Scripture References – Micah 7:1-9, 18-20
Taking up from the last lesson we see that Micah found a connection between the absence of trust and immorality. If we are not willing to be responsible enough to be trustworthy, as individuals, and as a society, then we evidently bear no need for moral behavior. Can you trust me to be who I say I am? Can you trust me to try acting in your best interest rather than in a self-centered manner? If not, you can’t trust me in any other way because I have proven that I am not standing on the foundation for moral action. Simply put, I have said by my lack of trustworthiness that you, as a person, don’t matter to me.
Talk about living in darkness! Mark Twain showed us in his character Huckleberry Finn, that Huck wrestled with darkness in his society and his own darkness as well. In Huck’s Southern world, a high crime was helping a runaway slave which he had done for Jim. Huck became torn because of the prevailing attitudes of those who had reared him from a proslavery perspective, the then called, “dirty abolitionists,” and his own friendship with Jim, the slave, who had sacrificed for him, taken risks for him, and had been through all kinds of adventures with him up and down the “Big River,” the mighty Mississippi. Later Huck sang:
I am waitin’ for the light to shine
I am waitin’ for the light to shine
I have lived in the darkness for so long
I’m waitin’ for the light to shine.
You’ve been there, haven’t you? One being engulfed in darkness, darkness all around but “waitin’ for the light to shine.” It’s your personal darkness. You’re a long way from home, and loneliness won’t go away. You’re in a required course that you can’t pass, and it won’t go away. There is that guilt for some long-ago failure that won’t let light in. There is the burning grief that will not let you rest. There’s a health problem that threatens your life. There is something that you believe keeps you from being faithful to God.
You’re in darkness, but you’re still “waitin’ for the light to shine.” Well, in a great way, that’s faith. To believe that the light will shine when all you know is darkness, that in essence, is faith.
It was hopeful; it was a matter of faith that Micah used an image of an orchard or vineyard where there was no fruit, but where there could be new growth in season. Listen to this prophetic liturgy, his hymn about the victory of faith.
Therefore I will look to the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation; My God will hear me. Do not rejoice over me, my enemy; When I fall, I will arise; When I sit in darkness, The LORD will be a light to me. . . . He will bring me forth to the light; I will see His righteousness. – Micah 7:7-9.
Who is a God like You, Pardoning iniquity And passing over the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He does not retain His anger forever, Because He delights in mercy. He will again have compassion on us, And will subdue our iniquities. You will cast all our sins Into the depths of the sea. – Micah 7:18-19.
Israel may be fallen now, but she shall certainly rise. Darkness has overtaken her temporarily, but God always has been and ever will be her light, the light over which no darkness can be victorious. In all that God does, redemption is God’s aim; therefore, God acts to forgive those who have failed and those who struggle but who do not wish to remain in darkness.
That is why we do not have to live as people without hope. That is why we need not pronounce doom on ourselves, our society, and our world. With faith in God and God’s goodness, there is hope. There is always hope! Like Huckleberry Finn, we may be “waitin’ for the light to shine,” but, there is already some light, isn’t there?
Of course there is! Jesus told us about Himself: “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” – John 8:12. Now that is hope and to that I can say a hearty and sincere, Amen!