On one of my traveling adventures, I remember walking through a certain city in a certain nation and feeling the darkness of the atmosphere.
Have you ever been somewhere and felt like that?
There was a heaviness that almost felt inescapable.
Physical signs pointed to extreme human brokenness.
Carnal activity carried out in plain daylight that was shocking to witness.
An uneasiness in my spirit that was straight from the Holy Spirit, reminding me that God’s holiness and sin can’t coexist.
Evil influences all around me, reminding me that I’m not home yet.
Sometimes we’re there on a mission to bring His light to the darkness. Sometimes we find ourselves there unexpectedly. And if we’re honest, sometimes we’re there because our flesh chooses it in rebellion against a holy God.
This kind of atmosphere doesn’t just limit itself to the exterior of a city.
It resides in homes, after-hours rendezvous, internet searches, and more, settling into the deep spaces of the heart.
So far in the book of Micah we’ve read about a lot of sin, judgment, mourning, and woe. If you’re feeling the heaviness of it all, girl, I’m with you. But in two verses in Chapter 2 there’s a brief and dramatic shift, like an unexpected plot change in a movie. If you blink you might just miss it. Whatever you do, don’t. miss. this:
“I will surely assemble all of you, O Jacob;
I will gather the remnant of Israel;
I will set them together
like sheep in a fold,
like a flock in its pasture,
a noisy multitude of men.”
It’s a promise of deliverance, from the God of the Universe who perfectly balances judgment and long-suffering, separation and drawing near, justice and mercy, destruction and salvation.
Time-out: I officially give you permission to raise your hands and lift your voices with a shout of praise right now – right where you sit.
WHO IS LIKE OUR GOD?!
If you’re among the faithful, surrounded by evil and wondering when it will ever end, GOD IS FOR YOU.
He hasn’t abandoned His people. He will rescue you in times of trouble. He will rebuild what is broken. He is your Good Shepherd. His purposes will prevail.
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and all that is within me,
bless his holy name!
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits,
who forgives all your iniquity,
who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit,
who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
who satisfies you with good
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
The Lord works righteousness
and justice for all who are oppressed.
He made known his ways to Moses,
his acts to the people of Israel.
And if that’s just not the BEST NEWS EVER, there’s more…
If you’re among the rebellious, running away from God, hard and fast into the sin that so easily entangles you, TURN BACK TO HIM.
The Lord is merciful and gracious,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
He will not always chide,
nor will he keep his anger forever.
He does not deal with us according to our sins,
nor repay us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west,
so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
As a father shows compassion to his children,
so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.
For he knows our frame;
he remembers that we are dust. – Psalm 103
He won’t abandon His people. He will rescue you in times of trouble. He will rebuild what is broken. He is your Good Shepherd. His purposes will prevail.
Maybe you needed to hear these truths from God’s Word today, or maybe someone you know needs these reminders passed on to them from you. Let’s stand firm and charge the darkness together, because of the confidence we have in Christ, our Deliverer.
At His Feet,
Week 2 Challenge: God hates oppression and we’ll read more about that later this week. What are some ways you can fight against oppression in your realm of influence? How can you stand for justice and fight for those who can not fight for themselves?