Micah 7:1-10 [cntrl/click on Micah to read this portion of scripture]
Turn in your Bible or online to Micah 7. Follow along as we narrate verse-by-verse commentary.
Micah 7:13 Yet the land shall be desolate Because of those who dwell in it, And for the fruit of their deeds.
It isn’t often a good practice to begin in the middle of a narration then retreat to the first verse, but…(here we go)
The land shall be desolate because of those who live in it. One needs to understand what happened over the time between Canaan being a land of milk and honey to a desolate land? This statement appears about 20 times in the Old Testament. Today we see the same land as sandy, dry, almost without grazing lands. Which is reality and which is actuality?
Canaanites descended from Ham, one of three sons of Noah. God gave each of them an opportunity to be blessed of him when Ham, Shem, Japheth, and Noah exited the Ark. Exodus 3:8 names the descendants of Ham who were living in the land of promise and plenty. God blessed Ham’s descendants with a land of plenty. BUT…they evolved into an evil people rejecting God. Their punishment from God came through the Israelis. Joshua and the twelve tribes conquered much of the land and moved in. After hundreds of years, Israelis, all who descended from Shem (one of the three sons of Noah) fell into the same rejection of God. Their worship was ritualistic. The Assyrians, Babylonians, and Romans were Gods’ instruments to remove them from what was once the land of milk and honey; just as God used Israel to eject the wicked Canaanites from such a bountiful land God used others.
Micah 7:13 states that the land became desolate because of who dwelt in it, not global warming or some influence of mankind on the lands or atmosphere. It was man’s rejection of god who created all things. The question is who is the “who” that dwelt in it? It was all who have lived in the Promised Land that made it desolate. Desolate because it was a land of promise that had gone unattended for hundreds of years. God withdrew his blessing on the fruitfulness of the land, but it will be returned to its milk-and-honey state when Jesus sits on the millennial throne in Jerusalem. (Amos 9:11-15) Now we return from verse 13 to our beginning point in Micah 7:1.
Micah 7:1 We will take a different tact in explaining the woe of verse #1. Go back to when Israeli’s left Egypt, considered entering the Promised Land, but retreated to their 40 years of wanderings in the wilderness. Direct one’s attention to Leviticus 23:9-14. This is the Feast of the First Fruits given to Moses by God…”a perpetual statute throughout the generations in all your dwelling places.” Micah sees that this is no longer a matter of concern for his fellow Israelis. In Micah 7:1 he addresses his plea for what is no longer a satisfaction or appreciation for what God has done for all of Israel.
Micah 7:2 he continues. Israel is no longer a united chosen people of God. They have segmented into those who have and those who have not, taking from each other by in today’s verbiage crook, hook, deception, and thievery. Micah calls it “by blood.” The “NET” referred to in verse two means trappings. Today we would call it the fine print in a document.
Micah 7:3 has an interesting twist to our way of understanding. This verse references the value of two hands instead of using only one hand. They, Israeli leaders, do evil with both hands. The Hebrew, להישׂיב, means to make good with both hands in one’s evil deeds. The NKJV says it well: They scheme together meaning those who are the haves against those (including family members) who have even less. This speaks volumes per what the Kingdom of Israel was like in their last and final days as a kingdom.
JIV NOTE: Micah prophesied prior to the Assyrians destroying the Northern Kingdom of Israel and was still living long after their dispersion. He prophesied and saw it fulfilled.
Micah 7:4 God identifies through Micah that even the best of these evil doers was like a brier, perhaps like those of a rose bush; a thorn. The sharpest of these evil thorns (leaders) is even worse. The prince, the judge, and the great man, agree in their ill designs of gain.
The perplexity, the last word in verse 4, means the time is coming when even the evil doers will be at a total loss as to what to do. They will be painted into a corner with no “DEALS” left to get them out. They will be treated just as they have treated their subjects; stripped of all authority and influence. In just a few years from this time in Micah the Assyrian invaders will strip them of clothing, shoes, belongings, and shelter while marching them hundreds of miles across desert lands to relocate them in foreign lands. (read the articles on Which Way Did They Go.”) JIV INSIGHT: Many of these Tribes from Northern Israel settled in the mountains of what we know today as Afghanistan.
Micah 7:5 is a brazen warning. In short it means guard one’s words for they will fly to the ears of others in wild and fast gossip. This is something like the social media of today. Even a well intending good deed or word will not go unpunished by some. Sadly, Micah could not find any good deeds being done by his own people. Both hands were busy laying hold of the possessions of others. The next verse is without question…
Micah 7:6 is clear. Let us understand the first word in verse 6…”For.” It is so often overlooked or put in a back closet of only part of a statement or sentence. The Hebrew is kee’. It means an assurance what follows in this verse will actually happen. One could translate this word to be forasmuch, inasmuch, or whereas. Thus, it means even in a casual relationship of all kinds, people will turn against one another. In short, the enemies of a man (person) can and will include those in or of his or her own household. Micah 7:7 explains Micah’s position on all that he has prophesied in the previous 6 chapters of his book. “Therefore I will look to the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation; My God will hear me.” In essence he is saying to his fellow kindred, you are welcome to join me but that is your choice to make. It is not mine to make for you. He continues his self-perspective in verse #8.
Micah 7:8 Do not rejoice over me, my enemy; When I fall, I will arise; When I sit in darkness, The LORD will be a light to me. Joshua stated this back in Joshua 24:15…as for me and my household, we (I) will serve the Lord. Joshua was facing the odds against going as a united twelve tribes of Jacob into the Promised Lands after Moses first led them out of Egypt. He was one of twelve spies Moses sent into the land of plenty. All of the spies proved the land to be a land of bounty but ten of the twelve feared the people living in Canaan. Joshua (and Caleb) wanted to move in with God as their true leader. Micah is basically stating the same thing in verse 8.
Micah 7:9 Micah is saying, I leave you in the hands of God. I, as will you, be judged for my sins. There is no escape. I confess my sins as also should you…but you won’t.
“…Until He pleads my case and executes justice for me.” Micah could be looking prophetically toward the New Testament which, at his time, was yet to happen. Christ will judge and plead forgiveness of our sins when God finally executes judgment (see verse 19). The time is coming when all will see the light but not all will be a part of that light.
Micah 7:10 is like one saying to another, show me your God; show me your evidence. This person is the one identified in the previous verse as seeing the light but not being a part of it.
Rev. Dr. Jstark