Explore The Bible Study: Hope Found (Personal Title: Waiting on God)

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Have you ever spent time waiting for an upcoming surgery, medical test results, in a traffic jam, or in an amusement park line? I'm sure your emotional responses to waiting in each of these situations were different. Waiting during these situations pales in comparison to the emotions we might experience as we wait for God to work. Lifeway's Explore the Bible Study: Hope Found (Personal Title: Waiting on God), will help you understand that waiting on God is only possible when we understand God’s plan.

Imagine you were Micah, and you were waiting for God to work once again with the people of God. Micah had observed the reality of their sins repeatedly. They had followed the cultural patterns of their society instead of God’s patterns for living as His covenant people. Their sins were so numerous and glaring they had no defense.  It’s during this period of waiting that Micah expresses his struggle with all he has observed and his reliance on God’s promises and redemptive actions. Micah 7:1-6 begins with the reality once again regarding all Micah had observed and how this made waiting on God so difficult.

Waiting on God is difficult when things appear hopeless – Micah 7:1-6

Micah begins with the phrase, “How sad for me!” He is expressing despair and hopelessness. He grieved about what he was observing taking place in society. Here are the actions that grieved him so much:

  • Micah 7:2 – Faithful and upright people had vanished from the land.
  • Micah 7:2 – The only people who remained in the land were those who were looking for the opportunity to shed blood. If no one came along to attack, then they went out hunting for their prey with a net. 
  • Micah 7:3 – They were very proficient or ambidextrous in their ability to do what was evil. They were “all in” when it came to doing evil.
  • Micah 7:3 – Officials and judges demanded bribes. It was a well-oiled machine of political and judicial corruption.
  • Micah 7:3 – The powerful banded together to plot evil.
  • Micah 7:4 – Even the best of them were like briers. They were worse than a hedge of thorns.
  • Micah 7:5 – Can’t trust or rely on anyone including friends and family.
  • Micah 7:6 – Children and the children’s spouses turn against the parents. Households became enemies to one another.

Consider how these actions might be expressed today in our society. How does experiencing this make waiting on God more difficult?

Micah had remained faithful to God, but as he witnessed the depravity of the people of God, he felt alienated, isolated, and discouraged. He compared his feelings to the farmer who gathers the summer fruit and grapes, only to discover he has nothing to show for it. 

As we wait for God, it can become discouraging when it seems that people are continually moving far from God. One must ask, “How can we demonstrate our commitment to love God and others, even if it doesn’t seem to be making a difference?” Micah gives us the answer to this question in the next passages.

Waiting is sustained by God’s promises - Micah 7:7-10

Micah looked to the promises of God and how He had worked in the past to help him overcome the brutal reality of what he was observing. He knew God would deal with sin, and he knew God would keep His covenant with those who loved Him and remained faithful to Him. Micah emphatically stated that he would look to the Lord and wait for the God of [his] salvation

As you consider everything Micah said in this passage about looking to the Lord and waiting for God, how might you apply this to your life as you strive to remain faithful to Him in an ever-increasing evil world?

Looking to the Lord and waiting on His salvation means that, even in the most desperate of situations, we will not only hold on to our belief that God CAN deliver us, but we will also believe that He WILL deliver us. Micah was confident that God would bring about His perfect redemptive plans in the right way, at the right time, and measured with the right amount of judgment and grace. He trusted God even though his personal observations and experiences challenged his patience and faith.

Micah’s patience was not only sustained by the hope he had in God’s redemptive plans but in what he personally knew about God. 

Experiencing God’s love and forgiveness makes waiting worth it! – Micah 7:18-20

After all Micah had proclaimed about the rebellion of the people and God’s judgment, Micah concludes by remembering the wonderful works of the Lord that he and the Israelites had experienced. Micah reminds us that God is:

  • Forgiving.
  • He doesn’t destroy all people because there is a remnant that will follow God.
  • He doesn’t hold on to his anger because He delights in faithful love.
  • He has compassion - suggesting a tender, maternal love that a mother would have for her child.
  • He vanquishes our iniquity. He liberates us from our enemy which is sin.

As We Wait

While Micah was speaking to the Israelites, this promise was ultimately accomplished through the person and work of Jesus. If we have truly experienced the love and forgiveness of Christ that only comes through confessing our sins and turning to Him to receive His salvation, then we know that waiting is something we can do. While we wait, we can live faithfully knowing that God, through Jesus Christ, will ultimately complete His plan of redemption.

How can you demonstrate an attitude of faith as you wait for God to continue to work to bring about His redemptive plans?

The downloadable teaching helps provide more details for this study, along with some tools you can use in guiding a group Bible study. Be sure to use this as a supplement to your study of the Explore the Bible Study resources provided by LifeWay.

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