Micah 7:1-7 (NIV) 1 What misery is mine! I am like one who gathers summer fruit at the gleaning of the vineyard; there is no cluster of grapes to eat, none of the early figs that I crave. 2 The godly have been swept from the land; not one upright man remains. All men lie in wait to shed blood; each hunts his brother with a net. 3 Both hands are skilled in doing evil; the ruler demands gifts, the judge accepts bribes, the powerful dictate what they desire– they all conspire together. 4 The best of them is like a brier, the most upright worse than a thorn hedge. The day of your watchmen has come, the day God visits you. Now is the time of their confusion. 5 Do not trust a neighbor; put no confidence in a friend. Even with her who lies in your embrace be careful of your words. 6 For a son dishonors his father, a daughter rises up against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law– a man’s enemies are the members of his own household. 7 But as for me, I watch in hope for the LORD, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me.
On verses 1 to 7: Here Micah laments how he longs to find even one upright, trustworthy, God-honouring man or woman in Israel, but he cannot find any. Instead of placing his hope in people, Micah puts his hope in the Lord, for He alone is fully trustworthy and dependable. As Micah says in verse 7, “But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord, I wait for God my Saviour; my God will hear me.”
What can we learn from this?
1. In many ways Micah’s words reflect God’s perspective, which means that in God’s eyes “there is no one righteous, not even one” (Romans 3:10). All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us having turned to our own way. Since each one of us has sinned, we are all in need of God’s mercy to save us. Praise God that His mercy for us all came in the form of Jesus Christ, who died to pay the penalty for our sins so that we could be forgiven and brought back to God.
2. If you put your ultimate hope in people you are bound to be disappointed. Place your hope in God.
Micah 7:8 (NIV) 8 Do not gloat over me, my enemy! Though I have fallen, I will rise. Though I sit in darkness, the LORD will be my light.
On verse 8: Despite the difficult season Micah is in, Micah still has great hope because of the Lord. I love this verse. What a powerful verse to proclaim when you are in trouble, pain or despair. This isn’t just a nice sounding phrase based on wishful thinking. Because Jesus Christ died for our sins and rose again from the grave, all of us who have trusted in Jesus can have the hope of verse 8. Though we fall we will get up again, and though it may seem dark now, because of Jesus, light is just around the corner. In fact the light – Jesus – is already here.
Micah 7:9-10 (NIV) 9 Because I have sinned against him, I will bear the LORD’s wrath, until he pleads my case and establishes my right. He will bring me out into the light; I will see his righteousness. 10 Then my enemy will see it and will be covered with shame, she who said to me, “Where is the LORD your God?” My eyes will see her downfall; even now she will be trampled underfoot like mire in the streets.
On verses 9-10: Verses 9 and 10 are a great picture of what Jesus Christ has done for us. Because we had sinned against God, we deserved to bear the Lord’s wrath. Yet before we could experience His wrath, Jesus Christ came as our advocate and pleaded our case before God, setting us free and paying our debt with His own blood. Through Jesus Christ we are thus brought “out into the light” where we can see God’s righteousness, namely, Jesus. That’s verse 9.
Whereas verse 9 describes what Jesus has done for us, verse 10 describes what Jesus does to our enemy Satan. Satan had hoped that those who trust in the Lord would be ashamed and defeated. Instead through His resurrection, Jesus Christ has shamed and defeated Satan, trampling him underfoot.
Micah 7:11-13 (NIV) 11 The day for building your walls will come, the day for extending your boundaries. 12 In that day people will come to you from Assyria and the cities of Egypt, even from Egypt to the Euphrates and from sea to sea and from mountain to mountain. 13 The earth will become desolate because of its inhabitants, as the result of their deeds.
On verses 11-13: The book of Micah predicts that Israel will endure much suffering, but it also speaks of the hope and restoration that would come afterward. Praise God that He not only disciplines His people, but He restores them as well. As 1 Peter 5:10 says, “And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.”
Lord, today I proclaim that my hope is not in [state whatever person or thing you are tempted to trust in other than Jesus], my hope is in You. Praise You for doing what no one else could ever do for me – how You died on the cross for my sins and rose again from the grave. Praise You that for all of us who hope in You, we know that after the suffering comes restoration. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!