Summary: Micah longed for the time when righteousness would reign once again in Israel. He felt as though the was living in the time of gleaning the fields instead of the time of great harvest.
Micah 7:1-7, "Woe is me! For I am as when they have gathered the summer fruits, as the grape gleanings of the vintage: there is no cluster to eat: my soul desired the first ripe fruit. The good man is perished out of the earth: and there is none upright among men: they all lie in wait for blood; they hunt every man his brother with a net. That they may do evil with both hands earnestly, the prince asketh, and the judge asketh for a reward; and the great man, he uttereth his mischievous desire: so they wrap it up. The best of them is as a brier: the most upright is sharper than a thorn hedge: the day of thy watchmen and thy visitation cometh; now shall be their perplexity. Trust ye not in a friend, put ye not confidence in a guide: keep the doors of thy mouth from her that lieth in thy bosom. For the son dishonoureth the father, the daughter riseth up against her mother, the daughter in law against her mother in law; a man’s enemies are the men of his own house. Therefore I will look unto the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me."
Just about every Christian begins this walk with Jesus in the frame of mind that we want to serve the Lord with gladness and walk in the paths of holiness and righteousness that will please the Lord. The Love of God within us constrains us and our only desire is to please Him. What happens over time with this commitment?
We live in a time when it is increasingly harder to find Christians who really desire to live holy and righteously toward God.
2 Timothy 3:1 says, "This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come."
Who can doubt that if this were the only criterion by which we judged the times in which we live that this would not be the case. Day-by-day the times are growing more perilous and we groan for the coming of the Lord but cry out for the lost at the same time.
The prophet, Micah, faced much the same situation in his day. His cry was one of woe, or how bad things are, for I am in a land of evil and there is no solution to the troubles I see. It reminds me of the old Spiritual that says, “Nobody, knows the trouble I see, nobody knows but me.”
The TV Show “Hee Haw”, used to feature a group that sang the song, “Gloom, despair, and agony on me. Deep, dark depression, excessive misery. If it weren’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all. Gloom, despair and agony on me.”
We may laugh at the lyrics now but there isn’t one of us who has not faced this state of depression, doubt and fear at some time in life. If you haven’t, then you simply haven’t lived long enough and that day will surely come for you too.
Micah compares himself to a Summer Fruit, but what does that mean? What is a summer fruit?
In the Land of Israel there were vast vineyards of grapes and fig trees in abundance. In the springtime of the year these plants would develop sweet and sumptuous fruit. Before the arrival of the searing heat of the summer, they would be harvested and then processed to provide drink and food for the nation. The harvesters would miss some of the grapes and figs on the plant as they passed by.
Those fruit left in the fields would begin to over ripen very quickly, and then dry out on the branches. Into these fields would go the poor and hungry to glean the fields of any left over fruits. It was in one such instance that we read where Ruth went to glean in the fields of Boaz and eventually became his wife.
During the springtime the harvest would take place. Oh what a grand time it was. There would be sweet fruit available everywhere and an abundance of blessing for all.
Micah was comparing himself to that Summer Fruit, the one that was left in the field beyond its time for harvesting. He had begun to feel that the abundance of the presence of God and the blessings of God were lifting from upon Israel. The Jews had turned from their worship of Jehovah to worshipping of idols. They had turned from God, the blessings were gone, the abundance of His presence was gone and now they faced the judgment and anger of God for their failure.
Holiness, sanctification and godliness were rare in the land now. There were so very few who really called upon the name of the Lord. There were so very few who would bow their head to the Father in Heaven. Every man was looking out for himself now. Only a remnant remained to worship God and serve Him with all their heart.