Today: [Micah 7]

Today: [Micah 7] Micah Comes into Agreement with God. In chapter 7 of Micah, the prophet laments the absence of godliness in the national life of the northern kingdom. Because he has prophesied and the hearts of the people are unmoved, Micah declares that the Assyrian invasion is now inevitable. Yet in the midst of the coming calamity, Micah clarifies that what is ahead was never God’s original intent, but rather the fruit of the doing of the people in refusing to follow after God with their whole hearts.
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[Mic 7:1-20 KJV] 1 Woe 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. 2 The 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. 3 That 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. 4 The 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. 5 Trust 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. 6 For 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. 7 Therefore I will look unto the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me. 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. 9 I 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.

In chapter 7, the concluding chapter of Micah we find the prophet lamenting over the absence of godliness among his people. He complains that godliness is as difficult to find in his nation as one who searches for fruit left over after the harvest has been gathered. In v. 2 he laments that the good man seems to have perished from the earth altogether and he cannot find the upright whatsoever. The cause of Micah’s grief is because everywhere he looks he sees people taking advantage of one another and preying upon one another for their own gain. Again, this is a repetition of the theme that dominates the book of Micah, that of social justice and the treatment of the poor.

In verse 3 Micah exposes the inequity of justices in the land because of bribery and graft that has become the common practice in the earth. In our own nation, when a leader or politician considers a particular action, the wisdom of it is measure by how the topic fairs in the opinion polls. In other words, the legitimacy of a political action is evaluated by whether or not it would benefit the politician in question with the support of the people in the voting booth if he pursued. There is little or no consideration if it is right or wrong, but if it is politically expedient. In the small town where I once lived there was an initiative on the ballot to allow a bar to open across the street from a church. There was a question as to whether it was fitting to have a drinking establishment right next to a house of worship. A prominent newspaperman wrote an opinion piece expressing the modern sentiment about such things, declaring “let us not ask if it is right or wrong to do this, but rather is there a market for it, will it economically benefit the community…” The motion passed and the bar was permitted to open. This is the kind of injustice that Micah was lamenting. Public policy in Micah’s day and in our day unfortunately is advanced not on the basis of moral turpitude but on political expediency. Micah declares, and thereby God’s word declares this as a basis of impending judgment on any nation that so orders its affairs.

In verse 5, Micah declares that the general decline in public morals has even reached into the most intimate relationships on a personal level. He states that it is unadvisable in his day even to place confidence in one’s own spouse, or in their most intimate family relationships. Verse 6 belies the truth that Jesus most certainly was familiar with, if not quoting directly the prophet Micah when he stated in Matthew:

[Mat 10:34-37 KJV] 34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. 35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. 36 And a man’s foes [shall be] they of his own household. 37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.

In saying that he came to set people at variance with one another, Jesus is not suggesting He wants strife among men, but rather that His righteousness would have the effect, as Micah suggests, of pitting intimate family members against one another because of a refusal to walk in the statutes of God. Because of these trying times, Micah says in verse 7 that he will look unto the Lord and wait for the God of his salvation. In other words, don’t put your trust in man, rather put your trust in God. Man will fail you. But God will never fail you. If you walk with God in sincerity, there will be times that even your closest relationships will be tested, for which even Jesus Himself gives no quarter, declaring that if we cave in to the demands of our most intimate flesh, we are not worthy of the kingdom.

10 Then [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. 11 [In] the day that thy walls are to be built, [in] that day shall the decree be far removed. 12 [In] 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. 13 Notwithstanding the land shall be desolate because of them that dwell therein, for the fruit of their doings. 14 Feed 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. 15 According to the days of thy coming out of the land of Egypt will I shew unto him marvellous [things]. 16 The nations shall see and be confounded at all their might: they shall lay [their] hand upon [their] mouth, their ears shall be deaf. 17 They 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. 18 Who [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. 19 He 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. 20 Thou wilt perform the truth to Jacob, [and] the mercy to Abraham, which thou hast sworn unto our fathers from the days of old.

In verse 8, Micah states that even though he sits in darkness, that the Lord will be his light. For this reason he determines in v. 9 to bear the indignation of God against the culture he is a part of and look to God to be his light. In other words as God told me years ago as a young minister, do not put your eyes out and pretend that our society is not in the deep trouble it is in. Do not call evil good or good evil. Do not call the darkness around us light, but rather look to God in the midst of darkness to show us how to conduct ourselves in the midst of a perverse and crooked generation.

Because of the pervasive, sinful character of the world around him, Micah declares that the Assyrians will come and take the people into captivity, as reward (v. 13) for the fruit of their doings. In may look like ungodliness is running unchecked and unrecompensed in the earth, but we have to believe as Micah declares there is a recompense. There is a recompense for those who stand for godliness and a consequence for society when it defies the truth of God and marginalized him in the public square. Events such as 911 as other things that befall our nation and other nations are not the direct work of God but the nation becomes vulnerable, and experiences these things as Micah declares “for the fruit of their doings…”

Micah in verse 14, comes into agreement with God’s sense of justice, declaring toward heaven that God should feed his people with the rod of His justice, even if it means the fall of the nation. He compares the miracle of Israel’s fall to Assyria as being on an equal comparison with her deliverance from Egypt. Both situations are seen as the hand of a sovereign God working among His people. Verse 16 says that the nations of the earth would record these events and be astonished at the narrative. The observation of the prophet to such things in v. 18 is that there is no God like God who indeed pardons iniquity, and restrains His anger, a God who delights in mercy, but nonetheless will recompense inequity by His sovereign hand when the nation will not correct its injustices. Again a reference to the abuse of the impoverished and the plight of the poor in a nation that refuses to relieve the oppressed, the widow, the orphan, the prisoner and the stranger in her midst.

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