Focal Passage: Micah 7:1-10, 18-20
Hope is a strange thing to us because we didn’t come up with it. We see our limitations when we utter the word. We use the word almost as a wish, crossing our fingers. When the Bible speaks of hope, it’s not in reference to wishful thinking. It’s rooted in a confident, certain future, because the Bible knows God’s character. For those in Christ, our hope can be confident, certain!
Tom Watson, founder of IBM understood the principle of hope. A junior executive with the company once managed to lose over $10 million in a venture that was considered risky even by company outsiders. Watson found out about the disaster and called the young man in.
The young man came in and said “I guess you want my resignation.” Watson said, “You can’t be serious! We just spent $10 million educating you!” Courage like this takes conviction and hope. Watson was hopeful that his investment into people, even when they failed, would prove more fruitful in the long run. He understood failure is critical to growth.
However, Watson’s hope in his development process pales in comparison to God’s offer of hope for us, in spite of our constant failings.
Micah closes his book with words of prophetic hope and it’s dramatic and magnificent! Micah not only summons Israel, but the mountains also, to hear this word (chapter 6). And all of chapter seven is devoted to God’s character – namely, His faithful, covenant-keeping love!
The prophet does not expect this transformation to take place without a change of heart, but it ends with a confident message that hope will arise in a time of hopelessness and God will establish His eternal Kingdom for His people in the future. Micah ends his book with a hymn of praise. He celebrates what God has done and praises God for what He will do!
God promises victory over our sins and will hurl our iniquities into the depths of the sea. In verse 18, Micah says, “Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity!” Micah appears to employ a bit of wordplay here as Micah’s name means “Who is like the LORD.” Micah understands God is a personal God, One we can relate to!
As God began Israel’s journey by casting the Egyptians into the Red Sea, He will conclude the history of all His children by casting their iniquities into the depths. The conclusion of this prophetic hope is similar to how it began in calling the people to hear God’s message, but with a sweeter ending.
Like most lamenting, it begins with bitter complaints through petitions for help, to statements of bold confidence. It began with God’s Word concerning judgment and the impending doom for Israel and in the end it’s a word that God has given to Abraham before the nation was even formed. God will keep His promise and His promise is salvation and hope to all who trust in Him!
As the Church looks back on this, we can say with them what Paul says – “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28) B&R