Wait for the salvation of God. Micah 7:1-17.

As I move into the last chapter of Micah I feel a sense of relief because it seems that book studies/commentaries can, at times, be wearisome. In looking at statistics on the blog, I can see that readers have dropped off, especially when I use some of the oppressive wording that God is conveying in that portion of scripture. Perhaps that is why people do not and will not read their Bibles, because God often comes across as tedious. I too have to labor through sections as I try to make some of the darker passages more palatable. So when I opened Micah chapter seven today and began to do a quick read through, in hopes of moving quickly through Micah in one post, I found myself reading about many of the same feelings I feel as I write these posts. One sentence stands out, whether it is true or not is irrelevant, as it feels like it is.

No one is loyal to God; no one does right.
(CEV)

I recognize that many of you have a heart toward God and desire all that God has for you, but there are others, that after reading a few lines, catch only a vague feel for the heart of God and simply leave the post, just as they leave the Word of God. Welcome to the heart of Micah and the close of his book.

This section is entitled by the translators as Wait for the God of Salvation.

The passage seems long, but I will break it down.

Micah 7:1-17 CEV  I feel so empty inside— like someone starving for grapes or figs after the vines and trees have all been picked clean.  (2)  No one is loyal to God; no one does right. Everyone is brutal and eager to deceive everyone else.  (3)  People cooperate to commit crime. Judges and leaders demand bribes, and rulers cheat in court.  (4)  The most honest of them is worse than a thorn patch. Your doom has come! Lookouts sound the warning, and everyone panics.  (5)  Don’t trust anyone, not even your best friend, and be careful what you say to the one you love.  (6)  Sons refuse to respect their own fathers, daughters rebel against their own mothers, and daughters-in-law despise their mothers-in-law. Your family is now your enemy.  (7)  But I trust the LORD God to save me, and I will wait for him to answer my prayer.  (8)  My enemies, don’t be glad because of my troubles! I may have fallen, but I will get up; I may be sitting in the dark, but the LORD is my light.  (9)  I have sinned against the LORD. And so I must endure his anger until he comes to my defense. But I know that I will see him making things right for me and leading me to the light.  (10)  You, my enemies, said, “The LORD God is helpless.” Now each of you will be disgraced and put to shame. I will see you trampled like mud in the street.  (11)  Towns of Judah, the day is coming when your walls will be rebuilt, and your boundaries enlarged.  (12)  People will flock to you from Assyria and Egypt, from Babylonia and everywhere else.  (13)  Those nations will suffer disaster because of what they did.  (14)  Lead your people, LORD! Come and be our shepherd. Grasslands surround us, but we live in a forest. So lead us to Bashan and Gilead, and let us find pasture as we did long ago.  (15)  I, the LORD, will work miracles just as I did when I led you out of Egypt.  (16)  Nations will see this and be ashamed because of their helpless armies. They will be in shock, unable to speak or hear,  (17)  because of their fear of me, your LORD and God. Then they will come trembling, crawling out of their fortresses like insects or snakes, lapping up the dust.

In a sense, Micah is pouring out his heart in anguish before God.

  • (1) I feel so empty inside— like someone starving for grapes or figs after the vines and trees have all been picked clean.

Who hasn’t felt that? Maybe there are some; my wife would say to me, I don’t understand depression. After several tries at explaining some of the symptoms of depression, she is now aware that she too goes through depression as well.

  • (2)  No one is loyal to God; no one does right. Everyone is brutal and eager to deceive everyone else.

You should know that is a false premise. It is, however, the same premise that Elijah moaned about when he said, I am all alone; there are no other prophets besides me! God told him differently. The problem here is that it is easy to feel alone and needs to be recognized for what it is, a deception from the enemy. This happened to me. A group I used to sit in had someone new show up; the assumption that several of the men made was that this new guy knew nothing, and so they immediately tried to impress him with their knowledge. The question was asked, how tall was David when he slew Goliath? After several moments of awkward silence, as no one knew the answer, I responded with, about six foot four inches tall. Needless to say, I was verbally attacked. I could give you several strong reasons for saying what I did, but because I had gone against tradition, I was deemed disloyal to God, and they, were brutal and deceptive in their responses.

  •  (3)  People cooperate to commit crime. Judges and leaders demand bribes, and rulers cheat in court.  (4)  The most honest of them is worse than a thorn patch. Your doom has come! Lookouts sound the warning, and everyone panics.

That has never changed; it is a part of that nature we inherited from Adam. Everyone does it, but it does not make it the right thing to say. Saying that the entire world has gone down the toilet is nowhere close to a true statement. Peter, on the day of Pentecost, said that a small portion of Joel chapter two had been fulfilled in their ears. This was the Holy Spirit of God talking through Peter, and God has never changed His mind about this statement.

It goes like this: Joel 2:28b-29 NLT  “I will pour out my Spirit upon all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your old men will dream dreams, and your young men will see visions.  (29)  In those days I will pour out my Spirit even on servants—men and women alike.

Are you having visions; dreaming dreams; has the Holy Spirit pour His spirit upon you, and are you prophesying? I know the answer and it is NO. Do you ever wonder why? Joel chapter two sounds more like hope and power; I would rather live in that instead of focusing on the doom that has come. I want to live in hope and power.

  • (5)  Don’t trust anyone, not even your best friend, and be careful what you say to the one you love.  (6)  Sons refuse to respect their own fathers, daughters rebel against their own mothers, and daughters-in-law despise their mothers-in-law. Your family is now your enemy.

These are the words of a wounded man – he is wounded by people he trusted; people he thought would receive the words he gave them. You can’t cross deeply embedded tradition and not expect an attack. Religion, no matter how safe you think it is, is not your friend. Don’t mistake a relationship with Jesus for religion. Jesus himself told us that those of our own households would become our enemies. Matthew 10:36.

  • (7)  But I trust the LORD God to save me, and I will wait for him to answer my prayer.  (8)  My enemies, don’t be glad because of my troubles! I may have fallen, but I will get up; I may be sitting in the dark, but the LORD is my light.

In the midst of Micah’s moaning, there is this amazing bright light. These words should be our battle cry no matter what.

  • (9)  I have sinned against the LORD. And so I must endure his anger, until he comes to my defense. But I know that I will see him making things right for me and leading me to the light.  (10)  You, my enemies, said, “The LORD God is helpless.” Now each of you will be disgraced and put to shame. I will see you trampled like mud in the street.

We don’t know what Micah did; we assume he led a pristine, carefree life. I don’t think so, because God seems to take those of us who have been battered and turns us into testimonies and warriors for Him. Maybe, Micah was like me; he understood his weaknesses and frailties. In that understanding, I can easily say, I too have sinned. Paul said, confess your sins one to another; well I can guarantee you that I am not sharing my life with many of you as you will eat me alive just as they do on the Walking Dead television show. I have to be selective about who I share things with and how much I share. Just know, that I have a couple of people that I can and do share things with, and, there are things that I will take to the grave. Religion and selfishness almost guarantee that some will gloat over me, but note this truth – I will see you trampled like mud in the street.

  • (11)  Towns of Judah, the day is coming when your walls will be rebuilt, and your boundaries enlarged.  (12)  People will flock to you from Assyria and Egypt, from Babylonia and everywhere else.  (13)  Those nations will suffer disaster because of what they did.

Verses 11, 12 both reflect hope and prophesy. To some degree the walls were rebuilt, and, in the six day war, Israel’s boundaries were enlarged. The UN would love to see that undone. Sadly, the prophets, including Micah, have spoken of enemies from those same nations that will flock to Israel, attacking Israel in the last days. The disaster that befalls them comes in the form of a firestorm [Ezekiel 38,39] and then a tremendous slaughter of all fighting forces when Jesus returns to earth. [Revelation 19:15]

  • (14)  Lead your people, LORD! Come and be our shepherd. Grasslands surround us, but we live in a forest. So lead us to Bashan and Gilead, and let us find pasture as we did long ago.

Verse fourteen is prayer and a plea to God.

  • (15)  I, the LORD, will work miracles just as I did when I led you out of Egypt.  (16)  Nations will see this and be ashamed because of their helpless armies. They will be in shock, unable to speak or hear,  (17)  because of their fear of me, your LORD and God. Then they will come trembling, crawling out of their fortresses like insects or snakes, lapping up the dust.

Verses 15 -17 is God’s response. In the end, the nations will fear/respect the Lord God, and they will come and bow before Him – end of discussion.

 

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