Scripture Reading: Micah 7:1-20, Psalm 103:8-9, Romans 6:12-14
Both my husband and I are mostly unemployed. I’m trying not to be anxious about it. We are here on purpose. We left our jobs so we could have freedom to spend time with our kids and create art together. And we have a lot of ideas, but nothing has panned out yet. As I watch our savings descend further and further from black to red, I try to stay focused on positively creating something new instead of choking with panic and imagining my children begging for food.
When we try out a new idea, and it doesn’t yield any results, we feel defeated and isolated. Defeat and isolation are paralyzing emotions we all feel in different ways. One of my smallest sons feels total defeat when he gets shampoo in his eyes, and deep isolation if everyone else has already had a snack without him.
Whether you are looking for a job or a snack, feeling alone can be terrifying. And Micah’s isolation was chilling on both a physical and spiritual level. He actually had real and profound reasons to feel alone. He believed there was no one left, and howled out, “Faithful people have vanished from the land; there is no one upright among the people” (Micah 7:2). He felt defeated and searched for a few good men, but he couldn’t find even one.
Micah saw corruption in every corner. You know the old saying about “they get you coming and going”? Micah must have felt the same way—like there was no safe place, no one he could trust. When he reaches out to the best men he can find, he discovers them to be more like razor blades than friends (Micah 7:4).
Remember how Elijah, after his victory at Mt. Carmel, looked around and despaired, believing that he was the only faithful man left in Israel. While he felt alone, God assured him that there were yet 7000 left in Israel who refused to bend their knees to Baal (1 Kings 18:16-45). Still, for both Micah and Elijah, the skies looked very dark, their hearts felt alone, and their vision felt dim. But darkness is not dark to God. He does not leave His people alone, and His vision never falters. No matter how alone we feel, there is still hope.
Even in his darkness, Micah knows the truth. He declares that our only hope, our only safe confidant is the Lord (Micah 7:7). And we know that He cares, not just abstractly or on our birthdays, but presently. He invites us into ongoing relationship with Him even now (Micah 6:3-5). He does not leave us alone, even at night, even when we’re unemployed, even when we’re hungry.
Micah urges those who still sit in darkness to cling to the God of salvation, the God who hears. No matter how dark the night, hope is close at hand: “though I sit in darkness, the Lord will be my light” (Micah 7:8).