What God Wants

Photo by Martin Bodman

Daily Reformation, Micah 6:6-8

From the Reformer

The Prophet reproves the hypocrisy by which the Jews willfully deceived themselves, as though he said, “Ye indeed pretend some concern for religion when ye approach God in prayer; but this your religion is nothing; it is nothing else than shamelessly to dissemble; for ye sin not either through ignorance or misconception, but ye treat God with mockery.” How so? “Because the Law teaches you with sufficient clearness what God requires from you; does it not plainly enough show you what is true reconciliation? But ye close your eyes to the teaching of the Law, and in the meantime pretend ignorance. This is extremely childish. God has already proclaimed what is good, even to do judgment, to love kindness and to walk humbly with God.”

—John Calvin, Commentary on Jonah, Micah, Nahum

Pulling It Together

The song seemed odd to him. “What shall I give unto the Lord for all…he’s done for me? I’ll take the gift of salvation…” They often sang the song at church but it did not make sense until that evening. “What shall I give?” was the question and the answer was that he should take instead of give. It just did not make sense that he should take something as a way of giving an offering to God. Then it dawned on him: he had nothing to give God. What did God need from him? God had everything. He remembered reading in the Bible that God had the cattle on a thousand hills, so God really did not need one more sacrifice from him. God had everything. Or did he?

God did not have him. That is what God wanted: his life—not the life of a ram or an ox. God wanted him. The only thing he had of value to offer to God was his own life and the only way to offer it was to be God’s friend. God wanted to walk with him as he had once walked with Adam in the garden. Yes, there are good and just things he should perform but ultimately God wanted him to “take the gift of salvation” and walk humbly with him through life.

© Mark E. Ryman, Daily Reformation: Devotions with the Reformers

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