The book of Micah contains prophecy given during the reigns of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah (Micah 1:1). Micah ministered in Judah, the southern kingdom, at the same time as Isaiah. His messages called God’s people to repentance in the face of judgment for their sins.
Chapter 7 is the final chapter of the book. In it, Micah expresses lament over the sinful state of Israel. However, the chapter ends on a high note of hope in God’s future restoration and compassion.
Key takeaways from this commentary on Micah chapter 7:
- Micah grieves over the lack of godly people and the prevalence of corruption in Israel
- Yet he waits in hope for God to show compassion and deliverance
- God will shepherd and gather His people once again in His grace
- Enemies will be ashamed when God displays His mighty power
- Micah rejoices in God’s pardoning of sin and removal of transgressions
- God will show faithfulness to Jacob again as He swore to the forefathers
- The book ends in worship, extolling God’s power and grace
In this commentary, we will journey through Micah 7 verse-by-verse, explaining the meaning and drawing out key truths for application today. Bible quotations are from the New King James Version (NKJV).
Commentary on Micah Chapter 7
Micah Grieves Over the Corruption of Israel (7:1-6)
Woe is me! For I am like those who gather summer fruits,Like those who glean vintage grapes;There is no cluster to eatOf the first-ripe fruit which my soul desires. The faithful man has perished from the earth,And there is no one upright among men.They all lie in wait for blood;Every man hunts his brother with a net. That they may successfully do evil with both hands—The prince asks for gifts,The judge seeks a bribe,And the great man utters his evil desire;So they scheme together. The best of them is like a brier; The most upright is sharper than a thorn hedge; The day of your watchman and your punishment comes;Now shall be their perplexity. Do not trust in a friend;Do not put your confidence in a companion; Guard the doors of your mouthFrom her who lies in your bosom. For son dishonors father,Daughter rises against her mother,Daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law;A man’s enemies are the men of his own household. (Micah 7:1-6 NKJV)
Micah begins this final chapter lamenting that godly and faithful people had disappeared from Israel. He compares himself to someone gathering the last produce of summer or grapes after harvest. The desired fruit is gone; there is nothing good left to enjoy (7:1).
Corruption is evident among all the people. No one is upright or godly anymore. They are all violent, like hunters catching victims in nets (7:2). The leaders – princes, judges, and nobles – are accepting bribes and scheming evil. Justice has dissolved into a system of bribery and greed (7:3-4).
Relationships are marked by distrust. Micah warns against trusting in friends or spouses, because they may betray confidential information (7:5). Finally, even family ties are breaking down. Children are dishonoring parents and turning against each other (7:6).
This paints a sad picture of the state of Israelite society in Micah’s day. Sin had corrupted all levels of society. From the highest leaders to the most intimate family units, people were turning against God and each other. Micah grieves over the tragedy of covenant unfaithfulness in God’s beloved people.
Micah Waits in Hope for God’s Salvation (7:7-10)
Therefore I will look to the Lord;I will wait for the God of my salvation;My God will hear me. 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. I will bear the indignation of the Lord,Because I have sinned against Him,Until He pleads my caseAnd executes justice for me.He will bring me forth to the light;I will see His righteousness. Then she who is my enemy will see,And shame will cover her who said to me,“Where is the Lord your God?”My eyes will see her;Now she will be trampled downLike mud in the streets. (Micah 7:7-10 NKJV)
Having lamented Israel’s sin, Micah’s tone changes to one of hope in God. Though circumstances are bleak, Micah will wait patiently for God to act as his Savior (7:7).
He declares that despite enemy attacks and difficult times, God will be his light and vindicate him (7:8-9). Even in deserved chastisement for sin, Micah trusts the Lord to plead his case justly. He knows God will bring him out of darkness into light again (7:9).
When that day comes, Micah’s enemies will be ashamed that they mocked his faith in God (7:10). The Lord will demonstrate His power, proving Micah’s hope was rightly placed. This will bring Micah joy and vindication.
