What Does the Lord Require? Doing Justice, Loving Kindness, and Walking Humbly

What Does the Lord Require? What Does the Lord Require? WJK Press

James C. Howell

John Knox Westminster Press, 2012

Howell, a United Methodist pastor and author of The Beauty of the Word  and The Will of God, presents an opportunity to explore this oft-quoted passage from the First Testament, Micah 6:8.  He gives us a background on Micah and his historical setting and brings new understanding to the original meaning of the words which helps us to see this passage in a different way.

Here is what Howell wrote in response to interview questions regarding verb translation:

" The verb darash  [require] has undertones of affection, or the healthiest sort of dependency, as in “the child requires his mother’s love,” or “the flower requires rain and sunshine.” There is a mood of seeking in darash; lovers seek each other out, and a shepherd seeks his lost sheep—and in the Old Testament, both situations use darash. So when the Lord “requires” justice, kindness and mercy, it isn’t that the Lord “insists on” or “demands” these things. God seeks them, yearns for them, and frankly needs them from us as intimate partners in God’s adventure down here." (The United Methodist Reporter, June 14, 2012)

 A study guide is provided for group discussion.