Walking the Micah Road
051-00753 Micah 6:6-8
I. In 1953, a bushy-haired man arrived at the Chicago train station. He had come to Chicago to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. As he stepped off his train, the flashbulbs of cameras went off all around him and city officials moved forward to greet him. He thanked the people there to greet him but then excused himself for a moment. Everyone watched has he walked across the terminal toward an elderly black woman who was struggling with two large bags. He picked up her bags and helped her to her bus. Wishing her a good journey, he turned back to the crowd that had gathered giving his apologies. It was reported the next day in the papers that one member of the selection committee present said, “That’s the first time I ever saw a sermon walking.”
A. Albert Schweitzer was a walking sermon preaching on the topic of humility.
1. It is said that humility is the lowering of one’s self esteem in order to raise the esteem of others.
2. Some say that humility is the opposite of pride.
3. I am not sure either position is the correct one.
B. There are many in our world today who make it their business to humiliate others.
1. Humiliation is the process of trying to elevate one’s self by the devaluing of another.
2. The humiliator is a person of low self-esteem.
3. They know of no other way to feel good about themselves than to feel bad about others.
4. Most of us have known humiliation at one time or another.
5. The sad thing is that most of us also know what it feels like to humiliate others so that we can feel ok about ourselves.
C. It is hard to be truly humble.
1. The moment we think we have achieved humility we are quickly reminded that no one who has humility can really know it or be grateful for it.
2. Those who think they are humble are betrayed by the very thought of it.
3. Those who are truly humble generally don’t think they are humble at all.
4. But humility is not really about how one feels. Humility is the quality of knowing one’s self at the very core of being. Humility is knowing who you are and who you belong to.
a) Mother Theresa is often presented as one who was truly humble.
b) The reason we know she was is that she never thought she was humble but she always made the choice to look to the interests of others.
c) She too received the Nobel Peace Prize. Like Schweitzer, she didn’t really have to think to react. Instead of attending the $7,000 a plate dinner in her honor, she chose rather to use the money for the dinner to buy groceries for the poor.
II. Humility is at the heart of the Micah road.
A. Sure there is justice and mercy as well.
1. Justice is doing the right thing, no matter how difficult or inconvenient that may be.
2. Mercy is doing the loving and gracious thing despite the sacrifice it requires of one’s self.
3. But mercy and justice are a part of humility and there is no humility without them.
a) Schweitzer knew the truth. The old woman deserved respect and help because she was a child of God.
(1) She was a human being made in God’s image.
(2) She was therefore worthy of his love and aid because they both bore the image of their creator.
b) Mother Theresa knew the truth. She did not need a $7,000 meal but there were many who were image bearers of their creator who did not have a $1 meal.
(1) She was called to serve Christ and the poor were Christ to her.
(2) They were worthy of everything she had because there is a solidarity among all human beings due to their common origin.
B. Humility is the blessed realization of the true relationship between all things in heaven and on earth.
1. Therefore, humility always does what is best and right for others.
2. And humility always seeks to exalt the glory of the creator in and through all he has created.
C. Humility requires us to act justly. Humility demands we act in mercy. Humility is justice and love.
III. Micah tells us that all God requires is that we do justice and mercy and walk humbly.
A. He got his message from God.
1. But his message was not new.
2. Deuteronomy 10:12-13 And now, O Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to observe the Lord’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good?
3. Listen carefully to that last part.
4. It is “for your own good.”
5. The Micah road is not the road to follow because of it’s convenience. It is not the road to follow because it is the easiest.
6. The Micah road is the road to follow because it is the best.
B. Of course, if you ask me, I don’t often do what is in my own best interest.
1. Sometimes I chose to follow my own ideas.
2. Sometimes I chose to observe my own interests.
3. Nevertheless, what is best for me, and for you, is that we walk confidently in humility.
C. Alex Haley wrote a book that was turned into one of the most popular mini-series on TV of all time. It was called Roots.
1. He kept a picture in his office of a turtle sitting balanced on a fence.
2. Why? Because, he said, “When you see a turtle on a fence you know that he only could get where he was with some help.”
3. And so it is with us. We only walk the Micah road when we travel with help.
4. I cannot be humble. You cannot be humble. None of us does what is right all the time. Few of us do what is right most of the time. Fewer still know how to love with mercy almost any time.
5. But we do have help.
D. The Bible says “Humble yourself in the sight of the Lord, and he will lift you up.”
E. Humility comes most naturally when we live in the presence of God.
1. It is hard to be anything but humble when in the presence of greatness!
2. If we are the turtle and the fence is the Micah road, then God is the one who places us on the road and keeps us there.
IV. On a visit to the Beethoven museum in Bonn, a young American student became fascinated by the piano on which Beethoven had composed some of his greatest works. She asked the museum guard if she could play a few bars on it; she accompanied the request with a lavish tip, and the guard agreed. The girl went to the piano and tinkled out the opening of the Moonlight Sonata. As she was leaving she said to the guard, “I suppose all the great pianists who come here want to play on that piano.” The guard shook his head. “Paderewski [the famed Polish pianist] was here a few years ago and he said he wasn't worthy to touch it.”
A. Of course if you’re the turtle, you don’t have to be worthy. The one who places you on the fence is the one who is worthy.
B. This is what the Lord wants for us all.