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Week 55

September 29th, 2017
Punishment and Hope
Micah 7:1-13
How miserable I am! I feel like the fruit picker after the harvest who can find nothing to eat. Not a cluster of grapes or a single early fig can be found to satisfy my hunger. The godly people have all disappeared; not one honest person is left on the earth. They are all murderers, setting traps even for their own brothers.

Both their hands are equally skilled at doing evil! Officials and judges alike demand bribes. The people with influence get what they want, and together they scheme to twist justice. Even the best of them is like a brier; the most honest is as dangerous as a hedge of thorns. But your judgment day is coming swiftly now. Your time of punishment is here, a time of confusion…

Then my enemies will see that the LORD is on my side. They will be ashamed that they taunted me, saying, “So where is the LORD —that God of yours?” With my own eyes I will see their downfall; they will be trampled like mud in the streets. (Micah 7:1-4, 10)
Micah showed great faith in God both personally (7:7) and on Israel’s behalf (7:8-10) as he proclaimed that (1) he would wait upon God, because God hears and saves when help is needed; (2) God would bring his people through difficulties when times were tough; (3) Israel must be patient in punishment because God would bring them out of the darkness; and (4) their enemies would be punished.

Micah could not find an upright person anywhere in the land. Even today, uprightness (honesty, integrity) is difficult to find. Society rationalizes sin, and even Christians sometimes compromise Christian principles in order to do what they want. It is easy to convince ourselves that we deserve a few breaks, especially when “everyone else” is doing it. But the standards for honesty come from God, not society. We are honest because God is truth, and we are to be like him.
We too can have a relationship with God that can allow us to have confidence in God like Micah. It doesn’t take unusual talent; it simply takes faith in God and a willingness to act on that faith. Make a commitment today to spend time with God daily. Building the habit of being with him can help you in good times and in hard times.
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