The Promise of Restoration: Micah 7 (1)
Opening Prayer: Psalm 19.12-14
Who can understand his errors?
Cleanse me from secret faults.
Keep back Your servant also from presumptuous sins;
Let them not have dominion over me.
Then I shall be blameless,
And I shall be innocent of great transgression.
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
Be acceptable in Your sight,
O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer.
Sing Psalm 19.12-14
(St. Christopher: Beneath the Cross of Jesus
Who, Lord, can know his errors? O keep sin far from me!
Let evil rule not in my soul that I may blameless be.
O let my thoughts, let all my words, before Your glorious sight,
be pleasing to You, gracious Lord, acceptable and right!
Read Micah 7.1, 2
1. To what did Micah liken himself?
2. Why was he filled with woe?
Micah likens himself to a man come to the harvest, only there is no fruit in sight. No clusters of grapes, no first-ripe fruit of any kind (v. 1). He had faithfully sown the Word of God into the field of Israel and Judah, but the fruit which should have come from his labors was gone, wasted, or dead on the vine.
He tells us what he means by this image in verse 2: Faithful men have perished from the earth. No one is upright, as God intended (Eccl. 7.29). All were violent, treacherous, and out for their own gain at everyone else’s expense.
Micah is understandably upset about this lack of fruit (v. 1). He labored throughout his ministry to expose the sins of God’s people and call them to remember His grace, look forward to His promises, and turn to Him in faith and obedience. But they would not. His words fell on deaf ears. What he had diligently and faithfully sown had borne no fruit.
At least, not yet. But God’s Word, faithfully sown, always accomplishes His purposes, and never returns to Him void (Is. 55.10, 11). Even when no fruit is in sight, the faithful witness will continue to sow.
Treasure Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
God too, along with Micah, came looking for the fruit, but found none: “The faithful man has perished from the earth, and there is no one upright among men” (Mic. 7.2).
Things haven’t changed much. God is still looking. But here is the good news for us. We don’t need to be a disappointment to Him! We can be acceptable in His sight. (Ps. 19.14)
“The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD, but the prayer of the upright is His delight.”
“The way of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD, but He loves him who follows righteousness.”
“The LORD is far from the wicked, but He hears the prayer of the righteous” (Prov. 15.8, 9, 29).
And how can we be found upright and righteous?
“He who follows righteousness and mercy finds life, righteousness, and honor” (Prov. 21.21).
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (Jn. 3.16).
Through Jesus and His life, death, and resurrection is how we bear fruit. It is the only way. But now when God comes looking, He finds Jesus, and us in Him. And that discovery is never a disappointment!
1. According to Jesus, what is the key to being a fruitful believer (Jn. 15.1-4)?
2. What kind of fruit is the Lord looking for in His people (Gal. 5.22, 23)?
3. How can believers encourage one another to bear such fruit (Heb. 10.24)?
The Prophet refers here to the scarcity of good men; yea, he says that there were no longer any righteous men living. For though God had ever preserved some hidden seed, yet it might have been justly declared with regard to the whole people, that they were like a field after gathering the corn, or a vineyard after the vintage.. John Calvin (1509-1564), Commentary on Micah 7.1, 2
Closing Prayer: Psalm 19.7-11
Thank God for His Word – His promises, instruction, plan, salvation, and especially for Jesus, Who is revealed throughout the Scriptures (Jn. 5.39). Commit yourself to following in the path of His Word today and always.
(St. Christopher: Beneath the Cross of Jesus)
The Law of God is perfect, His testimony sure;
the simple man God’s wisdom learns, the soul receives its cure.
God’s Word is right, and His command is pure, and truth imparts;
He makes our eyes to understand; with joy He fills our hearts.
The fear of God is cleansing, forever shall it last.
His judgments all are true and just, by righteousness held fast.
O seek them more than gold most fine, than honey find them sweet;
be warned by every word and line; be blessed with joy complete.
T. M. and Susie Moore
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Except as indicated, all Scriptures are taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. For sources of all quotations, see the weekly PDF of this study. All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (Williston: Waxed Tablet Publications, 2006), available by clicking here.