Summary: Just as Micah longed for the coming Messiah, so too we place our trust in the one who has been revealed; Jesus Christ!
“Breath of Life” Micah 7:1-7
That grand old man of English statesmanship, William Gladstone, one day arose in Parliament and solemnly announced that he had a sad statement to make. “Princess Alice is dead,” said he; “and love did it.” Her boy was ill with diphtheria and near to death. The physician had cautioned her not to come close enough to the child to breathe his dying breath. But the little fellow looked up from his bed, reached out his tiny arms, and said feebly, “Mamma, please come and kiss me.” And she did it, in spite of warning, and at the cost of her own life.
In Christ, we see the very same love expressed to sinful humanity. Jesus, God the Son, set aside glory in Heaven to take on human flesh, to veil himself, clothed in humanity that He, like the mother in the story, might come ever close to us in our sin sickened state; even while knowing that it would be at the cost of His life.
Today is the first Sunday of Advent, the time which we watch and wait for the birth of Christ, just as the shepherds and kings alike, of ages past, watched for the sign of his coming. Advent is the time in which we like them; look forward to His appearing; the great mystery of God in human flesh, the “hypostasis,” the God-Man, the logos, the communication of God’s grace to sinful humanity.
In Philippians 2:5-11 the Apostle Paul writes, “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death – even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (NIV)
This morning we will consider the breath of new life that has been breathed upon us as God gave us the ultimate gift of life in Jesus Christ. The birth of Christ is a time not merely of celebrating a festive season; it is a time of celebrating the coming of the king of glory, and majesty.
It is a time when we consider the sublime mystery of God veiled in human flesh and when we rediscover the beauty of the hope of our blessed redeemer!
In today’s Scripture reading, we find the prophet Micah lamented the reality that he lived among a people who had become completely and utterly godless. His lament was over the evil times in which he lived. At this time in Israeli history the kingdom was divided into two halves; Israel in the north and Judah in the south. The Jewish people had fallen into godless living and pagan worship.
Regarding today’s passage of Scripture, speaking specifically of Micah 7:1-7, the NIV Study Bible says simply this: “Micah’s lament over a decadent society.” In regard to verse six where it says, “For a son dishonors his father, a daughter rises up against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law – a man’s enemies are the members of his own household,” the NIV Study Bible expounds saying, “The family unit was disintegrating.”
Micah’s words might well have been penned in any newspaper across America, last week, a few days ago, or today. Micah’s lament was over the godlessness of his generation and what it was doing to the land that he loved, a land which had once known the pure worship of God but had mingled it with pagan philosophy.
Much of our lament is also over the godlessness that we see across our land as people turn away from the truth of God for the lies of reckless living, selfish squandering, drug abuse, and pagan philosophies. Our lament, along with Micah is that God’s people might return to the purity of His worship, that God’s people might not trade the wealth of His word for the empty decadence of a lie.
But that is not the end of the story! Micah did not lament over the condition of his land and then go and hide and wait for things to get better. In verse seven of today’s passage we read the words of Micah, “But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord, I wait for God my savior; my god will hear me.” (NIV)
Oh, that we might be a people, like Micah, moved by the diseased corpses of sin that we see strewn around the landscape of our culture, moved to watch in hope for the Lord! Oh, that we might rest our hope securely on the one who was promised by the prophets of old, that we might know the security that comes in insecure times, of trusting completely in Christ alone!