The Total Corruption of the People
7 Woe is me! For I have become like one who,
after the summer fruit has been gathered,
after the vintage has been gleaned,
finds no cluster to eat;
there is no first-ripe fig for which I hunger.
2 The faithful have disappeared from the land,
and there is no one left who is upright;
they all lie in wait for blood,
and they hunt each other with nets.
3 Their hands are skilled to do evil;
the official and the judge ask for a bribe,
and the powerful dictate what they desire;
thus they pervert justice.[a]
4 The best of them is like a brier,
the most upright of them a thorn hedge.
The day of their[b] sentinels, of their[c] punishment, has come;
now their confusion is at hand.
5 Put no trust in a friend,
have no confidence in a loved one;
guard the doors of your mouth
from her who lies in your embrace;
6 for the son treats the father with contempt,
the daughter rises up against her mother,
the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law;
your enemies are members of your own household.
7 But as for me, I will look to the Lord,
I will wait for the God of my salvation;
my God will hear me.
Penitence and Trust in God
8 Do not rejoice over me, O my enemy;
when I fall, I shall rise;
when I sit in darkness,
the Lord will be a light to me.
9 I must bear the indignation of the Lord,
because I have sinned against him,
until he takes my side
and executes judgment for me.
He will bring me out to the light;
I shall see his vindication.
Micah certainly doesn’t view the world’s humanity through rose colored glasses. Quite the contrary. Micah is taking a good look at the world around him and things look very bleak. Given the violence, hatred, and misconduct of all varieties in the world today, Micah’s words are certainly relevant. In these verses from Micah, Micah illustrates through the comparison of a vineyard that not a single sinless person can be found. All conspire together, all cause pain, all are deceitful. Not even in your own family can you fully trust another person’s desires or intentions. Although Micah’s language is vigorous and his condemnation is severe, Micah is right. We all sin. Who among us has not caused family strife at some point? Who among us has not been self serving? Who among us has not caused pain to another through our words or actions? As we Lutherans profess, we are both saint and sinner. As Micah confidently exclaims, “But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord, I wait for God my Savior, my God will hear me” (7:7). Together with Micah, we can be confident in God’s grace. In thanksgiving for the grace God shows to us, we respond to try another day to turn from sin and more truly follow Jesus.
Dear God, forgive me, for I know I have sinned against you and caused pain. Help me today, and everyday, to be good fruit easily visible to the world. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Written by Ruthie Steen
Disciple of Jesus at St. John’s Lutheran Church