He has told you, O man, what is good;Micah 6:8
And what does the Lord require of you
But to do justice, to love kindness,
And to walk humbly with your God?
Thankfully, there’s more to Micah’s admonition in 6:8 than “do justice.” If not, there’d be no hugs after the administration of corporal punishment, if that’s even applied anymore. No reassurance. No discretion. No warning tickets. No pardons. Only blind enforcement.
Behind Micah’s word “love” in 6:8 and preceding “love” in 7:18 and 7:20 is “unchanging.” It’s one of the few Hebrew words I know, hesed, meaning loyal. It’s often translated “lovingkindness.” You can see the balance that “love kindness” brings to “do justice” below.
Who is a God like You, who pardons iniquity and passes over the rebellious act of the remnant of His possession? He does not retain His anger forever, because He delights in unchanging love.Micah 7:18
We’re to do justice as God does justice, always with the goal to bring about righteousness and restoration. Without lovingkindness there’d be no remorse and no repentance. You won’t turn to God because you got caught, but because of his fierce and loyal love for you in your conviction, because there’s an embrace at the end of the road not a curse.
We’re all prodigals!
Now return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, abounding in lovingkindness, and relenting of evil.Joel 2:13
Our God demands justice but hears us on appeal.