Text: Micah 6:1–8
Theme: The Lord’s “Do” and “Done”
Other Lessons: Psalm 15; 1 Corinthians 1:18–31; Matthew 5:1–12
A. In the Name of the Father…Amen.
B. The Old Testament lesson serves as our sermon text for this morning.
C. Grace, mercy, and peace be yours from God our heavenly Father through
our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
D. Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, let us pray:
LSB 788:1-3 Forgive Us, Lord, for Shallow Thankfulness
Forgive us, Lord, for shallow thankfulness,
For dull content with warmth and sheltered care,
For songs of praise for food and harvest press,
While of Your richer gifts we’re unaware:
Teach us to thank You, Lord, for love and grace,
For life and vision, for a purpose clear,
For Christ Your Son, and for each human face
That shows Your message ever new and near.
Forgive us, Lord, for selfish thanks and praise,
For words that speak at variance with deeds;
Forgive our thanks for walking pleasant ways
Unmindful of a broken brother’s needs:
A. In the classic comic strip Calvin and Hobbes, Calvin gives a card to his
mom for Mother’s Day.
1. The card reads as follows:
A. “I was going to buy you a card with hearts of pink and red, but then I
thought I’d rather spend the money on me instead.
B. It’s awfully hard to buy things when one’s allowance is so small, so I
guess you’re pretty lucky you got anything at all.
C. Happy Mother’s Day.
D. There, I said it.
E. Now I’m done.
F. So how about getting out of bed and making breakfast for your son?”
B. Oh, the conflict of the card’s message with the spirit of Mother’s Day!
1. Calvin’s calloused misunderstanding in our day and age is on full
display in his poem when he says, “There, I said it. Now I’m done.”
2. Calvin falsely believes that doing something for Mom on Mother’s Day is
an obligation, a duty he’s stuck with . . .
A. so the quicker this is over with,
B. the easier this can get done,
C. the cheaper the way it is to be done with the duty and move on to other
things, the better.
3. His heart certainly isn’t in it.
A. Just do it.
B. Get it over with.
C. He’s forgotten all about what Mom has done for him and missed entirely
the delight of thanking her.
C. This illustration may make us laugh, but this is often happens in our
relationship with the Lord and with each other.
D. This is a mistake Israel was making with the Lord, and one we also often
make with God.
1. Israel (as well as us) often ask God:
A. What have you done for me lately?
B. There is the wrong question!
C. Instead, Israel (along with us) should be asking:
1. What is it, Lord, that You want me to do for You today?
2. For God does command us to do for him.
3. We’re obligated.
4. But in our text for this morning, God through the prophet Micah reminds
us again what he has done for us.
5. That ought to give us a whole different perspective on why we are to do
6. We learn that even the Lord’s “Do” Is All about What the Lord Has “Done.”
I. We fall into Israel’s sin when we think what we do for the Lord is just
something we have to get done.
A. The Lord has an indictment against Israel (verses 1–3).
1. They have wearied him:
A. with scant measures,
B. wicked scales,
E. and idolatries like that of former kings Omri and Ahab
F. Micah 6:10-12, 16
(10) Are there still wicked treasures in the house of the wicked, along
with deceitful and abominable measuring standards?
(11) Will I tolerate those who maintain deceptive standards and who use
deceitful weights in their business?
(12) Her rich people are filled with violence, and her inhabitants tell
lies—their tongues speak deceitfully!
(16) You keep Omri’s statutes and observe the customs of the house of
Ahab. Because you live according to their advice, I’ll make you desolate
and turn your inhabitants into an object of scorn. Therefore you will bear
the shame of my people.”
2. They reluctantly offer God sacrifices (verses 6–7).
A. Verses 6-7
(6) How am I to present myself in the LORD’s presence and bow in the
presence of the High God? Should I present myself with burnt offerings,
with year-old calves?
(7) Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, or with endless
rivers of oil? Am I to give my firstborn to pay for my rebellion, the fruit
of my body in exchange for my soul?
B. They might even be willing to give him their firstborn, as the pagans
did to Baal.
1. Is that not what happens now in our day and age?
A. Abortion (a matter of choice)
B. Euthanasia (a matter of choice)
3. But these are all worthless to the Lord because Israel sees him as a God
who must be appeased, one who must be pacified in order to be happy with us.
B. We fall into the same sin:
1. When we treat the worship service as a box to be checked.
A. 10:30 in the morning on a Sunday?
1. I have to go to church!
A. “Having to be here” is the language that of duty, obligation.
B. “Wanting to be here” is the language of fulfilling a need in one’s life.
B. Church becomes more like that of a job.
1. Instead it should be a joy!
2. When we hang Christian décor in our house to appear pious.
A. A painting of Jesus knocking on the door.
B. A cross on your front door.
1. Are they just pieces of art or they something more?
A. We have a message that the people need to hear!
1. The message is easy to share as long as you don’t have to do anything.
2. The message is easy to share as long as someone else does the work.
3. The message is easy as long as it is someone else’s idea
B. The Israelites had a message to share as well.
1. But they refused to share it, thinking that it was theirs exclusively.
2. The message of God’s love was and is for all, whether Jew or Gentile!
C. Illustration: Unclear on the Concept
1. Brad and Brittney were sending their children to a Lutheran preschool.
A. Near the end of the year, they approached the pastor and asked him if he
would be willing to do their wedding.
B. He offered to visit them in their home to talk about God’s design for
their relationship, and the forgiveness and grace that is found in Christ.
