Open Bible:
October 2002 

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The Lord has shown you what is good




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The Lord has shown you what is good

"The Lord hath a controversy with his people, and he will plead with Israel: "O my people, what I have done unto thee? And wherein have I wearied thee? Testify against me. For I brought thee up out of the house of Egypt and redeemed thee out of the house of servants; and I sent before thee Moses, Aaron and Miriam.
Wherewith shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before the high God? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old? Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?
He hath showed thee, O man, what is good, and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God " Micah, 6, 2-8.

These words from the prophet, that are eight centuries old, are amazingly modern.

En quoi t'ai-je fatigué  God speaks to his people like to a loved one ; his criticisms are made in an ironic tone.: " And wherein have I wearied you? " Is the liberty I gave you so painful? Are the demands of the Alliance such a burden?  

God does not like to see us tired, bored, without energy. His Son tells us: " Take my yoke, yes my yoke is easy and my burden light ". The key word of his message is " Happiness ! "

We have too often the tendency to imagine God like a pagan deity : a supreme being contemplating franticly one's navel, asking from his subjects, demanding actions, services rendered from slaves, flattering comments… Jesus Christ's God does not propose a life where virtue is linked to boredom and pain. He is interested in our happiness : " Go! " says He to Abraham ; it is your interest to stand up and search the road where your life will reach fulfilment.

And to make sure that this search is not too wearysome or tedious, God has given us markers, guides and pionneers of spiritual life: "Moses, Aaron and Miriam''.  Dieu donne les repères

Micah has spoken justly of guides in the plural form, because each one is known to have his limits ; yes guides, men and women alike on the same level. Here is a new way of looking at the events which have been narrated in the Exodus: an unexpected touch of feminism!

Micah has brought us back to what is the most important: religion is not just a question of rites and practices in sacred times and places. " Wherewith shall I come before the Lord? " God has no use for offerings and sacrifices that do not reflect the dispositions of a loving heart. The important thing is: " Do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with your God ".

Miséricordieux  Three human behaviors that should not be dissociated from one another. How can one practice justice without having mercy? Would that conduct not bring us to be harsh for the weeknesses of others ? As for God, he is " Merciful ". 

Let us stand up, go on walking, like modest pilgrims supported by a God who himself is on the move, and who knows how fast we can follow without becoming tired. This is an excellent way of changing our image of a God standing as a judge, counting our performances and our weaknesses!

But this God of mercy is one image we tend to forget rapidly!