Choose wisely – make hope your strategy
I am counting on the LORD; yes, I am counting on him. I have put my hope in his word. – Psalms 130:5
1 How miserable I am! I feel like the fruit picker after the harvest who can find nothing to eat. Not a cluster of grapes or a single early fig can be found to satisfy my hunger.
2 The godly people have all disappeared; not one honest person is left on the earth. They are all murderers, setting traps even for their own brothers.
3 Both their hands are equally skilled at doing evil! Officials and judges alike demand bribes. The people with influence get what they want, and together they scheme to twist justice.
4 Even the best of them is like a brier; the most honest is as dangerous as a hedge of thorns. But your judgment day is coming swiftly now. Your time of punishment is here, a time of confusion.
7 As for me, I look to the LORD for help. I wait confidently for God to save me, and my God will certainly hear me.
A burden is something that is carried. It connotes something which is a load, a duty, or responsibility. It is often something oppressive and worrisome. Each of us has burdens to carry.
The prophets not only declared the Father’s message with their lips, but they also felt the burden of the people on their hearts. Jeremiah has been called the weeping prophet. Jeremiah wept over the sins of the nation in his day and wished he could weep even more (Jeremiah 9:1), and Micah lamented because there were no godly people left in the land. Looking for a godly person was as futile as looking for summer fruit after the harvest was over.
Micah compared the evil officials to hunters who wove clever nets and threw them over the helpless and trapped them. These officials and judges were skilled at weaving their nets (perverting the law so they could rob the unwary), but they were not skilled at obeying the Father’s laws. They were like briars and thorns that hurt people when they should have been like concerned shepherds who helped people. They preferred lies to truth and this brought about a time of confusion. When the Truth is no longer the standard for society, then everything starts to fall apart; for faithfulness to our word, our commitments is the cement that holds society together.
This confusion reached every level of society. Considering the terrible condition of the land and that judgment was near and certain, wouldn’t it have been a wise thing for the people to turn from their sin and trust the Lord? But sinners don’t do wise things, because their eyes are blinded as they walk in the darkness (John 3:19–21) (Wiersbe).
As children of the King, we can do wise things. We are children of the light and not the darkness.
“Whether we like it or not, waiting on God is a big part of our walk of faith. When we do all that we can, in faith, and then wait for God to do the rest, we demonstrate our trust and proclaim His faithfulness” (Stanley).
REFLECT & PRAY
When we are in difficult situations, trusting in the Father is the bridge to hope and confidence.
Father no matter how dire the circumstances, strengthen me to focus on You and employ a strategy of hope.
The Father has ordained that people reap what they sow whether good or bad. There is grave collateral damage for disobedience. It is not necessarily immediate, but it will surely come.
Hosea 8:7 They have sowed the wind and will harvest the whirlwind.
“Every farmer understands the meaning of this principle: We reap what we sow, more than we sow, and later than we sow” (Stanley).
Micah understood the times in which he lived. Micah was heartbroken that the people of Israel had turned away from the Father. The consequences of sowing disobedience were social upheaval, ungodliness, and disloyalty.
It brought Micah great personal misery and anguish of soul. But then something wonderful happened. Micah refocused. He took his eyes off the rebellion of the people and fixed them upon the Father’s faithfulness. Hope became his strategy. As a prophet, he was able to look down through the centuries to the final outcome that the Father had promised. As he confidently waited upon the Lord in hope. The circumstances he faced somehow became much smaller and more manageable.
Micah 7:7 As for me, I watch in hope for the LORD. I wait confidently for God to save me, and my God will certainly hear me.
What does it take to maintain stability and confidence in dire, even savage times? Micah leads the way with a strategy of hope. He watches, waits, and prays. He is certain that the Father will hear. In such moments, “clinging to and acting in response to our hope in God is our strategy, the only strategy that will help us weather life’s storms” (Adam Holz).
As of the King, we can choose what we sow. If we have chosen poorly and sewed to our own detriment, we can reverse course. We can choose to sow to the Spirit.
Galatians 6:8 For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.
“But choose wisely. For as the true Grail will bring you life, the false Grail shall take it from you” (Grail Knight, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade).
Lay Your Burden Down (Chuck Girard)
Lay your burden down, lay your burden down. Take your troubled soul, your tired mind.
And lay your burden down.
Lay your burden down, get your feet on solid ground. Take your worries to the foot of the cross, and lay your burden down.
Lay your burden down, lay your burden down. Take your weary life, your heavy load, and lay your burden down.
Lay your burden down, get your feet on solid ground. Take your failures to the foot of the cross, and lay your burden down.
And the strength you once were feelin’, isn’t there no more. And you think the wrong you’ve done, is just too much to be forgiven. But you know that isn’t true. Just lay your burden down, . . . He has Forgiven you