SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSONS
Commentary by Walter Albritton
July 1, 2007
Living by Scriptural Standards Helps us Do the Right Thing
Micah 2:1-4; 3:1-5, 8-12; 6:6-8
Key Verse: He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? – Micah 6:8
Godly men are not hard to find. They are the men who consistently do the right thing. They treat people fairly. They refuse to lie or cheat to make a profit in business. Godly men try to live by biblical standards because they believe that is how God wants them to live. Godly men do the right thing because they are children of God and doing the right thing “runs in the family.”
In my first pastorate I recognized godly men who inspired me by doing the right thing. Frank Hugh Pierce was such a man. He ran a body shop and raised a family on a modest income. Though he could have used the money, he refused to pad a car repair bill and split the padding with a customer, thus gouging the insurance company. His example taught me that Christ can give a person the moral courage to do the right thing when tempted to do otherwise.
The highest standard by which we may measure our lives is the example of our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus is God’s eternal “Plumb Line.” If our conduct is not “in line” with the character of Jesus, then we are “out of plumb” with the will of God. And Jesus makes it clear that the people who are going to heaven are those who are doing the will of God.
God’s standards of righteousness are found throughout the Bible. They are especially underscored by the prophets of the Old Testament, one of whom is our good friend Micah. It was Micah who penned one of the finest and most famous sentences in all literature – our key verse printed above – Micah 6:8.
Micah summed up brilliantly what God expects of his children – to practice or embrace three great qualities: justice, kindness, and humility. The prophet warned God’s people then, as he warns us today, that God is not impressed with our “offerings” if at the same time we are mistreating people and proudly “strutting our stuff” in God’s face.
The prophet reminds the people what God “requires,” not what he requests. Fairness, mercy, and humility are not suggested by God; they are expected. The consequences of failing to measure up to God’s expectations are severe, according to Micah. Refuse to do what is right and God will not answer you when you cry out to him. He will even “hide his face from them at that time, because they have acted wickedly.”
Micah understood that
As individual Christians we can strengthen our moral fiber by becoming accountable to one another in small sharing/Bible study groups. Being accountable to a few fellow believers can help us to find the backbone to do the right thing. In small groups we can share our hearts and, because Christ is “in our midst,” we can be inspired to know and to do the right thing.
Over the years I have found great strength in meeting with a few other men who helped me stay on the straight and narrow path. My heart fills up with gratitude when I recall the names of godly men God gave me along the way who walked with me, prayed with me, and shared with me as together we tried to please God by doing the Christlike thing. I would not want to live another day without the continuing counsel of godly men – and women.
If we are wise, and willing, we can find ways to help each other find the grace to stop doing the wrong thing and grow stronger in doing the right thing. In so doing we will find inner peace. We will sleep better at night when we have given up having our own way and made it our heart’s desire to please God. And the only way to please God is to embrace biblical standards for living and do our best to follow the example of Jesus.
No, not if we remember that “nothing is impossible with God”! (Contact