Micah 7:1 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.

Micah 7:2 The godly have been swept from the land; not one upright man remains. All men lie in wait to shed blood; each hunts his brother with a net.

Micah 7:3 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.

Micah 7:4 The best of them is like a brier, the most upright worse than a thorn hedge. The day of your watchmen has come, the day God visits you. Now is the time of their confusion.

Micah 7:5 Do not trust a neighbor; put no confidence in a friend. Even with her who lies in your embrace be careful of your words.

Micah 7:6 For a son dishonors 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.

Micah 7:7 But as for me, I watch in hope for the LORD, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me.

My God will hear me – ‘To say there is a God is not much. It is the same as to say there is a bank; but there may be a bank, and you may miserably poor. There certainly is a God, but that God may be no source of comfort to you. The joy of the whole thing lies in that word “my.” My God will hear me.’ (Spurgeon)

Micah 7:8 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.

Micah 7:9 Because I have sinned against him, I will bear the Lord’s wrath, until he pleads my case and establishes my right. He will bring me out into the light; I will see his righteousness.

Micah 7:10 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.

Micah 7:11 The day for building your walls will come, the day for extending your boundaries.

Micah 7:12 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.

Micah 7:13 The earth will become desolate because of its inhabitants, as the result of their deeds.

Micah 7:14 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.

Micah 7:15 “As in the days when you came out of Egypt, I will show them my wonders.”

Micah 7:16 Nations will see and be ashamed, deprived of all their power. They will lay their hands on their mouths and their ears will become deaf.

Micah 7:17 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.

Micah 7:18 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.

‘God is more inclinable to mercy than wrath. Mercy is his darling attribute, which he most delights in. Mic 7:18. Mercy pleases him… ‘Fury is not in me,’ Isa 27:4; that is, I do not delight in it. Acts of severity are rather forced from God; he does not afflict willingly. Lam 3:33. The bee naturally gives honey, it stings only when it is provoked; so God does not punish till he can bear no longer. ‘So that the Lord could bear no longer, because of the evil of your doings.’ Jer 44:22. Mercy is God’s right hand that he is most used to; inflicting punishment is called his strange work. Isa 28:21. He is not used to it. When the Lord would shave off the pride of a nation, he is said to hire a razor, as if he had none of his own. ‘He shall shave with a razor that is hired.’ Isa 7:20. ‘He is slow to anger,’ Psa 103:8, but ‘ready to forgive.’ Psa 86:5.’ (Watson)

‘God takes no delight to afflict His children.  It goes against the grain of His heart.  It grieves Him to be grievous to them.  It pains Him to punish them, and it is like death to Him to strike them.  He has no inclination or disposition to the work of afflicting His people and He calls it His “strange work” (Isaiah 28.21).  Mercy and punishment flow from Him as the honey and sting of a bee.  The bee yields honey from her own nature but stings only when provoked.  God delights in mercy (Micah 7.18) and takes no pleasure in giving His people up to adversity (Hosea 11.8).  Mercy and kindness flow from Him freely and naturally.  He is never severe or harsh.  He never stings or terrifies except when He is sadly provoked.  God’s hand may lie very hard upon His people when His heart is yearning towards them (Jeremiah 31.18-20).  No man can tell how the heart of God stands, by His actions.’ (Thomas Brooks)

Micah 7:19 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…hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea – Many commentators are content with the translation ‘our’.  Achtemeier, however, thinks that the textual evidence supports the translation ‘your’.  She adds that the prophet has, all along, not been thinking not only of Israel, but also of the foreign nations: ‘What the verse is saying is that not only will Israel be forgiven, but also the foreign nations who will turn to Yahweh (v. 17), will have their sins sunk like a stone in the sea. Just as Israel cannot approach its God, unless God forgives its sins, so too other peoples cannot approach and worship the Lord unless they are forgiven also. Micah looks forward to the time when Yahweh will reign as Lord over all the earth (Mic 4:2, 7; 5:4), and that reign will be made possible by Yahweh’s universal forgiveness of the nations as well as of Israel. The message of the cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ encompasses that universality.’

‘God not only puts our sins out of sight (Isa 38:17); he also puts them out of reach (Mic 7:19; Ps 103:12), out of mind (Jer 31:34), and out of existence (Isa 43:25; 44:22; Ps 51:1, 9; Acts 3:19).’ (NIV Study Bible)

‘Sin shall not be cast in as a cork which riseth up again, but as lead which sinks to the bottom.’ (Thomas Watson)

‘It was in 1947…I had come from Holland to defeated Germany with the message that God forgives. It was the truth they most needed to hear in that bitter, bombed-out land, and I gave them my favourite mental picture. Maybe because the sea is never far away from a Hollander’s mind, I like to think that that’s where forgiven sins are thrown. “When we confess our sins,” I said, “God casts them into the deepest ocean, gone forever…Then God places a sign out there that says No Fishing Allowed!”‘ (Corrie Ten Boom, Tramp for the Lord)

On the completeness of God’s forgiveness, see Psa 103:12n

Micah 7:20 You will be true to Jacob, and show mercy to Abraham, as you pledged on oath to our fathers in days long ago.

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