“Woe is me!” Micah looked at the cities of Israel and Judah and found nothing admirable. The godliest among them seemed to have “perished from the earth.” Every man was eager only to serve himself, even those leaders who should have set a good example for others. “The prince and the judge ask for a bribe; and the great man utters the evil desire of his soul.”
Even among the close circle of friends and family, no one could be trusted. Where could an honest prophet turn when it appeared that there were none who remained faithful to the Lord? “I will look to the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me.” Though everyone else may have abandoned all that was right, Micah would continue to put his hope in God.
Throughout this time of societal decline, the enemies of the righteous were emboldened. They saw the discipline of the Almighty upon the remnant of His people as a sign of God’s rejection of His covenant community. Outsiders were making accusations against those whom the Lord loved. Micah recalled God’s sacred promises and proclaimed, “Rejoice not over me, O my enemy; when I fall, I shall rise; when I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light to me.”
Eventually the Lord would publicly vindicate His faithful servant. The borders of the Promised Land would reach their fullest measure, and the people of the Lord would dwell securely. They would know God’s special care for them, for the Lord would “shepherd” His people. Those outside the walls of the kingdom of God would “turn in dread” to the Lord of glory.
It is fitting that Micah would conclude his book by extolling the greatness of Israel’s Redeemer. “Who is a God like You, pardoning iniquity and passing over transgression for the remnant of His inheritance?” Yes, God was disciplining His children, but He would not “retain His anger forever.” He would find a way to deal with their “iniquities.” God would surely cast the sins of His chosen ones “into the depths of the sea.” Through the blood of our sinless Messiah the debt that stood against the Lord’s beloved worshipers has been fully paid. They are counted as holy in His sight because of the work of the Son of God.
Prayer from A Book of Prayers
Glorious Lord, have mercy on Your church. We feel so small in times of trouble. The evil of the world around us seems to enter quickly into the life of Your assembly. Our families face unusual disappointments, and our watchmen become easily corrupted. Grant us wisdom and courage in the day of difficulty. You will be our help. We look to Your holy Son Jesus, and we turn away from the sinful pattern of the world all around us. Gather Your elect, O Lord God. Fill us with joy even in the time of testing, and provide for us what we need for our lives by Your marvelous and mighty hand. There is no other god like You. You delight in steadfast love, and have tread our iniquities underfoot through the cross of Christ. In Him there is hope for all Your chosen people.