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The Scriptorium

The Hope of Restoration

First judgment, then restoration. Micah 7.8-13

The Promise of Restoration: Micah 7 (4)

Opening Prayer: Psalm 77.7-10
Will the Lord cast off forever?
And will He be favorable no more?
Has His mercy ceased forever?
Has His promise failed forevermore?
Has God forgotten to be gracious?
Has He in anger shut up His tender mercies? Selah
And I said, “This is my anguish;
But I will remember the years of the right hand of the Most High.”

Psalm 77.7-10
(Leoni: The God of Abraham Praise)
O Lord, will You reject Your people without end?
Has favor ceased, are You no more our heav’nly Friend?
Your promise and Your love in anger are obscured;
my sin has turned Your hand away, Your beauty blurred.

Read Micah 7.8-13

1. What is the witness of Micah to the enemies of God’s people?

2. What will become of the nations in that day?

God always finishes what He starts. He fulfills all that He has promised. And that includes both judgment (vv. 8, 9, 13) and restoration (vv. 8-12).

In the short term, the enemies of Israel and Judah will have cause to rejoice. The people of God will “fall” and “bear the indignation of the LORD” because of their sins (v. 9). They will be made desolate before their adversaries (v. 13).

But a great day of reversal and restoration is coming, in which the nations will be ashamed for having mocked God’s people and their God (v. 10) and, instead of carrying His people away captive, they will be drawn to them from all over the earth in response to His decree (vv. 11, 12).

God has promised to bless His people and make them a blessing to the world (Gen. 12.1-3). He will surely do that, and the shamed nations will turn from their wickedness to seek the Lord among His people (cf. Ps. 83.16). But wrath and desolation must come first.

Especially the wrath of God upon His own Son, and the desolation He experienced for three days in the grave.

Treasure Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
In our saddest and most desperate times we can say with confidence to our enemies, “Do not rejoice over me…when I sit in darkness, the LORD will be a light to me. I will bear the indignation of the LORD, because I have sinned against Him…” (Mic. 7.8, 9). We can say with great surety that we have sinned, and that we do deserve to be punished for our sins; but that in this darkness, we can still see light.

And the light that we see is Jesus! And what we see is Him carrying the just punishment for our iniquities upon Himself. That is a blinding light that cannot be unseen. He is the Light and Love of our lives. He said, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life” (Jn. 8.12). And His light is so bright that in the new heavens “The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light” (Rev. 21.23).

And then in the end the whole earth will see Jesus’ glorious return—both His enemies and His friends. All of us. “Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him” (Rev. 1.7).

So until that hope of restoration is realized, we will rejoice, bear the much-deserved indignation, work our Personal Mission Fields, and wait with great anticipation to see His righteousness (Mic. 7.9).

1. How did Micah lead the people to look beyond their present time of distress to the fuller realization of God’s promises? Why is this good advice for us as well?

2. How did Jesus bear the wrath and desolation we deserve? How should we respond to that?

3. Peter wrote that the hope we have in Jesus should be so strong that others can see it. What should that hope look like?

The Prophet means, that the state of the Church was not past hope. There would be ample room for our enemies to taunt us, were it not that this promise cannot fail us, ― seven times in the day the just falls, and rises again, (Proverbs 24:16.) ― How so? For God puts under him his own hand..
John Calvin (1506-1564), Commentary on Micah 7.8

Closing Prayer: Psalm 77.11-20
Pray that God would revive His Church, and that His Spirit would flow out from us with the Good News of Jesus, to gather all the nations to Himself.

Psalm 77.11-20
(Leoni: The God of Abraham Praise)
Now let us call to mind Your deeds and wonders, Lord,
and meditate on all Your works and praise Your Word.
Full holy is Your way, great God of earth and heav’n,
to You, O God of strength and pow’r all praise be giv’n!

The waters and the deeps all tremble ‘neath Your hand.
The clouds give forth, the sky resounds across the land.
Your lightning flashes forth and lights the earth around;
we feel beneath our feet the trembling of the ground.

Your way leads through the sea; Your path the water parts.
Your footprints are to us deep mysteries in our hearts.
As then by Moses’ hand and Aaron’s law-filled voice,
You led Your sheep, lead us that we may all rejoice!

T. M. and Susie Moore

You can listen to our summary of last week’s study by clicking here.

Micah in God’s Covenant
Where does the book of Micah fit in God’s covenant with His people? Our workbook, God’s Covenant, can help you to answer that question and to gain a better understanding of how the grace of God reaches and transforms us in Jesus Christ. Order your free copy by clicking here.

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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.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT.
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