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  • Writer's pictureLynn Holzinger

Our Burden

O Lord, protect your people with your shepherd’s

staff; lead your flock, your special possession.

Micah 7:14 NLT

Micah was a prophet of God during the reigns of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, the southern kings of Judah and Pekah and Hoshea, the northern kings of Israel. Micah tells the people what God is going to do because of their rebellion against Him. Micah says that Samaria, the capital of Israel and Jerusalem, the capital of Judah, were to blame. God would destroy these cities and the people would be taken captive. God would use judgement to restore them. They had become so corrupt that this was their only hope.

Micah mourns for his people. He knows God will do what He says He will do, and it hurts him that this is the only way. He pleads with the people to repent. He knows there will be restoration and he speaks to the people about this hope. The people weren’t listening and just went on as if nothing would happen. Now God Himself would rid them of all their idols and sacred pillars; their idol shrines and Asherah poles (5:13-14).

God does not take delight or get any satisfaction from doing these things, but he sees the end from the beginning. He is omniscient. He understands what it will take. Still, He feels the pain of going this route. He says, Oh my people, what have I done to you? What have I done to make you tired of me? Answer me! For I brought you out of Egypt and redeemed you from slavery. I sent Moses, Aaron, and Miriam to help you. (6:3-4) He goes on to remind them of other things He had done and yet they had turned away. Now He reminds them again what it is He requires. Their behavior suggested they didn’t know. The Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you; to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God. (6:8) He calls them to fear Him (v.9).

Again, we see Micah mourning. He says, How miserable I am! I feel like a fruit picker after the harvest who can find nothing to eat (7:1). I’m sure at times he wished God would have chosen someone else. Then another moment of hope. As for me, I look to the Lord for help. I wait confidently for God to save me, and my God will certainly hear me. Do not gloat over me, my enemies! For though I fall, I will rise again. Though I sit in darkness, the Lord will be my light (7:7-8). Apparently there were other nations taunting them, saying where is your God now?

All through this book, we see the burden that Micah carries for his people. He knows they are God’s special possession. We too, carry a burden…for prodigals. We have one or maybe more of our own (and a list of others that we care for). We are not called to warn them of coming punishment and for most of us, we don’t know how God will choose to act in their lives. But we can know that they, like Israel, are God’s special possession. He will do whatever it takes.

Micah knew what was coming for Israel, but we don’t know. Our burden is centered around having to watch them live without Jesus. We know that they could have hope and peace and joy, but they don’t see it. Micah’s prayer can be our prayer too. His hope can be our hope.

O Lord, protect ______ with your shepherd’s staff; lead ______, Your special

possession… because you delight in showing unfailing love.

Micah 7:14,18

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