Micah 7


‘What 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 been swept from the land; not one upright person remains. Everyone lies in wait to shed blood; they hunt each other with nets. Both hands are skilled in doing evil; the ruler demands gifts, the judge accepts bribes, the powerful dictate what they desire—they all conspire together. The best of them is like a brier, the most upright worse than a thorn hedge. The day God visits you has come, the day your watchmen sound the alarm. Now is the time of your confusion. Do 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. For 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 own household. But as for me, I watch in hope for the LORD, I wait for God my Saviour; my God will hear me.’ Micah 7:1-7

Israel’s Misery

Micah now speaks of himself, he is mournful of all this and thinks he is all alone, Jeremiah 5:1. We have the people mourning over their fruitlessness. The godly and the upright have disappeared from the land.

The society is characterised by crime and violence. Society was in collapse, Psalm 37:35-38 / Proverbs 14:24 / Isaiah 5:15 / Jeremiah 17:10-11.

He comes back to the corruption of the leaders and the judges. The best amongst the corrupt are like a brier, a thorn hedge, they have no value. Justice no longer existed in the courts for decisions were made on the basis of how much the judge could be bribed, Isaiah 1:23.

The ‘Day of your Watchmen’ would be the day of judgment predicted by the prophets which have now come upon them.

We read of a breakdown of family and neighbourly relationships. Jesus spoke similar words in Matthew 10:21 and Matthew 35:36, the latter two verses being taken from Micah 7:6. He spoke these words in the response to His teaching of the generation in which He lived, Matthew 10:34-36 / Luke 12:51-53.

Micah made a commitment to trust in the Lord and looked to God for deliverance.

Israel Will Rise

‘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

The book ends with confession and mercy. There is hope for the faithful when God seems to be only interested in judgement. He knows and cares for every single one of them, Romans 8:28 / 1 Corinthians 10:13. Micah totally trusted God for protection, Mark 6:48 / Acts 12:5-10 / Acts 23:11.

The faithful remnant looks to God for deliverance and there will be a future for God’s people. These enemies were mocking, they thought that Judah had fallen. Even in darkness and despair, God is still a light for the faithful.

We have an acknowledgement of sin and they know they deserve punishment, but there is an expectation of deliverance. God’s people will be vindicated as the enemies are trodden underfoot.

Coffman, in his commentary, says the following.

‘The true penitent accepts the punishment of his iniquity, Leviticus 26:41 / Leviticus 26:43, they who murmur against God do not yet know their guilt, Job 40:4-5.’

Micah speaks of the rebuilding of the walls and the extension of the boundaries after the deliverance has come. Israel looked for a day when their frontiers would be extended when her dominion would run from Assyria to Egypt.

There is a gathering of the faithful from all parts of the world. In contrast to the Messiah’s spiritual kingdom, the earth will be left desolate.

Barnes, in his commentary, says the following.

‘This sounds almost like a riddle and contradiction, ‘the walls built up’, ‘the people gathered in’, ‘the land desolate’. Yet it was all fulfilled to the letter. Jerusalem was restored, the people were gathered in, first from captivity, then to Christ, and yet the land was again desolate through the ‘fruit of their doings’ who rejected Christ.’

The land would be forsaken because the generation that was taken into captivity and had to bear the fruit of their sins, Galatians 6:7. Only their descendants would be restored to the land.

Prayer And Praise

‘Shepherd your people with your staff, the flock of your inheritance, which lives by itself in a forest, in fertile pasturelands. Let them feed in Bashan and Gilead as in days long ago. “As in the days when you came out of Egypt, I will show them my wonders.” 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. They 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 God and will be afraid of you. Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea. You will be faithful to Jacob, and show love to Abraham, as you pledged on oath to our ancestors in days long ago.’ Micah 7:14-20

Micah says a prayer for the people, the Messiah will be a shepherd to them. Carmel was a land of great vineyards, Goshen and Gilead great pasture lands and were names associated with the former excellence and glory of the chosen people and by the use of this terminology, Micah solicited for his people the most wonderful of all God’s wonderful blessings. In other words, God cares over His flock wherever they are.

God answers this prayer by declaring that He will do again as He did when they came out of Egypt. He will show wonders of protection when He brought them back from their captivity. The nations who have been put to shame will turn to God.

Micah asks, who is like God? Exodus 15:11 / Psalm 89:6 / Isaiah 40:18-25 / Isaiah 46:5. We see that God is willing to forgive their sins, and read of the completeness of this forgiveness. This is the character of God, He doesn’t retain His anger but delights in steadfast love.

Micah finishes by saying that God will be faithful to the promises of Jacob and Abraham, they find their fulfilment in Christ. So the book ends with this promise of hope.