“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

Proverbs 21:3 To do justice and judgment is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.

I Samuel 15:22 And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.

23a For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.

Psalm 51:16 For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering.

17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.

Habakkuk 2:4 Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith.

Ecclesiastes 12:13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

MEMORY VERSE: Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come into his courts. O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness: fear before him, all the earth. —Psalm 96:8, 9


CENTRAL THOUGHT: A just person is one who renders to all that which is due. To God is due reverence and worship, humility and obedience. This pleases Him far more than offerings and sacrifices.



Proverbs 21:3 “Justice”: righteousness; honesty.

I Samuel 15:22 “Obey”: to hear intelligently; to give attention. “Hearken”: to incline or “prick up” the ears; attend to; mark well.

Psalm 51:16 “Sacrifice”: the slaughter of an animal. “Burnt offerings”: the ascent of smoke from an animal burnt on the altar, expressing the ascent of a soul in worship.

17 “Broken spirit; broken and contrite heart”: humbled under a sense of sin and truly repentant; smitten and wounded; tender and pliable to God’s Word.

I Samuel 15:23 “Rebellion”: from a word meaning bitter. “Witchcraft”: divination, which was condemned by God in whatever form it was practiced in the heathen nations. “Stubbornness”: to be insubordinate; to push, press or urge. “Iniquity”: trouble; sorrow; wickedness. “Idolatry”: from the word teraphim, or a household idol.

Habakkuk 2:4 “Just”: righteous; lawful. “His soul that is lifted up”: the incredulous, proud, presumptuous, unbelieving scorner. From a root meaning a mound, fortress or tower. “He whose soul is not right in him places himself in a fortress or tower, to set himself on high there from the enemy, and does not return to God nor seek deliverance of him; but, the righteous has no need to place himself on high in a fortress, for he shall live by his faith.” —R. Moses Kimchi. “Faith”: faithfulness; firmness; steadfastness; fidelity.




God’s answer to the people’s questions, “How shall I come before God? Shall I come with burnt offerings? Will He be pleased with—? Shall I give—?” was to remind them that righteousness and justice, mercy and humility were more important to Him than all the sacrifices in the world. They had even offered to sacrifice their own children, perhaps thinking of their father Abraham who had proved his love to God by being willing to offer Isaac as a sacrifice; but, their hearts stopped short of being willing to OBEY Him.

Saul stubbornly persisted in making adjustments to God’s commands to slay everything pertaining to the enemy Amalekites, and then attempted to smooth it all over by saying, “But I used the animals for giving God a sacrifice.” God, speaking through Samuel, reproved him for thinking he could gain God’s favor in this way instead of being humbly obedient.

David recognized this after his sins of adultery, deception and murder: God wanted a truly tender, repentant HEART. Sacrifices of contrition and offerings of pure worship and praise are His delight.

Habakkuk’s history is largely unknown. He appears to have prophesied before the Jewish captivity. He too is giving the people an answer from God. “You shall live,” He says, “if you are faithful to humbly hearken and believe, but if you are puffed up and rebellious, you shall not have rest.”

Solomon, at the end of his life, concluded that reverence and obedience to God was of utmost importance.

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck




1. What pleases God: What qualities and/or actions in our lives demonstrate living justly before God?
2. Deeper than the surface: Explain how rebellion and stubbornness reveal a more serious sinful disposition of heart.
3. Pride vs. faith: How are the two opposite from each other?




How often people today attempt to do the same things that Saul and other Israelites have done! In human relationships they will go to great lengths to smooth things over. They will say, “I’m sorry” and try a “quick fix”—send flowers, pay money, do a sacrificial good deed—but to quit doing the thing that offends and begin doing the thing they had stubbornly refused to do is not in their hearts. They try the same mechanisms in their relationship with God.

We have studied what God’s heart is toward us when He shows us what He requires; we have seen clearly what kind of heart He wants in us in response to His goodwill toward us. As today’s lesson shows, it all comes down to humbling our hearts to Him, believing in Him, truly worshiping and glorifying Him and obeying Him. This is what it means to do justly to our God.

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck



I am reminded of a message I heard many years ago. In essence, the message presented the thought that serving God was not too hard. The minister stated how man had done many great, difficult feats: going to the moon, climbing Mount Everest, fighting great battles, making great sacrifices. He went on to bring the thought that many people are not serving God not because it is too hard; the real reason is that it is too humble.

We get a good illustration of this with Naaman, when he came to be healed of his leprosy. It is apparent that the Jordan River was not as attractive as the rivers of Damascus. Naaman came so close to missing the blessing. However, he took the counsel of his servant and humbled his heart into willing obedience and found the healing he was longing for.

God’s ways are contrary to the flesh and self life. Let us not focus on the so-called great things we can do for God, and miss the little, seemingly insignificant opportunities He gives us every day!

—Bro. Bob Wilson