Friday 12 August 2022

Bible Book:

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. (v. 1)

Micah 7:1-7 Friday 12 August 2022

Psalm 28:1-2, 6-9


 Imagine that you have been away for a time, perhaps to that famous Radio 4 desert island, with your book, the Bible and a pile of gramophone records (if you remember those – if not, think eight tracks from your favourite streaming service). You've had no internet connection, radio or TV, you've been cut off from news and then you return after, say, four or five years. Rescued. And you look around.

Micah has landed. He expects things to be as they were: to begin with ripe figs. But it isn’t just the harvest that is missing. The people seem to have gone off the rails, and this is not to do with trains! Their values are all askew. "The official and the judge ask for a bribe…they pervert justice." (v. 3) And Micah’s immediate response is "Woe is me!"

Micah is speaking to a nation at a difficult time. We too face difficult times – post-COVID, post-Brexit and with Russia invading Ukraine. History, it seems, repeats itself. As you read this in August 2022, we are anticipating a new phase in the life of our parliament in the UK.

Like Micah, if we were to look around after an imagined break, what would we notice? As people of whatever nation or time, we never seem to have the ability to live together consistently in harmony. Sooner or later things go wrong. Woe is us?

Micah recognises the need for renewal and restoration in a time when families are broken up: "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." (v.6)

 But to whom can they turn? And to whom can we turn?  The images are so similar. For Micah, the answer is simple, almost simplistic: I will look to the Lord, I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me.

 And for us? God has already spoken. We can see the way that we could live embodied in the person of Jesus. We have no excuse, no need to wait for God to act. We have the responsibility in person, or through a ballot box, to put things right. We are to be instruments of change, but perhaps of judgment too… but humbly, with mercy.


To Ponder:

  • What do we need to change in our lives?
  • To whom can we look for an example of right living?
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