Micah and Reducing God’s Law from 10 to 3

By: Alan Harvey

Posted: July 18, 2017

Category: Daily Devotional

”He has told you. O mortal, what is good and what the Lord requires of you but to do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8

It has been said that Micah condensed or reduced God’s Law from Ten Commandments to three. I readily admit that I have long liked this text and a contemporary choral setting of Micah 6:8. It is presented in question and answer form: “What does the Lord require of you? To do justice, and love kindness and walk humbly with Your God.” Later, Jesus reduced the Ten Commandments to two, namely, “To love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind and to love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:37-39)

Micah was called by God to leave the country and to serve as a prophet. We know Micah came from Moresheth, a productive agricultural area, about twenty-five miles southwest of Jerusalem. He was knowledgeable of the sufferings of the people. The rich and influential had made life miserable for the poor. He denounced idolatry and immorality. On behalf of God, Micah would deliver a stern message of judgment against Jerusalem and its princes and people. The prophecy bearing his name can be divided into three parts as he exposes the sin and corruption of his countrymen, proclaims the punishment God is ready to inflict, and announces the hope of restoration once the discipline has ended.

Micah prophesied during the reigns of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah from 739 – 686 BC. While he deals primarily with Judah, he does address the northern kingdom of Israel and predicts the fall of Samaria in 722 BC to the Assyrians. Micah was most likely active between 735 – 710 BC.

Micah was aligned with other prophets, Amos, Hosea, and Isaiah, in calling for pure worship of God and the promotion of social justice.

If you desire to commit more scripture to memory … to be a ready resource when you are without a Bible, Micah 6:8 is certainly a good verse to add. It is also a good verse upon which to reflect as we consider what it means today to do justice, to love kindness and to walk humbly with our God.


O Lord, we thank You for the prophets, for Micah and for this gem of scripture. Help us to live out its instructions daily. In Christ’s name, we pray. Amen.