God of Compassion
I praise You today, O Lord, because You are such a faithful God. You and Your promises are entirely trustworthy.
Read Micah 7:1-20
 What misery is mine! I am like one who gathers summer fruit at the gleaning of the vineyard; there is no cluster of grapes to eat, none of the early figs that I crave.  The faithful have been swept from the land; not one upright person remains. Everyone lies in wait to shed blood; they hunt each other with nets.  Both hands are skilled in doing evil; the ruler demands gifts, the judge accepts bribes, the powerful dictate what they desire- they all conspire together.  The best of them is like a brier, the most upright worse than a thorn hedge. The day God visits you has come, the day your watchmen sound the alarm. Now is the time of your confusion.  Do not trust a neighbor; put no confidence in a friend. Even with the woman who lies in your embrace guard the words of your lips.  For a son dishonors his father, a daughter rises up against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law- a man’s enemies are the members of his own household.  But as for me, I watch in hope for the LORD, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me.  Do not gloat over me, my enemy! Though I have fallen, I will rise. Though I sit in darkness, the LORD will be my light.  Because I have sinned against him, I will bear the LORD’s wrath, until he pleads my case and upholds my cause. He will bring me out into the light; I will see his righteousness.  Then my enemy will see it and will be covered with shame, she who said to me, “Where is the LORD your God?” My eyes will see her downfall; even now she will be trampled underfoot like mire in the streets.  The day for building your walls will come, the day for extending your boundaries.  In that day people will come to you from Assyria and the cities of Egypt, even from Egypt to the Euphrates and from sea to sea and from mountain to mountain.  The earth will become desolate because of its inhabitants, as the result of their deeds.  Shepherd your people with your staff, the flock of your inheritance, which lives by itself in a forest, in fertile pasturelands. Let them feed in Bashan and Gilead as in days long ago.  “As in the days when you came out of Egypt, I will show them my wonders.”  Nations will see and be ashamed, deprived of all their power. They will put their hands over their mouths and their ears will become deaf.  They will lick dust like a snake, like creatures that crawl on the ground. They will come trembling out of their dens; they will turn in fear to the LORD our God and will be afraid of you.  Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy.  You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.  You will be faithful to Jacob, and show love to Abraham, as you pledged on oath to our ancestors in days long ago. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat hope can God's people find in this chapter?
The first part of this chapter (1-6) continues with Micah’s proclamation of justice: God’s people will get what they deserve. Later, they will get what they don’t deserve (7-20): pardon and restoration, victory and fresh hope! This forgiveness and renewal seems more dependent on God’s sheer mercy and grace than it is on his people’s repentance. The initiative is with God. The closing verses (7-20) form a conversation between God and his people: trust is expressed (7-10); restoration is promised (11-13); finally, prayer and praise are offered (14-20). God is again portrayed as the shepherd-king, a role perfectly fulfilled in Christ. Verse 18 amounts to a statement of faith in a covenant-keeping God. Similar statements litter the Old Testament; see, for example, Exodus 34:6,7, Psalm 103:8-13, Nehemiah 9:17c and Joel 2:13. So much for the notion that the God of the Old Testament is a God of anger and judgment and not love! Micah’s name means “Who is like the Lord?” That’s “the” question—and the answer ought to be clear.
How has your understanding of God’s character developed by studying Micah? Write a prayer of praise to the Lord.
Lord, as I learn more and more about You, I’m amazed and awed at what a great God You are!
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