Friday, May 18, 2012

But as for me...

"But as for me, I watch in hope for the LORD.  I wait for God my Savior.  My God will hear me."  (Micah 7:7)

I came across this verse the other day, and I was encouraged and inspired by Micah's faith.  Micah was a prophet of God who was living during a time of despair in Israel.  Things were so bad, he warns against trusting even family and close friends. "What misery is mine!" he says.  "The godly have been swept from the land."  Micah was feeling alone.  He was starving for good things to happen and for good people to rise up among all the corruption and violence taking place in Israel.  

Then he speaks these words: "But as for me, I watch in hope for the LORD.  I wait for God my Savior.  My God will hear me."  He goes from misery to hope in three sentences.  In three statements of faith his outlook is transformed, and he goes on to talk about the faithfulness of God.  He realizes if he wants things to change, he needs to start with himself.

"Though I have fallen, I will rise.  Though I sit in darkness, the LORD will be my light."

If you're anything like me, you know faith can be a daily battle.  I know what is true.  I know what God has said.  I know He loves me and will meet all of my needs.  I know He is my hope and my salvation.  I know He is always faithful.  But still, I fall.  I forget.  I doubt.  I often find myself sitting in the darkness of despair and misery instead of the light of truth: I am loved.  I am blessed.  I am safe.  I am forgiven.  

The words of faith Micah speaks follow some words Jesus quotes from Micah in Matthew 10:35-36. Jesus is talking to his disciples about what they are going to face as He sends them out among the "lost sheep" of Israel.  He sends them to proclaim the message: 'The kingdom of heaven is near.'  He says some will receive them and their message and some will not.  He warns them they may end up in some sticky situations, but not to worry because they won't be alone.  "What I tell you in the dark," he says, "speak in the daylight.  What is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs." (v. 27)  I wonder if that's what happened to Micah.  Did the Spirit of God whisper in his ear when he was sitting there in the darkness of his misery and despair?  ("My kingdom is near.  Get your eyes off of what's going on around you, Micah, and watch for Me.  Wait for Me.  Pray, I'm listening.")

Jesus tells his disciples they will face conflict, just as Micah did in his day.  And that conflict may hit close to home..."a man against his father, a daughter against her mother...a man's enemies will be the members of his own household..." But I think what Jesus was trying to say is this: Conflict is not your enemy.  You are.  Your doubt.  Your unbelief.  Your need to be in control instead of letting go. 

"But as for me," Micah says, "I watch in hope for the Lord."  When he found himself in the darkness, he chose to look up.  He chose to have hope.  He chose to believe.  And from then on he proclaims the goodness of God and asks God to do great things among the people.  God's response:

"As in the days when you came out of Egypt, I will show them my wonders." (Micah 7:15)

I believe "wonderful" things happen every day.  But we won't see them if we're not looking.  Watch for them.  Wait with hope.  Believe the kingdom of heaven is near.  Rise up and proclaim the goodness of the Lord; first to yourself, and then to "the lost" around you.

Remind Me Who I Am (Music Video)