were being sued? How much more astonished would we be when we were notified that the plaintiff in the case was none other than Almighty God? As shocking as this may sound, this is exactly the scenario that the nation of Israel faced in the sixth chapter of Micah. Micah informs Israel that God has a grievance against them, and condemns the leaders of His people for injustices perpetuated against the poor and powerless. Micah advises Israel that God is not pleased as they turn a blind eye to the abuse of power inflicted by both political and religious leaders. According to Micah, God is not only outraged by their treatment of the poor and marginalized, God is not impressed or satisfied with their feigned attempts of worship.
The realization of having to defend the indefensible in a court case against God would be overwhelming had Micah not approached the bench with the offer of a plea bargain. Micah says to the nation of Israel, in spite of your treatment of the poor and powerless, and your insincere acts of worship, there is something that God does require of God’s people. God requires us to “act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God.” I believe that meeting these requirements are a way to speak God’s love language.
In his 1995 book, The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate, Gary Chapman outlines five ways individuals express and experience love and argues that it is vital that we discover our spouse’s love language. Chapman identified these “love languages” as gift giving, quality time, words of affirmation, acts of service (devotion), and physical touch. Chapman claims that every person has a primary and a secondary love language and believes that people tend to naturally give love in the way they prefer to receive love, and marriages could be strengthened if we learned to love our mates in their primary love language.
I believe that God has a love language and that Micah helps us understand it in verse 8 of chapter six. The nation of Israel was trying to express their love for God by coming before him with burnt offerings, thousands of rams, ten thousand rivers of olive oil, even their firstborn, but were they really speaking God’s love language? Micah says the God required the nation of Israel, and I believe God requires us, to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God. When we act with a just heart, I believe we are speaking God’s love language. When we love mercy (not just show mercy, or give mercy, but LOVE mercy), I believe we are speaking God’s love language. When and walk humbly with a God, who modeled humility by taking the form of a slave, and being born in human likeness, and found in human form, humbled himself to point of death on the cross, I believe we are speaking God’s love language.
Is God impressed that we make it to church every Sunday morning if we are not acting justly? Is God impressed that we attend bible study or small groups if we don’t love mercy? Is God impressed with what we put in the offering plate or how loud we sing our hymns and anthems, if we’re not walking humbly with God? God is impressed with what is going on in our hearts. God is impressed with how respond to our fellow human beings. God is impressed with not only how we love Him, but how we love our neighbors, whoever they may be. I challenge you to start speaking God’s love language.
“Act Justly, Love Mercy, Walk Humbly With You God!”