Summary: Every person who walks humbly with the Lord encounters various situations along the way. Micah 7:8-13 discloses some of the experiences in the pilgrimage. Not everything that happens to the godly is good. God’s people encounter both good and bad during
The Pilgrimage of Faith
John Bunyan wrote a classic when he penned Pilgrim’s Progress. The work is sound allegorical literature; it also contains many helpful insights about the Christian life. One of the contributions Bunyan make was to depict the Christian life as a journey, or pilgrimage. He pictured the pilgrimage with all kinds of experiences, trials, temptations, decisions, and many other happenings.
Every person who walks humbly with the Lord encounters various situations along the way. Micah 7:8-13 discloses some of the experiences in the pilgrimage. Not everything that happens to the godly is good. God’s people encounter both good and bad during the pilgrimage of faith.
Let us not forget our historical setting. In the eight century BC, Micah preached to Judah. Israel fell in 722 BC to Assyrians while Micah ministered to Judah. The Assyrians threatened Jerusalem and Judah in 701 BC. Micah told of both the good and he bad of those who walked with the Lord. Look closely at Micah’s description of the pilgrimage of faith. We can identify with every turn on the journey.
I. The Pilgrimage of faith is an imperfect one.
a. Micah admitted his sins as well as the sins of the people with such phrases as “when I fall” (v. 8) and “I have sinned” (v. 9).
i. Micah would have been the last to say that either he or Judah walked perfectly.
ii. All of the people had stumbled along the road of the pilgrimage of faith.
b. Faith in the Lord does not preclude stumbling
i. Some of the most righteous people stumbled.
ii. Abraham, the prime example of faith, told the Egyptians that Sarah was his sister rather than his wife.
iii. David, described as a man after God’s own heart, committed adultery with a woman and arranged for her husband’s death.
iv. Simon Peter, a trusted member of the inner circle of Jesus’ disciples, denied the Lord.
v. As Christians travel down the road of life, they sometimes fall, but their fall does not end their journey.
1. Those believers need to confess their sins, accept God’s forgiveness, and make more progress in their pilgrimage.
vi. God’s people are not perfect.
1. They struggle with sin and temptation every day.
2. At times they fall.
3. Facing sin in the ecstasy of victory of the agony of defeat happens in every Christian life.
II. The pilgrimage of faith is a troublesome one.
a. Micah mentioned the troubles of Judah.
i. The expression “when I sit in darkness” (v. 8) could have referred to the Sennacherib crisis in 701 BC.
ii. For Judah those were dark days.
iii. Thousands of Assyrian soldiers surrounded the city.
iv. Fear filled Jerusalem.
v. Defeat seemed inevitable
vi. Judah’s pilgrimage of faith involved some troublesome situations.
b. Just because a person has faith does not mean he will lead a charmed life.
i. Some of the most righteous persons have experienced dark days of trouble.
1. Job furnishes an example of a righteous person suffering.
2. He was a good man, but he lost his children, his possessions, and his health.
ii. The road of the Christian life has many bumps.
1. All kinds of trials come to the believer’s life.
2. The only way to master trials is to trust in the Lord.
3. Faith can help us cope with the adversities of life.
iii. Having looked at the two negative experiences, stumbling in sin and encountering trials, we will not turn to a positive encounter along the pilgrimage of faith.
III. The pilgrimage of faith is a trusting one.
a. Micah recalled the times when Judah trusted the Lord.
i. There were times in Judah’s history when there was no place to trun other than to the Lord.
ii. Listen to the expressions of trust in verse 9: “He will bring me forth to the light”; “I shall behold his righteousness”
iii. Scholars cannot agree exactly when in Judah’s history Micah 7:8-13 was written.
1. Some think Micah referred to the Sennacherib crisis when the Assyrians surrounded the city.
2. This situation seems to fit
3. When Sennacherib threatened Judah, there was only one place to turn; to the Lord.
b. Life brings many situations where trust is the only logical response.
i. What does it mean to trust the Lord?
1. It means to open your life to the Lord and to place complete confidence in him to help you through a particular situation.
IV. The pilgrimage of faith is a hopeful one.
a. Micah spoke of Jerusalem’s doom and its future hope.
i. Jerusalem’s foes rejoiced over its fall and taunted its inhabitants.
ii. Verse 10, “Where is the Lord thy God,” they asked.
iii. Though for a moment Jerusalem had fallen, Micah predicted its restoration.