“But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord, I wait for God my Savoir; my God will hear me.”
One of the great blessings of being retired is the amount of freedom that it has given me. I am free to take a daily walk, to take day trips with my wife, to go on an extended vacation without worrying about the work that is piling up at home, to spend time with family and friends once this lockdown is over, or to sleep in if I wish. The reality with this last one has not become a reality yet, I am still dealing with my working clock which seems to wake me up by seven at the latest each morning. What is of greatest importance is the retirement has given me the opportunity to watch and wait for the LORD’s leading each day in my retirement. I find myself drawing nearer to God in fellowship through the Scriptures.
The Scriptures have a lot to teach us about what it really means to live in fellowship with God. The authors of Scripture enjoyed a rich relationship with God. At times it is described as “crying out to God” or it is seen in the way a person will “draw near to God”. Sometimes we discover this rich fellowship in the expectant hope and joy which characterized a person’s life. Here in Micah 7 we discover his rich fellowship with God in the personal lament which he pens describing his distress at the broken state of the sinful society in which he lived.
Micah’s personal lament is a prayer in which this Godly gentleman cries out to the living God for relief from his distress over the sin which seems to characterize so much of the society in which he lived. This is in many ways a true measure of the real state of our hearts. Are we moved and distressed by those things which move and distress God? In the Scriptures we find many of these types of Lament. Could it be that this is what the Scriptures mean when they make reference to people who began to cry out to God?
In the book of Psalms alone we find these personal cries to God for deliverance. Psalms 5, 13, 22, 31, 55, and 71 are all examples of these personal laments. In each of these the author cries out to God for deliverance. As the cry is brought before God it contains within it a confession of sin and a deep awareness that help and hope can only ultimately come from God. It is He and He alone who can redeem us. It is He who can create within us that new life which is characterized by the fruit of the Holy Spirit.
The reality that we are led into here is that the only acceptable context for dealing with our distress is one of worship. Each of these personal cries for help is in reality a song of worship or a statement of faith. Our faith is most clearly seen in the ways we respond to the distresses of our lives. In Genesis 47:31b we read that “Israel (Jacob) worshipped as he leaned on the top of his staff.” This was as he was nearing the end of his life. It was a time for worship. This is the case with Micah’s time of distress. It is a time for worship.
When we look carefully at Micah’s lament we see his worship in the context of the brokenness of the society in which he lived. Nowhere is this seen more clearly than in family life. Members of families were turning on one another in his world, just as they do in ours. This always causes great anguish of heart. Many solutions will be put forward to heal the family, but only one will work and that is the intervention of God. What is needed is real prayer, crying out to God for help. This was what in fact Micah did, expressing his expectation of the day in which God would intervene, and his hope and trust in God’s gracious intervention. “As for me” is his cry. This is always the believer’s cry. Is it your cry?