Micah 7: Sins of the Present but Hope for
Micah speaks as Israel
Israel's fruitlessness makes Micah unhappy
misery is mine!
I am like one who gathers summer fruit
at the gleaning of the vineyard;
there is no cluster of grapes to eat,
none of the early figs that I crave.
The faithful have gone from the land, only the unrighteous remain
faithful have been swept from the land;
not one upright person remains.
Everyone lies in wait to shed blood;
they hunt each other with nets.
hands are skilled in doing evil;
the ruler demands gifts,
the judge accepts bribes,
the powerful dictate what they desire
they all conspire together.
best of them is like a brier,
the most upright worse than a thorn hedge.
The prophet anguishes over his people with no fruit
of righteousness in sight [v.1]. Indeed all he can see are the
unrighteous who violently do one another down [v.2], with corruption
running rife [v.3], a scratchy, spikey, unpleasant people [v.4].
Condemnation out of anguish.]
Micah warns Israel of the coming disciplining from the Lord
He warns them of spreading unrighteousness in relationships
day God visits you has come,
the day your watchmen sound the alarm.
Now is the time of your confusion.
not trust a neighbour;
put no confidence in a friend.
Even with the woman who lies in your embrace
guard the words of your lips.
a son dishonours his father,
a daughter rises up against her mother,
a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law
a man's enemies are the members of his
He himself will trust no one except the Lord
as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord,
I wait for God my Saviour;
my God will hear me.
God's judgment comes in different forms but He's coming
[v.4b] so that, removing restraint, everyone is out for themselves
and against everyone else [v.5,6]. He himself trusts on the Lord
[v.7]. A call to awareness.]
Micah prophesies a day of restoration
There is hope in the Lord
not gloat over me, my enemy!
Though I have fallen, I will rise.
Though I sit in darkness,
the Lord will be my light.
He acknowledges their sin and need to take their punishment
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.
This will be seen by the whole surrounding world
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.
Yet there will coma day for Israel to be rebuilt and triumph
day for building your walls will come,
the day for extending your boundaries.
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.
earth will become desolate because of its inhabitants,
as the result of their deeds.
Yet amazingly and yet so often seen in scripture
grace and mercy will prevail in that, although Israel are down
in the immediate future, they will be raised up [v.8]. The Lord
will punish them for their sin but He will restore them [v.9],
so although their enemies may gloat over their downfall now [v.10]
there will yet come a day in the future when Jerusalem will be
rebuilt [v.11] and the peoples of the surrounding areas, once
their enemies, will turn to them [v.12], and the unbelieving earth
will be punished [v.13]. Accountability, punishment, yet restoration.]
Micah extols the Lord
Micah prays lead your people again, as in days of old, and the
your people with your staff,
the flock of your inheritance,
which lives by itself in a forest,
in fertile pasture-lands.
Let them feed in Bashan and Gilead
as in days long ago.
in the days when you came out of Egypt,
I will show them my wonders.'
He prophesies the downfall of ungodly nations
will see and be ashamed,
deprived of all their power.
They will put their hands over their mouths
and their ears will become deaf.
will lick dust like a snake,
like creatures that crawl on the ground.
They will come trembling out of their dens;
they will turn in fear to the Lord our
and will be afraid of you.
He extols the Lord's goodness
is a God like you,
who [i] pardons
sin and [ii] forgives the
of the remnant of his inheritance?
You [iii] do not stay angry
but [iv] delight
to show mercy.
A second time he extols the Lord's goodness
again have compassion on us;
you [vi] will
tread our sins underfoot
and [vii] hurl
all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.
[viii] You will be faithful
and show love to Abraham,
as you pledged on oath to our ancestors
in days long ago.
As the prophet sees this, his heart is lifted and he
prays the Lord will come and shepherd His people again [v.14]
as in days of old [v.15] so other nations will see [v.16] and
be brought down [v.17]. He concludes by praising the Lord for
His grace that is seen in the way He deals with His people [v.18-20].
A glorious conclusion.]
Comment: The final chapter is all about
reality about where Israel are at the moment with unrighteousness
prevailing [v.1-3] and receiving the Lord's disciplining through
their unrighteousness [v.4-7]. As Micah speaks as Israel,
he recognizes their failure [v,8,9] but senses the Lord's intent
to eventually restore them [v.9-13]. This stirs prayer and praise
in him [v.14-20], a fitting end to the book.]