Though things looked hopeless, Micah anchors his hope in God’s salvation. He waits with endurance and faith for the Lord’s redemption. This models how believers should persevere in hope, even in darkness, trusting God will act.
God Will Shepherd and Gather Israel Again (7:11-13)
In the day when your walls are to be built,In that day the decree shall go far and wide. In that day they shall come to youFrom Assyria and the fortified cities,From the fortress to the River,From sea to sea,And mountain to mountain. Yet the land shall be desolateBecause of those who dwell in it,And for the fruit of their deeds. (Micah 7:11-13 NKJV)
Micah prophesies Israel’s future restoration. When God is ready to rebuild and restore Jerusalem, His decree will reach worldwide, gathering Israelites back to the land (7:11-12). This did partially occur after the Babylonian exile.
However, even after their return, the land was still desolate due to the people’s sins (7:13). The complete fulfillment of return and restoration is yet future. When Jesus returns, God will regather ethnic Israel under the New Covenant and bless the land again.
Micah Requests God’s Shepherding and Protection (7:14)
Shepherd Your people with Your staff,The flock of Your heritage,Who dwell solitarily in a woodland,In the midst of Carmel;Let them feed in Bashan and Gilead,As in days of old. (Micah 7:14 NKJV)
Micah portrays Israel as a flock without a shepherd, scattered and unprotected. He appeals to God to shepherd them once again. He asks God to provide for them in lush lands as He did after the Exodus when Israel dwelt securely in the promised land (7:14).
This shepherding language recalls Psalm 23. It brings comfort that though Israel rejected God, He still cares for them as His flock. God promises to restore His people under the Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ (Ezekiel 34; John 10).
Micah Proclaims God’s Mighty Power (7:15-17)
“As in the days when you came out of the land of Egypt,I will show them wonders.” The nations shall see and be ashamed of all their might;They shall put their hand over their mouth;Their ears shall be deaf. They shall lick the dust like a serpent;They shall crawl from their holes like snakes of the earth.They shall be afraid of the Lord our God,And shall fear because of You. (Micah 7:15-17 NKJV)
Not only will God shepherd Israel again, He will display His mighty power on their behalf as in the Exodus. Just as God inflicted the plagues on Egypt, He will do wonders to make Israel’s enemies tremble in fear and shame (7:15-17).
God will silence their mocking and bring them low. This points prophetically to Revelation where unbelievers cower in fear at God’s judgments (Revelation 6:12-17). God’s power will be undeniable.
Micah Exults in God’s Mercy and Faithfulness (7:18-20)
Who is a God like You,Pardoning iniquity And passing over the transgression of the remnant of His heritage?He does not retain His anger forever,Because He delights in mercy. He will again have compassion on us,And will subdue our iniquities.You will cast all our sins Into the depths of the sea. You will give truth to JacobAnd mercy to Abraham,Which You have sworn to our fathersFrom days of old. (Micah 7:18-20 NKJV)
The book closes with Micah exulting in praise of God’s mercy and covenant faithfulness. No god compares to Yahweh who forgives sin and restores His people (7:18). Though He disciplines, His anger passes because He delights in showing compassion (7:18).
God will trample down Israel’s sins, picturing them vanishing into the sea depths. This points to the cross where Jesus bore God’s wrath for sins once for all (7:19; Romans 3:25). Because of Christ, God remembers their transgressions no more (Jeremiah 31:34).
Finally, God will prove faithful to His covenant promises to Abraham and the patriarchs (7:20). Despite Israel’s unfaithfulness, God remains committed to His word. His restoration will glorify His mercy and covenant loyalty. What amazing grace!
The book ends with a high note of hope amidst corruption and darkness. Despite Israel’s sin, God promises to show compassion in keeping with His character. For believers today, Micah 7 encourages us to:
- Persevere in hope during difficult times
- Remember God will keep His promises
- Rejoice in God’s mercy and power
- Repent of sin so we live uprightly
May Micah’s rich portrayal of God’s might and mercy lead us into deeper worship. Truly, no one compares to our compassionate, faithful, covenant-keeping God!