Peter Misselbrook's Blog
Jul 29 2019 - Micah 7 – Israel's misery, hope and prayer

Micah 7 begins with a lament over the state of those whom the Lord had called to be his own, called to be a light to the Gentiles. They have abandoned the Lord and have become corrupt. It seems as if "not one upright person remains. Everyone lies in wait to shed blood " (v.2, see also, vv.5-6). Judges are taking bribes and rulers demanding gifts as the price of their favour.

Micah describes his search for an upright person as being like a poor person who goes to glean in a vineyard only to find that all the fruit is gone (v.1). All he encounters are briers and thorns. The day of God's judgment is rapidly approaching (v.4).

Micah calls on watchmen to sound the alarm (v.4), and warn of the coming judgment. But, despite the gathering storms Micah declares:

But as for me, I watch in hope for the LORD,
    I wait for God my Saviour; my God will hear me. (v.7)

Micah is not content to abandon his people to God's judgment but prays for them in the confidence that God will hear him and in the hope that God might yet intervene to save his people.

Verses 8-10 perhaps reflect, the time when Sennacherib's commander-in-chief came to Jerusalem with his threatening message. He addressed the people of Jerusalem telling them that they could hardly expect their God to save them. The gods of other nations had not saved them from the power of Assyria. If Jerusalem failed to submit to the demands of the King of Syria they would besieged until they were without food and water. Micah speaks for Jerusalem as he declares:

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. (v.8)

Micah is confident that beyond this dark period of enduring God's judgment, the Lord himself will plead the cause of his people and bring them out into the light. The enemies of God's people who have mocked them saying, "Where is the Lord your God?" will witness the saving work of the living God and will "be covered in shame" (v.10). God will again act to save his people as he did when he brought them out of Egypt (v.15). Then the people of Assyria and Egypt will come to Jerusalem to share in the blessings God pours out on all those who seek him (v.12, cf. Micah 4:1-4).

Micah's confidence rests in the promises of God (v.20), and the character of God (vv.18-19):

Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression
    of the remnant of his inheritance?
You do not stay angry for ever but delight to show mercy.
You will again have compassion on us;
    you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.

We have discovered the compassion, salvation and forgiveness of our God in the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the one who bore the wrath of God in our place and now upholds our cause in the courts of heaven. He is the one who has brought us out of darkness into the light. He is the one who is redeeming for himself a people from every nation and ethnic group and making them one people, one flock, under his care as the Great Shepherd of the sheep.

Father God, we stand amazed that you were so determined to pardon and save us that you sent your beloved Son into the world to be our Saviour. Help us by your Spirit to extend the boundaries of your kingdom by declaring to others the praises of him who called us out of darkness into the wonderful light of your presence and blessing.

Peter Misselbrook