An Honest (and Hopeful) Appraisal


Micah 7:8-13
8Rejoice 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.
9I 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.
10Then 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.
11A day for the building of your walls! In that day the boundary shall be far extended.
12In 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.
13But the earth will be desolate because of its inhabitants, for the fruit of their deeds.

An honest look at oneself is difficult and for some, I fear, rare. For the believer, an honest appraisal of our condition is imperative. Micah takes a moment to confess his own needy state as a sinner and to confess the sins of his nation as well. But this confession contains hope; hope in the Lord who is quick to forgive.

He looks to the nations who would chide and laugh at Israel, telling them not to bother because there is victory in the end for all of God’s people. When I fall, I shall rise; when I sit in darkness, the Lord will be a light to me. That’s just outstanding. And so honest. We will fall, because we are sinners. And the Children of Israel fell because God allowed them to suffer! But that same God also brings recovery because He is a God of love. Whatever happened to them at the hands of their enemies was deserved and they confessed their sins honestly before God with full knowledge that He would be merciful.

Then Micah extends his view into the distant future and the coming Messiah. The “walls” he discusses as being rebuilt are not only the walls of Jerusalem, but the walls of God’s eternal Kingdom which will extend to the whole earth. God knows no boundaries; they extend from sea to sea and mountain to mountain. And all of this hope hinges on the grace of our forgiving God.

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