Growing up and getting
punished for being an insolate child (really, I’m not one of those saying I was
innocent. I deserved it!), I would
sometimes hear how much it hurt my parents to punish me. I didn’t believe it. I didn’t believe it until I had to punish our
little girl, Dani, for the first time. I
It pained me to pain
her. It hurt me to hurt her. It crushed my feelings. I was, as you might imagine, completely and
totally surprised by my reaction. But it
made me think: if punishing my little one hurt my heart so much, how much more
does punishing us hurt our Heavenly Father?
And yet, it must happen from time to time because we all can act like
“spiritual toddlers” and leave the Lord with no choice but to punish us to drive
our sin far from us.
This is precipice Israel
found herself. The Lord’s punishment,
historically, was about to occur when Micah received the prophecy we see today. Yes, it would pain the Father to punish His children,
but He also knew the result of this punishment and how the end was going to
not gloat over me, my enemy!
Though I have fallen, I
Though I sit in darkness,
the Lord will be my light.
I have sinned against him,
I will bear the Lord’s
wrath, until he pleads my case and upholds my cause.
He will bring me out into
the light; I will see his righteousness.
my enemy will see it and will be covered with shame,
she who said to me, “Where
is the Lord your God?”
My eyes will see her
downfall; even now she will be trampled underfoot like mire in the streets.
day for building your walls will come, the day for extending your boundaries.
that day people will come to you from Assyria and the cities of Egypt,
even from Egypt to the
and from sea to sea and
from mountain to mountain.
earth will become desolate because of its inhabitants,
as the result of their
The fall of Jerusalem to
her enemies was upon them. There would
be a day when the Lord’s people would look back on these days and see the
defeat and this text was written prophetically to remind the faithful remnant:
this defeat is not the end. Though their
enemies will gloat over their defeat and will dance at their depression, it
would not be the end. The Lord’s
timetable demonstrated there would come a day when the Lord would truly have
the last word in the situation.
Notice carefully in verse
nine, this great fall was not because of the Lord’s fickleness but was a direct
result of the sin of the people.
“I have sinned against him”
and as the result of it is to “bear the Lord’s wrath.” It’s easy to
simply dismiss this but we must grapple with the reality that sometimes it is
our own sin bringing about our downfall.
Never forget the warning of Scripture, “you may be sure that your
sin will find you out” (Numbers 32:23). The Lord is patient with His people but the judgment
against Israel and Judah in the pages of the later Old Testament reminds us
there is a limit to His patience. Then
He must punish us. But we know, “No
discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it
produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained
by it” (Hebrews
Thankfully, there is also a
limit to His disciple and the prophet in today’s passage sees a day when the
Lord’s punishment will not only end but will result in a reversal and greater
blessing for His people. Truly in the
words of the author of Hebrews, the Lord’s punishment will result in “righteousness
and peace for those who have been trained by it” (Hebrew 12:11b).
If you see nothing else in these verses, please see the unconquerable
and unshakable faith of the faithful remnant of the Lord’s people.
Even though they are being
punished alongside the unrighteous, their faith is secure in the Sovereign Lord
of the Universe. I can hear snippets
from Israel’s songbook in these verses by the Micah.
“I keep my eyes always on the Lord.
With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken”
Psalm 27:1: “The Lord is my light and my salvation—
whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be
Yes, even in the midst of
the Lord’s punishment, there is hope and love.
The correction becomes a blessing.
The faith we maintain in those moments stays firm in our faith in the
My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness
I dare not trust the sweetest frame
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name
When darkness veils His lovely face
I rest on His unchanging grace
In every high and stormy gale
My anchor holds within the veil
His oath His covenant His blood
Support me in the whelming flood
When all around my soul gives way
He then is all my hope and stay
When He shall come with trumpet sound
O may I then in Him be found
Dressed in His righteousness alone
Faultless to stand before the throne
On Christ the solid Rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand
All other ground is sinking sand
“The Solid Rock”
Edward Mote | William
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