Micah 7:1-20 (overview)
January 22, 2019 may go down in the annals as the worst day in American history. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo deliberately chose that day, the day marking the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973, to sign the most controversial abortion law ever passed on American soil. That day, a law that allows abortion at any point prior to birth, was celebrated with smiling faces and the lighting of One World Trade Center in the color pink.
One World Trade Center stands on the site of the twin towers where the vicious, unconscionable terrorist attack occurred on September 11, 2001. There, that day, nearly 3,000 Americans lost their lives. Hundreds of first responders became heroes. Millions of Americans mourned the loss and vehemently hated the atrocity. It is marked in American history alongside December 7, 1941.
And New York had the audacity to light it in celebration of the potential for killing thousands and thousands of innocents who might be but minutes from birth. The irony cannot go unmet without incredulity. How did we ever get this far down the moral slippery slope? Surely, no civilized country with morally sensible citizens could let this happen.
Yet happen it did.
There may or may not be an uprising in Albany, New York over this. There may or may not be protests on the American soil of Washington, D.C. or anyplace else. But we can all rest assured, not everyone celebrated. We can know, without question, that One noticed for sure. He is an advocate of life. He values the life of both mother and child. He mourns over the loss of any life.
And God values all life, even the life that has been in rebellion to Him. God will certainly exact justice…of that we can all be certain. But He will also extend mercy. Those who long to know God can come back to God no matter who they are or what they’ve done.
Text: Micah 7:1–20 (ESV)
Woe! Disintegration all around… Repentance?
1 Woe is me! For I have become
as when the summer fruit has been gathered,
as when the grapes have been gleaned:
there is no cluster to eat,
no first-ripe fig that my soul desires.
2 The godly has perished from the earth,
and there is no one upright among mankind;
they all lie in wait for blood,
and each hunts the other with a net.
3 Their hands are on what is evil, to do it well;
the prince and the judge ask for a bribe,
and the great man utters the evil desire of his soul;
thus they weave it together.
4 The best of them is like a brier,
the most upright of them a thorn hedge.
The day of your watchmen, of your punishment, has come;
now their confusion is at hand.
5 Put no trust in a neighbor;
have no confidence in a friend;
guard the doors of your mouth
from her who lies in your arms;
6 for the son treats the father with contempt,
the daughter rises up against her mother,
the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law;
a man’s enemies are the men of his own house.
7 But as for me, I will look to the LORD;
I will wait for the God of my salvation;
my God will hear me.
However. Continued confidence
8 Rejoice not over me, O my enemy;
when I fall, I shall rise;
when I sit in darkness,
the LORD will be a light to me.
9 I will bear the indignation of the LORD
because I have sinned against him,
until he pleads my cause
and executes judgment for me.
He will bring me out to the light;
I shall look upon his vindication.
10 Then my enemy will see,
and shame will cover her who said to me,
“Where is the LORD your God?”
My eyes will look upon her;
now she will be trampled down
like the mire of the streets.
There’s coming a day…
11 A day for the building of your walls!
In that day the boundary shall be far extended.
12 In that day they will come to you,
from Assyria and the cities of Egypt,
and from Egypt to the River,
from sea to sea and from mountain to mountain.
13 But the earth will be desolate
because of its inhabitants,
for the fruit of their deeds.
God is worthy of all honor and attention…
14 Shepherd your people with your staff,
the flock of your inheritance,
who dwell alone in a forest
in the midst of a garden land;
let them graze in Bashan and Gilead
as in the days of old.
15 As in the days when you came out of the land of Egypt,
I will show them marvelous things.
16 The nations shall see and be ashamed of all their might;
they shall lay their hands on their mouths;
their ears shall be deaf;
17 they shall lick the dust like a serpent,
like the crawling things of the earth;
they shall come trembling out of their strongholds;
they shall turn in dread to the LORD our God,
and they shall be in fear of you.
Who is like you, God?
18 Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity
and passing over transgression
for the remnant of his inheritance?
He does not retain his anger forever,
because he delights in steadfast love.
19 He will again have compassion on us;
he will tread our iniquities underfoot.
You will cast all our sins
into the depths of the sea.
20 You will show faithfulness to Jacob
and steadfast love to Abraham,
as you have sworn to our fathers
from the days of old.
Listening to the Text
These questions are specifically designed to help you look at the text more carefully.
- How do the metaphors in verses 2-4 illustrate the barrenness of verse 1?
- What response to the disintegrating society does Micah recommend in verse 5-6?
- How does the confidence expressed in verses 8-13 reflect the confidence seen in verse 7?
- What images in verse 8-13 indicate Israel will be freed from exile?
- What answers are given to the question, “Who is a God like you?” (v18-20)?
Applying What We’ve Heard
These questions are to help you see how the text applies to you and others.
- In what ways do you see our society disintegrating?
- What have you seen God do that gives you confidence that He is still involved in our lives?
- How do you answer the question, “Who is a God like you?”
- How would you describe Him?
Caring creator, we recognize the dismal condition of our culture. Our society is disintegrating all around us. We look for good qualities in people with the futility we might feel as we look for crops after the harvest. Father, we know you don’t give up. You redeemed Israel from bondage in Egypt and exile in Babylon. And you’ve sent your Son to redeem us from our bondage as well. Jesus, thank you for kindly freeing us from sin, guilt, addiction and all the rest. We are indebted to you forever. Holy Spirit, connect our spirit with yours in the heart of the Father. Help us be faithful, no matter what society does. We are committed to staying the course with you. Amen.
Listening to Jesus
Read: John 14:15-24
Jesus promises to never leave His people without His presence. Because we belong to God through Christ, the Holy Spirit lives within us. He connects us to the Father. God simply doesn’t give up on His people.
Responding in Life
- Call or go visit someone who needs a simple reminder that they are cared for.