As we come now to the last chapter of Micah, we are in the judgment section of the last cycle. As before, the judgment that is going to fall on Israel and Judah both was going to be a fearsome one. This is found in the first seven verses of the seventh chapter.
“Woe is me! for I am as when they have gathered the summer fruits, as the grapegleanings of the vintage: There is no cluster to eat: My soul desired the firstripe fruit. The good man is perished out of the earth: And there is none upright among men: They all lie in wait for blood; They hunt every man his brother with a net. That they may do evil with both hands earnestly, the prince asketh, and the judge asketh for a reward; And the great man, he uttereth his mischievous desire: So they wrap it up. The best of them is as a brier: The most upright is sharper than a thorn hedge: The day of thy watchmen and thy visitation cometh; Now shall be their perplexity. Trust ye not in a friend, put ye not confidence in a guide: Keep the doors of thy mouth from her that lieth in thy bosom. For the son dishonoureth the father, the daughter riseth up against her mother, the daughter in law against her mother in law; A man’s enemies are the men of his own house. Therefore I will look unto the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation: My God will hear me” (Micah 7:1–7).
SUMMARY OF THE TEXT
The devastation will be complete. The land will look like it has been completely harvested, but there is nothing to show for it in the barns (v. 1). There is no food in the fields, and there is no food in the storehouses. There are no good men left in the land, and those remaining seek to trap others with their nets (v. 2), in order that they might shed their blood. These scoundrels pursue evil with both hands (v. 3). The prince and the great men come to the judges with their desires, and all the corrupt judges have to say is how much? The best of these miscreants are like a hedge full of thorns (v. 4), a thicket of brambles, but their day of perplexity is about to fall down upon their heads. Do not trust in your friends, or even in the wife who lies in bed with you (v. 5) because the days are so treacherous. As Harry Truman once put it, if you want a friend in Washington, get a dog. A man’s adversaries are the members of his own household (v. 6). Trust no one. Things are really dark and hopeless, and this is why the prophet says that he will wait upon the Lord (v. 7). Salvation is from the Lord, and only from there.
When sinful men first begin to drift away from the ways of the Lord, they claim to be able to fulfill, better than the Lord can, what believers value. In other words, the initial claim is that the Deuteronomic blessings that God promises are actually promises that our imaginary sky-friend will not be able to perform, while their enlightened way of approaching government will be able to fulfill them. Do you want peace, love and understanding? Then away with your reliance on ancient texts! Do you want a society governed by mutual respect? Then it needs to be a neutral society, with a secular public square.
But as time passes, it turns out that the peace, love and understanding were actually the values of a white supremacist culture. The cruelty that was implicit in the abortion clinics all along comes out in order to parade in the open. Hostility to others who differ becomes a feature, not a bug. The only thing that is necessary for sinful men to come to boast in their cruelty is the opportunity to do so. When they get their rebellion green-lighted, they pursue their wickedness with both hands.
They will at first mock you for thinking that peace and love can only come from Jesus Christ. They can generate the milk of human kindness just as well as Christian faith can. But then, after what seemed like a very short time, they start mocking you for valuing peace and love at all. Cruelty becomes their badge of vaunted pride.
Truth and justice are objective realities, and they can only be objective realities if there is a transcendent God over all of us. The moment you allowed justice to be a relativized value, settled by human voices down here below, that moment was the time when you put justice up for sale.
And as Micah points out, the only ones who can afford the prices that relativistic judges charge will be the princes and great men. The lowly cannot get justice because they have been priced out of the market. If you want the common man to be represented in the courts, the great need is not public defenders, but rather judges who cannot be bought.
But if you live in a time where this is the case—and you do—do not despair. The day of their perplexity is approaching. It is about to come crashing down on their heads because the ultimate court, the court of Heaven, cannot be corrupted. And God issues decisions from behind His bench.
NO HELP IN FAMILY
We are Christians, not sentimentalists. There is no innate power in human relationships. If we are out of kilter with our Maker, then we are also out of kilter with every aspect of His world. Jesus taught that His coming was intended to recalibrate everything. This is why we are summoned to love Him more than we love father or mother. “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:26). And worldlings, for their part, return the favor. “The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law” (Luke 12:53).
The only way to love your family properly is by loving them less than you love Jesus Christ.
WAIT ON THE LORD
The prophets end with hope, anticipating the hope of the next section. God does not abandon His people, but He does leave them in situations longer than they really wanted to be in them. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Afterward, it yields the peaceful fruit of an upright life (Heb. 12).
But the only way to look forward to that time of harvest is through looking toward the Lord of the harvest, who is the Lord Jesus. We can look forward to the great reckoning, to the time of harvest (v. 11) if we have obeyed the earlier exhortation (v. 2). We are took toward Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. That is the only way to wait on the Lord.