One question was weighing down on the people in Micah’s days: They kept asking (Micah 5:6-7):
“What can we bring to the Lord?
Should we bring him burnt offerings?
Should we bow before God Most High
with offerings of yearling calves?
Should we offer him thousands of rams
and ten thousand rivers of olive oil?
Should we sacrifice our firstborn children
to pay for our sins?”
The people were willing to go as far as sacrificing their own children to restore precious innocence, lost in the Garden of Eden so long ago. They were desperate, but their thinking was desperately wrong, and God says so. He responds with a resounding: “No”. In other words: “You will never be able to sufficiently pay your way back to the Garden of Eden, and sacrificing your firstborn children is certainly not the way.”
Speaking of sacrificing children, Abraham comes to mind and with it, a lesson in trust. We read in chapter 22 of the book of Genesis that Abraham’s son Isaac was supposed to be sacrificed on Mount Moriah. For centuries the ritualistic killing of children used to be an everyday occurrence among the nations. And while human sacrifices were the norm worldwide, Abraham did not intend to sacrifice his first and only son he and his wife Sarah had together. Nevertheless, he followed God’s lead, brought his son to the designated location, laid him on a pile of wood, and was just about to kill him when God restrained him with the following words: “Don’t lay a hand on the boy!” When Abraham looked up he saw a ram caught in a thicket. He took the ram and sacrificed it in place of his son. Abraham named the place where the sacrifice took place “Yahweh-Yireh”, which translated means: “The Lord will provide.”
Instead of coming up with a sacrifice of our own, the Lord Himself provides the sacrifice. This goes to show that the Lord does not withhold any blessings from us. Centuries later God’s Son was sacrificed on Mount Golgotha, outside Jerusalem, representing complete restitution. What part do we play in this restitution? The answer is hard to swallow for any independent-minded person, because God obviously does not want us to play any part in it. We pay nothing, and neither do we contribute to the restitution, not even a small portion. God completely pays the price. And by accepting this truth we can step back into that circle of trust and walk with Him day by day.