2. When the pastor arrived at their home, he sat down at their dining room
A. Hanging on the wall above their table was a giant wall hanging that said:
B. “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. Joshua 24:15.”
C. When the pastor asked them if they had a Bible, they said no.
3. The pastor gently said:
A. “I see you have this sign above your table from the Bible.
B. And yet, you don’t have a Bible in your home, and you have three
children, and you’re not married.
C. What do you think God would rather have you do?
D. Have a Bible and get married and come to worship, or have a wall hanging
in your house with a Bible passage on it?”
E. The couple admitted that the wall hanging was at odds with their
F. Praise be to God that through gentle and patient instruction, they
repented, got married, took membership classes, and now are regular members
at the same congregation where they sent their children to preschool.
4. God doesn’t look for token gestures but for lives in accordance with
his will, as the prophet Micah says (Micah 6:8).
5. When we make demands of God, rather than humbly following him.
A. Give me faith, Lord, and I’ll always trust in You.
B. Give me strength, Lord, and I’ll always do what You ask.
C. Give me peace, Lord, and I’ll always follow You, regardless of the
II. The Lord certainly does indeed tell us that we must “do” for him.
A. Micah speaks as the voice of conscience to the Everyman: “[The Lord]
has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you?”
1. Yes, the Lord requires. We must “do” for him.
2. Mother’s Day, Lord’s Day, every day:
A. we must do what is good.
B. It is the right thing to do.
B. And what is the good we must do?
1. Not offerings that we invent and give grudgingly.
2. What does the text for today say?
A. “But to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your
God” (verse 8b).
3. All this never comes from checking boxes and doing just to get done or
to get by.
4. All this comes from a heart that loves.
A. Love for God
B. Love for one another
C. Justice, kindness, walking humbly with our God means sincerity of
worship and love for our neighbors.
1. Justice: standing up for someone who is being persecuted for the faith.
2. Kindness: Helping an elderly person take their groceries and put them in
3. Walking humbly with our God:
A. Reading and studying His Word at home and at church on a regular basis.
B. Spending time in prayer.
C. Worshiping the Lord, sing His praises, hear His Word, receive the
D. Doing all this not because “I have to” but because “I want to”.
III. But what the Lord commands us to do is a delight when we remember what
he has done for us.
A. Micah reminds of God’s acts of love and righteousness (verses 4–5):
1. Rescue from Egypt and slavery.
2. Giving faithful leaders:
3. Deliverance from Balak’s evil schemes.
B. These are all foreshadow what God has done for us and for the whole
world: sending Jesus.
1. Jesus came not to compel us to do what we’re required to do.
2. Jesus came to do, to get done for us:
A. the justice,
B. the loving kindness,
C. the humble walking with God,
D. the good we couldn’t do.
E. He did it by:
1. living and loving,
2. by suffering,
3. Why then articulate what God has done for us?
A. This is how God changes hearts.
B. The Law forces and compels us to do.
C. Righteousness and grace free us to do.
C. When you remember all what God has done for you:
1. You delight to do justice to his other children.
2. You love being kind to brothers and sisters in the faith—and to those
not yet of faith.
3. You love walking humbly with him!
A. Illustration: A Common Argument
1. You don’t always need to tell people what they’ve done wrong to make
them feel guilty.
2. Oftentimes their conscience will do the heavy lifting, especially if you
articulate all the good things you’ve done for them in the past.
B. This is a common argument between spouses:
1. A husband and a wife get into some war of words when suddenly one says
to the other:
2. “You know, this past week I’ve made breakfast every morning for the
3. I’ve made most of the dinners too.
4. I also went to parent-teacher conferences by myself.
5. I cleaned the kitchen after the kids went to bed.
6. I shoveled snow out of the driveway.
7. I folded all those clothes that were in the dryer.”
C. This articulation of good things is designed to make the other spouse
feel guilty for not being similarly good.
1. It’s an indictment against his or her inaction.
2. While this type of spousal argument has questionable motives, it is
similar to the unblemished words of God—like God through the prophet Micah
3. “O my people, what have I done to you? . . . O my people, remember . . .
the righteous acts of the Lord” (Micah 6:3, 5).
4. God is pointing to his own goodness and letting the conscience of this
people of Israel do the heavy lifting.
D. There! Jesus did it! It’s done! And so it’s done for you and me too.
1. Just as Calvin’s mom loved him not for the card,
2. just as God loved Israel not for the sacrifices of calves or oil,
3. God has done it and loved us not for anything we do, but so that we can
do with love and delight in what is good for him and for neighbor . . . and
that we can walk with him. Amen.
E. Let us pray:
LSB 788:4-6 Forgive Us, Lord, for Shallow Thankfulness
Teach us, O Lord, true thankfulness divine,
That gives as Christ gave, never counting cost,
That knows no barrier of “yours” and “mine,”
Assured that only what’s withheld is lost.
Forgive us, Lord, for feast that knows not fast,
For joy in things that meanwhile starve the soul,
For walls and wars that hide Your mercies vast
And blur our vision of the Kingdom goal:
Open our eyes to see Your love’s intent,
To know with minds and hearts its depth and height;
May thankfulness be days in service spent,
Reflection of Christ’s life and love and light.
Text: © 1965, renewed 1993 The Hymn Society, admin. Hope Publishing Co.
Used by permission: LSB Hymn License no. 110000247
F. The peace of God, which transcends all understanding, guard your hearts
and minds in Christ Jesus. Amen.
G. In the Name of the Father…Amen.