Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | January 12, 2023

“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?”

Today’s devotion comes from Leviticus 6:1-7.

“Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “When a person sins and acts unfaithfully against the LORD, and deceives his companion in regard to a deposit or a security entrusted to him, or through robbery, or if he has extorted from his companion, or has found what was lost and lied about it and sworn falsely, so that he sins in regard to any one of the things a man may do;  then it shall be, when he sins and becomes guilty, that he shall restore what he took by robbery or what he got by extortion, or the deposit which was entrusted to him or the lost thing which he found, or anything about which he swore falsely;  he shall make restitution for it in full and add to it one-fifth more.  He shall give it to the one to whom it belongs on the day he presents his guilt offering.  Then he shall bring to the priest his guilt offering to the LORD, a ram without defect from the flock, according to your valuation, for a guilt offering, and the priest shall make atonement for him before the LORD, and he will be forgiven for any one of the things which he may have done to incur guilt.”   Leviticus 6:1-7.


In the highlighted bold italic font, we read that the one who makes a guilt offering asking for forgiveness (mercy) shall on the same day make restitution (justice).  Thus, we understand that the LORD requires justice in order to show mercy.  Mercy and justice are linked together.

“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?”  Micah 6:8 in King James Version.

“Thus says the LORD, “Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches;  but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth;  for I delight in these things,” declares the LORD.”  Jeremiah 9:23-24.

If ever there was a time for God to refrain from requiring justice when mercy is shown, it was for His only Son.  But, in order for mercy to be shown (to forgive the sins of His elect), God required justice by sending His Son, Jesus Christ, to the cross, because justice required punishment for the sins of His elect. 

Consider the following from the Heidelberg Catechism.

Q. 11. Is not God then also merciful?

A. God is indeed merciful, but also just;  therefore His justice requires that sin which is committed against the most high majesty of God be also punished with extreme, that is, with everlasting punishment of body and soul.

Q. 12. Since then, by the righteous judgment of God, we deserve temporal and eternal punishment, is there no way by which we may escape that punishment and be again received into favor?

A. God will have His justice satisfied;  and therefore we must make this full satisfaction, either by ourselves or by another.

Q. 13. Can we ourselves then make this satisfaction?

A. By no means;  but on the contrary we daily increase our debt.

Q. 14. Can there be found anywhere one who is a mere creature, able to satisfy for us?

A. None;  for, first, God will not punish any other creature for the sin which man hath committed;  and further, no mere creature can sustain the burden of God’s eternal wrath against sin, so as to deliver others from it.

Q. 15. What sort of a mediator and deliverer then must we seek for?

A. For one who is very man, and perfectly righteous; and yet more powerful than all creatures; that is, one who is also very God.

Q. 16. Why must He be very man, and also perfectly righteous?

A. Because the justice of God requires that the same human nature which hath sinned should likewise make satisfaction for sin;  and one who is himself a sinner cannot satisfy for others.

Q. 17. Why must He in one person be also very God?

A.  That He might, by the power of His Godhead, sustain in His human nature the burden of God’s wrath;  and might obtain for, and restore to us, righteousness and life.

Q. 18.  Who then is that Mediator, who is in one person both very God and a real righteous man?

A.  Our Lord Jesus Christ, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.

“But He was pierced through for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our iniquities;
The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him,
And by His scourging we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5.


%d bloggers like this: