Micah Chapter Seven


Read Micah 7:1-6 – The Iniquity of God’s People


v.1Woe is me! for I am as when they have gathered the summer fruits, as the grapegleanings of the vintage: there is no cluster to eat: my soul desired the firstripe fruit.”


            Micah begins the final chapter of his prophesy with a cry of pain and disappointment.  His heart and soul is like someone who visits the field or the vineyard looking for something to sustain himself, the harvest is complete and nothing is left.  Micah is not looking for physical fruit to sustain his body but rather spiritual fruit among a wicked and perverse nation.  He wants “FIRSTRIPE” fruit, the first fruit of the season, long awaited with much anticipation.  It isn’t to be found.  Judah has become as the Israel described by Hosea:


Hosea 9:10 “I found Israel like grapes in the wilderness; I saw your fathers as the firstripe in the fig tree at her first time: but they went to Baalpeor, and separated themselves unto that shame; and their abominations were according as they loved.”


All of Israel, both kingdoms, have become as the fool that David describes:




God doesn’t find conditions changed much when he looks down upon the earth today and it seems that men grow worse as each day goes by.


v.2The good man is perished out of the earth: and there is none upright among men: they all lie in wait for blood; they hunt every man his brother with a net.”


            “THE GOOD IS PERISHED OUT OF THE EARTH”, it would almost seem so today in some professions; wouldn’t it?  The prophet Isaiah wrote:


The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart: and merciful men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come.” Isaiah 57:1


            Habakkuk, a prophecy that we will study later, mourns that the everlasting God would tolerate a situation where men act like the fish of the sea, or creeping things that have “NO RULER OVER THEM”:


They take up all of them with the angle, they catch them in their net, and gather them in their drag: therefore they rejoice and are glad.” Habakkuk 1:15


And then they sacrifice to their net, worshiping the things that they have that allow them to prosper rather than the God that has given them all that they have.  As it has been proven over and over in the history of mankind; when man turns from God to evil he just gets worse and worse continually until eventually stopped.


v.3That they may do evil with both hands earnestly, the prince asketh, and the judge asketh for a reward; and the great man, he uttereth his mischievous desire: so they wrap it up.”


            They work at doing evil with both hands; not just taking advantage of passing circumstances but rather as their normal course of business.  Isaiah describes them:


Isaiah 1:23Thy princes are rebellious, and companions of thieves: every one loveth gifts, and followeth after rewards: they judge not the fatherless, neither doth the cause of the widow come unto them.”


Their rulers and their judges openly sought bribes and pay offs, what the world calls “quid pro quo” today, a term that we have heard often in our news media recently.  Their great men enriched and promoted themselves for the purpose of what the prophet calls “MISCHEVIOUS DESIRE”, seeking only to fulfill their own covetousness, greed and fleshly desires.


v.4The best of them is as a brier: the most upright is sharper than a thorn hedge: the day of thy watchmen and thy visitation cometh; now shall be their perplexity.”


            Even the best of these men were a vexation and trial to the people around them.  Living and trying to work with them was like living and working in briers or a thorny hedge.  An experience that comes to mind is walking in an Ozark ridge land hay field barefoot and tripping over a Virginia wild rose.  The next thing you did was pick the briers out of the top of your foot.  These men are on every side just waiting to take advantage of our carelessness, or a time when we are not watchful or prepared.  The electronic media and the internet just make it worse.  I dump anywhere from 20-30 spam messages a day from my internet mailbox.  It’s worse than the junk mail that arrives in my postal mail box every day.


v.5Trust ye not in a friend, put ye not confidence in a guide: keep the doors of thy mouth from her that lieth in thy bosom.”


            The prophet; and God through the inspiration of his words, records that no one could be trusted.  A friend, a guide or mentor in whom you have placed your trust, even the one that is nearest and dearest to you, your spouse.  As bad as our current situation in this country is today, I don’t think we have sunk this far yet.  While much of the world can indeed be described in these same terms there are also those who still hold to the precepts and commandments of God.  There are still those, even those who hold to false doctrines, who still have not degraded to this level of immorality.  But they are becoming more and more in the minority and far too many fit what Micah writes next.


v.6For the son dishonoureth the father, the daughter riseth up against her mother, the daughter in law against her mother in law; a man’s enemies are the men of his own house.”


            One of the basic commandments of God to Israel was to:


Honour thy father and thy mother, as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee; that thy days may be prolonged, and that it may go well with thee, in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.”  Deuteronomy 5:16


This is the same commandment that the Apostle Paul calls “THE FIRST COMMANDMENT WITH PROMISE” in Ephesians 6:2.  But the spiritual condition of Judah has deteriorated to the extent that families are devouring themselves from within.  This is the same condition that Jesus teaches will prevail when the church is persecuted:


Matthew 10:21And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death.”


We have this description from the Apostle Paul of “PERILOUS TIMES”


II Timothy 3:2-32For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,”


And perilous times have come to Judah, especially under the reign of Ahaz, the father of Hezekiah.  With the growing power of the radical left wing in this country and Islam in the world we will face perilous times ourselves before too much longer.  So what are we to do in the meanwhile?


Read Micah 7:7-15 – There is Still Hope


v.77Therefore I will look unto the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me.”


            What was the prophet going to do in the face of this terrible situation?  The prophet was going to “LOOK UNTO THE LORD”, the same thing that Paul encouraged Timothy to do:


II Timothy 3:14-15But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; 15And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.”


The same thing we must do today as Paul tells us through his writing to Corinth:


II Corinthians 15:58Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.”


As God will hear the prophet Micah, God will hear us as well.


v.8 “Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the LORD shall be a light unto me.”


            The prophet tells his enemies, I may fall but God will raise me up again.  When I am in darkness I still have the Lord.  As a declaration of his faith David wrote:




The Lord will be his light and the Lord will be our light today as well but there is one condition that we must meet in order for that to be the case; we cannot walk in darkness, we must walk in that Light.


I John 1:77But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.”


v.99I will bear the indignation of the LORD, because I have sinned against him, until he plead my cause, and execute judgment for me: he will bring me forth to the light, and I shall behold his righteousness.”


            What does the prophet mean when he says he will “BEAR THE INDIGNATION OF THE LORD”?  The Apostle Paul tells us:


Romans 3:23For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”


And all will bear some consequence of their sin.  So Micah is saying that he will indeed bear whatever consequence that his sin brings against him.  The time will come when God will execute judgment against him but the Lord will also plead the prophet’s case at that seat of judgment.  Just as God will plead for the soul of Micah, He will plead for ours as well:


I John 2:1-2My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: 2And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.


v.10Then she that is mine enemy shall see it, and shame shall cover her which said unto me, Where is the LORD thy God? mine eyes shall behold her: now shall she be trodden down as the mire of the streets.”


            In that day, the day of ultimate judgment, the prophets enemies, our enemies will see the righteous of God and be ashamed, crying, weeping, and gnashing their teeth in the despair of their condition.  But a judgment day for Micah’s enemies in Judah is much closer than the day of ultimate judgment; a day when God’s wrath will be brought upon them.  David prayed to God to bring judgment against his enemies:




When that judgment comes to Judah the men of God, if there are any left will beg for relief for their people.


Joel 2:17Let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, Spare thy people, O LORD, and give not thine heritage to reproach, that the heathen should rule over them: wherefore should they say among the people, Where is their God?”


v.11-12In the day that thy walls are to be built, in that day shall the decree be far removed. 12In that day also he shall come even to thee from Assyria, and from the fortified cities, and from the fortress even to the river, and from sea to sea, and from mountain to mountain.”


            After declaring God’s judgment against them, Micah also declares that Zion, Jerusalem will be restored just as we know it was after Judah’s captivity.  Its physical walls were rebuilt:


Nehemiah 6:15-16So the wall was finished in the twenty and fifth day of the month Elul, in fifty and two days. 16And it came to pass, that when all our enemies heard thereof, and all the heathen that were about us saw these things, they were much cast down in their own eyes: for they perceived that this work was wrought of our God.”


Then through both the providence and the direct intervention of God; His plan was carried to completion and within those restored walls men came from all of the different parts of the earth and heard the word of God, the gospel, God’s greatest blessing for mankind.  But first Judah must suffer the consequences of her sin.


v.13  Notwithstanding the land shall be desolate because of them that dwell therein, for the fruit of their doings.”


            Judah will be punished; will indeed bear the “FRUIT OF THEIR DOINGS”.  Jeremiah characterizes it as being like a forest fire, something we understand very well today from watching pictures of the wild fires in this country:


Jeremiah 21:14But I will punish you according to the fruit of your doings, saith the LORD: and I will kindle a fire in the forest thereof, and it shall devour all things round about it.”


            Judah will become desolate, first by Babylon:


II Kings 25:8-9And in the fifth month, on the seventh day of the month, which is the nineteenth year of king Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, came Nebuzaradan, captain of the guard, a servant of the king of Babylon, unto Jerusalem: 9And he burnt the house of the LORD, and the king’s house, and all the houses of Jerusalem, and every great man’s house burnt he with fire.”


            And again later by Rome, as Micah prophesied:


Micah 3:12Therefore shall Zion for your sake be plowed as a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps, and the mountain of the house as the high places of the forest.”


And as occurred in AD 70 as we have studied earlier, even from the writings of the Jewish historian Josephus who was with the Roman army at Jersualem.


Read Micah 7:14-17 – Peace Will Come Again


v.14-15Feed thy people with thy rod, the flock of thine heritage, which dwell solitarily in the wood, in the midst of Carmel: let them feed in Bashan and Gilead, as in the days of old. 15According to the days of thy coming out of the land of Egypt will I show unto him marvellous things.”


            God is going to bring his judgment upon all Israel, but then something wonderful is going to happen.  In the prophetic language of Micah the peace and prosperity known to Israel when they came out of Egypt will be restored.  The marvelous things of God will again be witnessed by his people.  These marvelous things will equal that recorded by Asaph;




And the psalmist goes on to praise God for these wonderful feats and many others that he accomplished in the presence of his people.


Read Micah 7:16-17 – God’s Marvelous Works


v.16The nations shall see and be confounded at all their might: they shall lay their hand upon their mouth, their ears shall be deaf.”


            The nations and peoples surrounding Israel will be so confounded and astonished that they will gasp in awe and clamp their hand over their mouths in amazement.  Something we used to see occasionally when people were still conditioned to be surprised by some things.  This gesture was apparently common among these people; Job used it in his dissertations.


Job 21:55Mark me, and be astonished, and lay your hand upon your mouth. 6Even when I remember I am afraid, and trembling taketh hold on my flesh.”


v.17They shall lick the dust like a serpent, they shall move out of their holes like worms of the earth: they shall be afraid of the LORD our God, and shall fear because of thee.”


            These marvelous works of Almighty God will strike fear in the hearts of men.  The prophet says they will come out of their holes like worms coming out of the earth and they shall be afraid.  Isaiah records:


Isaiah 49:23And kings shall be thy nursing fathers, and their queens thy nursing mothers: they shall bow down to thee with their face toward the earth, and lick up the dust of thy feet; and thou shalt know that I am the LORD: for they shall not be ashamed that wait for me.”


Jeremiah, speaking of some of the great things that the Lord showed him includes in his writing that God will “PARDON ALL THEIR INIQUITES” and:


And it shall be to me a name of joy, a praise and an honour before all the nations of the earth, which shall hear all the good that I do unto them: and they shall fear and tremble for all the goodness and for all the prosperity that I procure unto it.” Jeremiah 33:9


Some would apply this language to the restoration of Jerusalem and Judah after their captivity that is not the only application that can be made.  In my mind there is only one event in this world that would even approach creating the kind of activities, the fear, the awe, the astonishment on the part of mankind and that is the coming of Christ, the Messiah, his death, burial, resurrection and the subsequent spread and acceptance of the gospel. 


Read Micah 7:18-20 – God’s Mercy


v.18Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy.”


            The prophet continues to extol God’s goodness and power in much the same way as Moses did in his song recorded in:


Exodus 15:11Who is like unto thee, O LORD, among the gods? who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?”


As was proclaimed by God himself to the children of Israel at Mount Sinai, giving them both assurance of their forgiveness and the consequences of their sin:


Exodus 34:6-7And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, 7Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.”


And in his outpouring of mercy and goodness God will indeed pardon the sins of mankind.  Jeremiah tells us this will come:


In those days, and in that time, saith the LORD, the iniquity of Israel shall be sought for, and there shall be none; and the sins of Judah, and they shall not be found: for I will pardon them whom I reserve. Jeremiah 50:20


v.19He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.”


            God in his compassion for mankind, which has never diminished from the beginning of his existence; will bring to the world a time when:


“…And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” Jeremiah 31:34


And indeed that day did come when God did cast the sins of man away, like casting a burden into the depths of the sea:


Acts 2:38-39Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. 39For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.”


For this was the fulfillment of the promise that God had made to Abraham as Micah helps us understand in his last words:


v.20Thou wilt perform the truth to Jacob, and the mercy to Abraham, which thou hast sworn unto our fathers from the days of old.”


            The promise that we find first recorded:


Genesis 12:3And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.”


That he repeated to Jacob, who was renamed Israel and was the father of His people:


Genesis 28:14And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed.”


The reason that God rescued Israel from bondage:


Deuteronomy 7:8But because the LORD loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the LORD brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.”


Fulfillment of this promise was confirmed by the words of Zacharias the father of John the Baptizer who heralded the coming of Jesus the Messiah:


Luke 1:72-73To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant; 73The oath which he sware to our father Abraham,”


And so this completes our study of the prophecy of Micah.


William L. Schwegler, Sunset church of Christ, Shreveport, LA; February 15, 2009