“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.
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.
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…
The best of them is like a brier,
the most upright a thorn hedge.
The day of your watchmen, of your punishment, has come;
now their confusion is at hand.
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;
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.
But as for me, I will look to the Lord;
I will wait for the God of my salvation;
my God will hear me.
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.
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.
Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity
and passing over transgression?..
He does not retain his anger forever,
because he delights in steadfast love.
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.
You will show faithfulness…
and steadfast love.” Micah 7:1-9,18-20a
Micah knew enough the evils in Judah to understand and foretell the doom they would incur. From the start of this prophecy, the Sovereign looked down from His holy temple on heavens and earth, treading in judgment the high places of man. He pronounced doom for the wicked, and grace for the humble and contrite. (Micah 1:2-3)
Look around and see evil: violence, crime, disease, death. Look into long-trusted institutions and see pride and corruption. Look at relationships and see distrust, accusation, division. Look inside and see pettiness, prejudice, stubbornness, greed, jealousy. Indeed, woe is me! I shrink and moan, overcome with ungodliness among mankind. There is no flourishing here. But when I fall, I shall rise; in darkness, the Lord will be a light to me. Look to Emmanuel, who comes to dispel doom with the glory of His love.
We can halt the complaint and look to the LORD! Gaze above prevalent brokenness and contempt, upward where He reigns and pleads our cause! Take heart, take hope! He sees! He hears! He saves! He redeems! He casts away our sins and delights to show compassion! (Romans 8:27,31-34; Colossians 3:1-3)
Do we grow faint in present darkness, or mount up on eagles’ wings? As for us, where will we look for help? (Psalm 121; Isaiah 40:28-31; Ephesians 6:12-13)
Lord, guard me from dwelling on pervading evils. Help me always look to You in hope, faith, and undying gratitude.