Hope for the Hopeless

The Fellowship  |  September 3, 2019

Young woman with scripture at the Western Wall.

But as for me, I watch in hope for the LORD
    I wait for God my Savior;
    my God will hear me. — Micah 7:7

In the weeks leading up to the High Holy Days, the Jewish people focus on Scriptures from the Torah that provide hope and inspiration as they prepare for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. This is one of 12 devotions on the hope we have as people of faith. To learn more about the High Holy Days, download our complimentary devotional guide.

If ever there appeared to be a hopeless case, the people of Israel at the time of Micah seemed to be it. After preaching to the people about the pending judgment of God throughout much of his message, Micah opens his final chapter with these despairing words, “What misery is mine! . . . The faithful have been swept from the land; not one upright person remains” (Micah 7:1, 2).

Indeed, from there Micah goes on to recount Israel’s sins and the people’s transgressions: the immorality of Judah’s judges and officials; the dishonesty of neighbors and friends; the widespread treachery that led to discord within their own households amongst family members. In short, he confirmed that Judah would be punished and led into Babylonian captivity.

Yet, God’s punishment would not be forever. In an eloquent statement of faith that was both personal and on behalf of his people, Micah proclaims, “But as for me, I watch in hope for the LORD, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me” (Micah 7:7). In faith, Micah reminded himself and the people that Israel must be patient in their punishment because God would bring His people through the dark times (v.8); and that eventually, their enemies would be punished (v.10).

Micah’s unfailing confidence in the Lord was clear as he spoke of God’s provision in times of turmoil and of God’s ability to hear us even when we have fallen astray. Yes, Israel would suffer for her transgressions, but God’s final act on behalf of His people would be to remove those transgressions from His sight and forgive them completely.

In a beautiful affirmation of God’s mercy, compassion, and faithfulness to His people, Micah said, “Who is a God like you, who pardons sins and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy” (Micah 7:18).

God never forgets His promises, and He will always be our hope. That continues to be good news for us. Let Micah’s message of hope and redemption in the midst of turmoil and impending disaster reassure us in facing the struggles and trials of our own lives: God is compassionate; He does not stay angry with us; and He delights in showing mercy and forgiveness as we come to Him with repentant hearts.

Explore the most holy time on the Jewish calendar with our complimentary devotional guide, High Holy Days: A Season of Repentance.