Connections 10.25.2020: The Lord’s Requirements

Leviticus 19:1-2, 15-18

Whenever I think about the Lord’s requirements, Micah 6:8 comes to mind: “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?”

This poetic and quotable verse makes obeying God seem palatable and even pleasant. We probably think we’re already fulfilling these requirements. After all, we want justice. We desire to show kindness. We long to be humble before God. And most of the time, we may feel like we’re doing these things just fine.

But in biblical law books like Leviticus, God’s requirements are fleshed out in challenging and even intimidating ways. What exactly does it mean to do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with God? Well, doing justice means being fair and impartial in a situation no matter who is involved (Lev 19:15). Loving kindness means being careful with what we say about other people and not taking advantage of them (v. 16). Having godly humility means loving others, holding them accountable, and also forgiving them (vv. 17-18). These are some of the ways we can strive to be holy as God is holy (v. 2)—and they are not easy to do.

Think about the laws in the United States in America. How are some of them biased toward particular people groups and prejudiced against others? Bring it down to a personal level and think about your own interactions with other people. How might you operate with subconscious biases toward particular individuals and prejudices against others? What needs to change in our country and in our lives?

Upholding the Lord’s requirements is a demanding way of life. Considering who God is and all that God has done for us, should we expect any less?

Discussion

  • How would you summarize the Lord’s requirements?
  • How well do you think you and your faith community are upholding these requirements? What could you do differently or better?
  • What makes it most difficult for you as a believer to fulfill God’s requirements for you? For your faith community?
  • What are specific steps you and your faith community can take to better uphold the Lord’s requirements?

Kelley Land, a graduate of Mercer University, has been an assistant editor of Smyth & Helwys curriculum and books since 2001. In addition to this work, she is a freelance editor for other publishers and authors. She also regularly volunteers for Jay’s HOPE, a nonprofit serving families of children with cancer. Kelley enjoys spending time with her teenage daughters, Samantha and Natalie, and her husband John. Occasionally, she appears onstage in community theater productions and can sometimes be found playing board games with a group of rowdy friends. She loves Marvel movies, Harry Potter, and Doctor Who, and she’s still trying to write a young adult novel that her girls will enjoy.

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