Do not gloat over me, my enemy! Though I have fallen, I will rise. Though I sit in darkness, the Lord will be my light. Because I have sinned against him, I will bear the Lord ’s wrath, until he pleads my case and upholds my cause. He will bring me out into the light; I will see his righteousness. Then my enemy will see it and will be covered with shame, she who said to me, “Where is the Lord your God?” My eyes will see her downfall; even now she will be trampled underfoot like mire in the streets. The day for building your walls will come, the day for extending your boundaries. In that day people will come to you from Assyria and the cities of Egypt, even from Egypt to the Euphrates and from sea to sea and from mountain to mountain. The earth will become desolate because of its inhabitants, as the result of their deeds. Micah 7:8-13
Clearly I am a product of Hollywood influence. When I read the phrase “into the light” my mind immediately went to the movie Poltergeist….”walk toward the light”. This move came out when I was a teenager and really freaked me out. The images of a housing development being constructed on top of a cemetery were pretty vivid and disturbing. In the movie a young girl in the family gets abducted by the darkness that is present in the seemingly benign suburban house. She is rescued by “walking toward the light”. This passage is essentially telling us to do the same thing “walk toward the light”.
The “light” in this passage is not some bright glow out of a television or a nebulous neon sign that we are to seek, but God Himself, “the Lord will be my light”. The reason we are in the darkness is because we have chosen to remain in darkness and we have “sinned against him”. Fortunately, God promises to reach out to us in the darkness and “pleads my case and upholds my cause”. God is going to break the snare that ensnares our souls, whatever that may be for each of us. He will ” bring me out into the light; I will see his righteousness.”. God did this by bringing light into the world through His son Jesus.
The end of the passage seems to be talking about the sacking of Jerusalem and it being overrun with invaders “people will come to you from Assyria and the cities of Egypt, even from Egypt to the Euphrates and from sea to sea and from mountain to mountain.” The invasion of the land of Israel will result in a muddy mess, “The earth will become desolate because of its inhabitants, as the result of their deeds”. This seems to be talking about a degradation of the earth which could be viewed as physical in the form of environmental pollution and human impacts to our environment; or it could be viewed in a metaphysical sense and the pollution which we have wrought in people’s souls. Neither one is good.
I recently read a book called Tom’s River: A story of Science and Salvation about water pollution in Tom’s River New Jersey. I was shocked by what went on in the 1950’s, 60’s, and 70’s. The decisions being made about toxic waste seem unfathomable today, thank goodness. Yet we are still making all sorts of decisions about our physical environment without counting the cost to ourselves and the earth. We still have a long way to go to clean up our past messes and keep form creating new ones.
Metaphysical pollution is something much more subtle and difficult to evaluate as we are steeped in our culture and often find it difficult to see the “water” in which we swim. Some of the “deeds” that have polluted our souls include a cheapening of human life, lack of intentional investment in family relationships, a culture of consumerism that values showmanship over substance, and an apathy toward eternal truths. Most do not acknowledge or accept that this metaphysical pollution is giving rise to all sorts of spiritual sickness.
So what is the take home message here? I think for me it is that God knows that we are essentially “cave dwellers” that have grown comfortable in the darkness, but the Good News is that He has reached out his arm across the great divide to draw us into the light.
Prayer: God thank You for reaching out across the darkness to draw us into the light.