Bible Review 11:1, February 1995

What Does God Require of Us?

What God demands is not fantastic but profoundly simple, indeed within anyone’s reach.

By Bernhard W. Anderson

Bible Review

When sending out Air Force bombers, a former president used to say they were going out “to do the Lord’s work.” Religious people are often too sure that they know God’s will in a specific situation. This happens with people on both sides of the aisle, so to speak. So-called liberals too easily identify the will of God with our own cultural values or national policy. And so-called fundamentalists are sometimes too sure of what the will of God is as they appeal to a literally inspired Bible, and are too confident that their understanding of God’s will should be translated into political policy. Such certainty recently prompted a former Christian minister to commit murder at an abortion clinic, arguing that it was a case of murder to prevent murder.

But just what does God require of us? A favorite quotation from the Bible, found in the book of the prophet Micah, addresses this issue of ethics:

“What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”

(Micah 6:8, New Revised Standard Version)

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