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Micah 7:17, 1820comment (0)

May 28, 2009

By Dale Younce

Related Scripture: Micah 7:17, 1820

Explore the Bible
Professor of Christian Studies, School of Christian Studies, University of Mobile

Commitment: A Path to Effectiveness
Micah 7:1–7, 18–20

People within and outside church life acknowledge that too often the world has influenced professing believers more than they have influenced the world. For many churchgoers, Christianity is mostly a Sunday-morning ritual or social occasion that has little relevancy to their activities the rest of the week. At their places of work, they adopt an unwritten moral code along with the required dress code. Their goal seems to be personal material advancement, and spiritual matters get minor consideration. This situation has discouraged many committed Christians. They see so much wrongdoing and feel so isolated that they find themselves tempted to “go with the flow” of things as they are “in the real world.” Nevertheless the Lord wants His people to persevere in living for Him.

A Depressing Culture (1–6)
Micah, seeing the sinful society surrounding him, sang a sad song (a lament) bemoaning the lack of godly people. He felt alone and abandoned. No one was loyal to God and dishonest people were everywhere. Micah felt like a person who goes into the fields to pick fruit but finds it all gone, as it has been harvested. In a similar manner, the nation was devoid of good people; only the treacherous remained. Judges and governmental leaders took bribes, while the rich and influential got whatever they wanted. All these were like briars and thorns, which entangle people and hurt them. Normal human relationships, even with close family members, ceased for lack of trust. Neighbors, friends, spouses and children had become potential enemies. Panic, disloyalty, corruption and deceit permeated all levels of society. Does this characterize modern Western culture?

A Determined Choice (7)
In the middle of a society where justice and mercy were painfully absent in both public and private relationships, Micah chose to trust God to keep His promises of rescue. Micah was determined to maintain his faith in the Lord even as the moral foundations of his nation collapsed around him. Like a watchman on the city wall warning of the coming of attacking troops, he continued to warn the nation and urge it to trust God. The future will bring victory to God’s people when the Lord fulfills His promises by establishing His Kingdom. Like Micah, we can choose to live for the Lord by waiting for His help.

A Distinct Confidence (18–20)
Micah concluded his written prophecy with a statement about the goodness and uniqueness of God. Although Micah knew his nation would experience the Lord’s judgment in the near future, he confidently praised the mercy, love and faithfulness showered upon His ancient people. This is one of the most remarkable hymns of praise found in Scripture.

The rhetorical question “Who is a God like You?” is a wordplay on Micah’s name, which means “Who is like Yahweh (God)?” The obvious answer to both questions is “No one.” There is no one like the Lord. Then Micah gave a sixfold description of the living God:

(1) He does what no man can do — He pardons sin. He frees the sinner from the guilt and penalty of his or her sin.

(2) He does not stay angry forever. He does not cling to anger; if He did, then what would become of us?

(3) He delights in unchanging love. He takes pleasure in extending to sinners His yearning, purifying love.

(4) He shows compassion. He extends to His people His tender, heartfelt concern, which meets practical needs.

(5) He conquers and removes offending sin. He takes our sin and in the cross of Christ, He tramples it underfoot, and then He hurls it into the depths of the sea. In this way, He wipes out even the memory of our sin.

(6) He is faithful in keeping His promises. Starting with forgiveness, He will completely restore the people of Israel by returning them to the land He promised to Abraham.

Such a God is worthy to be trusted. We can persevere in living for the Lord by continually and consistently praising Him for who He is and what He is doing.

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