Yesterday we read that Job was so depressed he declared, “I loathe my life”, but he is blessed in his old age. Today the final chapter of Micah begins, ‘Woe is me’! and, as with all the smaller prophets, it ends with a triumphant picture of ultimate blessing. The first part of this chapter describes the lawless attitudes surrounding the prophet. He uses words which could describe life as it is today. “The godly has perished from the earth”, he writes, and “there is no one upright … put no trust in a neighbour; and have no confidence in a friend” (verses 2,5).

Family life in Israel had broken down, “the son treats the father with contempt, the daughter rises up against her mother” (verse 6). Then the prophet seems to step back and make a fuller reflection on the situation from his personal perspective and sets us a great example, “But as for me, I will look to the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation, my God will hear me” (verse 7).

That is the power of positive faith, this is the spirit we need and may need more and more, especially if we feel overwhelmed by events and we are tempted to cry, “Woe is me”.

The concluding verses indicate the final blessings for God’s people. It seeks to maintain and build up faith, and encourage those who have sought repentance after failure. “Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity and passing over transgression for the remnant of his inheritance … he will again have compassion on us” (verses 18,19). May He have compassion on us too. Our aim must be to “go on to perfection” (Hebrews 6:1, AV) or “go on to maturity” (ESV) so that we can “draw near (to God and our saviour, the Lord Jesus) with a true heart in full assurance of faith” (Hebrews 10:22).