“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 establishes my right. He will bring me out into the light; I will see His righteousness. Then my enemy will see it and will be covered in 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 Old Testament prophet Micah’s ministry took place during a time of upheaval in the ancient world. It was a time of great uncertainty as Empires rose and fell and life was very uncertain for individual people. Micah’s own nation, Judah was being rocked by uncertainty. They were feeling the vulnerability of being a small nation caught between empires. They were also deeply aware that they had been called by God into a covenant relationship that they believed would keep them secure from every misfortune. Many of the Old Testament Prophets wrote during this uncertain time. They sought to bring clear Biblical wisdom into their situation. For many years Micah had delivered a word of prophesy that was designed to convict the sinful, complacent people of the covenant so that they would turn back to God. After giving them a word of judgment and of hope Micah finally comes to the end of his prophetic book concluding it in a way that is both interesting and instructive.
It is instructive for us because Micah shows how we are to think and to act in uncertain times such as the one he lived in or that we currently find ourselves living through. Micah confesses his personal sinfulness in the first few verses of chapter seven then he offers up a Psalm of praise, which is based upon his personal conviction that the Word of God which he has been given is absolutely trustworthy. He states that he will “watch and wait with a fervent expectation.” What Micah is stating is that he believes that the God of the covenant will be faithful to his promise which was given in His word. It is upon this foundation that all intercessory prayer is based. We believe in a God who is faithful. He will always keep His promises to us. As Micah reflects upon this truth he recognises that the God of Israel will always listen to the prayers of His people. Therefore their misfortunes are merely chastenings designed to bring them to repentance. God will yet save them in this life, by raising up the humble. His righteousness will be revealed in them. He will also deliver them in death. There is in fact a resurrection coming for those who die in the Lord. Of that we can be certain. Micah calls us to approach our own uncertainty with that same spirit of intercessory prayer.
It is interesting for us as well because Micah pulls back the curtain on history to reveal the one who is actively working out His own great purpose in all of the uncertain events which are taking place. Our faith is put on firmer ground here because we see here one who has worked out His will in history with great precision. Not only did He work all things according to His will but He told us about it in advance so that when we saw what He had done we would be brought to faith and we would give glory to our God. We therefore hear His call to become people who pray without ceasing.