He has showed you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you, but to do justly, and to love mercy…
I. THE ROOT PRINCIPLE OF ALL DUTY. "Do justly." It is said that in some parts of Africa and South America certain races of men have been found with apparently no sense of justice in them, and of course no religion. It would be interesting to know how far the one is the cause or the consequence of the other. It may be said they have lost their religion, and with it all sense of justice, or, having lost all sense of justice, there is no groundwork or foundation for any religious principle to operate upon. The question comes before us in a practical shape. How are the wild creatures of our streets to be caught and tamed and domesticated; how are the principles of justice and morality to be imparted to them — in other words, how are they to be taught to "do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with their God"? In the Hebrew law God laid a foundation, in justice and morality, for the Gospel; a foundation on which He afterwards reared the superstructure of a glorious Church, whose walls are salvation, and whose gates are praise. On this common platform of justice and morality we all meet, acknowledging the law of the God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in us all.
II. THE ROOT PRINCIPLE OF ALL RELIGION. "Love mercy." We are not only to practise this virtue, and imitate this attribute of our Father in the heavens, but we are to "love mercy." To love it we must see it in all its beauty and Divine perfection, and this we can only do in Jesus Christ. He is the mercy of God to us.
III. THE ROOT PRINCIPLE OF THE SPIRITUAL LIFE. "Walk humbly with thy God." To walk with Him humbly and reverently, as He reveals Himself in the pages of His Word, and in the person and work of His Son, is the privilege of His believing children. This humble walk with God is one of light, and joy, and triumph. The entrance is pleasant, so is the road; the company; and the end.
Parallel VersesKJV: He hath shewed 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?