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Commitment: A Path To Excellence     Micah 7:1-7, 18-20     May 31, 2009



       Many people say a young lady recently lost her bid to be Miss USA because she gave a biblical answer concerning a question about same sex marriage. They say she needed to give the so called politically correct answer. How sad! This nation’s foundation rest on the scriptures. In our text the people lived in a very similar situation. Ungodly conduct and character in many situations rules our day. I am proud of the young lady who answered in agreement with her parents teachings and her biblical convictions. She demonstrated her Commitment: A Path To Excellence.


1.   Commitment In The Midst Of A . . Depressing Culture. 7:1-4

       A.   Depression Caused By A Very . . Selfish Culture. 7:1-2

1 How sad for me! For I am like one who — when the summer fruit has been gathered after the gleaning of the grape harvest — finds no grape cluster to eat, no early fig, which I crave. 2 Godly people have vanished from the land; there is no one upright among the people. All of them wait in ambush to shed blood; they hunt each other with a net.


       B.   Depression Caused By A Very . . Shameful Culture. 7:3-4

3 Both hands are good at accomplishing evil: the official and the judge demand a bribe; when the powerful man communicates his evil desire, they plot it together.4 The best of them is like a brier; the most upright is worse than a hedge of thorns. The day of your watchmen, the day of your punishment, is coming; at this time their panic is here.

       The dominate lifestyle in Micah’s day created a depressing selfish, and shameful culture. What a sad picture when Micah can say, “Godly people have vanished from the land.” He looks for the fruit of righteousness but finds none. This kind of conduct deserves and will receive a judgment day. Looking at our day we must say something very similar. Today watching a news cast brings one episode after another that just startles anyone seeking to live a godly life. Events such as parents killing children, teachers living in a sexual relationship with their students. It is horrible. Why does this happen? Because people do not stand for righteousness or the living of righteous lives. A standard for righteousness does not exist and too many do what is right in their own eyes.


2.   Commitment In The Midst Of A . . Determined Choice. 7:5-7

       A.   Determined In The Midst Of A Very . . Faithless Society. 7:5-6

5 Do not rely on a friend; don't trust in a close companion. Seal your mouth from the woman who lies in your arms.6 For a son considers his father a fool, a daughter opposes her mother, and a daughter-in-law is against her mother-in-law; a person's enemies are the people in his own home.


       B.   Determined In The Midst Of A Very . . Faithful Prophet. 7:7

7 But as for me, I will look to the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation. My God will hear me.

       How sad when people demonstrate a faithless society. It is great to know Micah stood for the ways of God as a faithful prophet. History certainly proves he represented the correct position. It seems to me the people throughout history reject the men who stand for God, and incorrectly, and in an unwise manner choose the ways of the world. The children of this society reused to honor their parents and actually classified them as their enemies. Today we see similar situations. Some parents actually seem to resent the time needed to raise their children. But when you see a parent who really wants to make a difference in their children’s lives an amazing difference takes place.



3.   Commitment In The Midst Of A . . Distinctive Confidence. 7:18-20

       A.   Distinctive Confidence Caused By A . . Forgiving God. 7:18-19

18 Who is a God like You, removing iniquity and passing over rebellion for the remnant of His inheritance? He does not hold on to His anger forever, because He delights in faithful love. 19 He will again have compassion on us; He will vanquish our iniquities. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.


       B.   Distinctive Confidence Caused By A . . Faithful God. 7:20

20 You will show loyalty to Jacob and faithful love to Abraham, as You swore to our fathers from days long ago. HCSB

       I do not know how God can supply His abundant grace to a society like the one in Micah’s day; or the society of today. Perhaps that is one reason why the song, Amazing Grace, remains a favorite after all these years. We do serve a forgiving God who gives demonstration to what the word “faithful means”. Did it register with you what God does with our sins? He casts them into the depths of the sea. Someone said when He places our sin in the sea He posts a sign that says, “No Fishing.” This presentation of Micah demonstrates Commitment: A Path To Excellence. Amen? Amen!



7:1–6 Micah lamented the circumstances of his day. In his vain search for an upright person (cf. v. 2), he compared himself to the vinedresser who enters his vineyard late in the season and finds no fruit. The leaders conspired together to get what they wanted (v. 3). No one could be trusted (vv. 5,6). Christ used v. 6 as an illustration when He commissioned the twelve (Matt. 10:1,35,36).

7:1 Woe is me! Micah sounded like Isaiah (cf. Is. 6:5).

7:7 In spite of his dire circumstances, Micah, as a watchman (cf. v. 4) would intently look for evidence of God’s working, trusting God to act in His own time and way (cf. Hab. 3:16–19).

7:8–10 Israel confessed her faith in the Lord , warning her enemies that she will rise again (vv. 8,10). She confessed her sin, acknowledging the justice of God’s punishment and anticipating His restoration.

7:10 Where is the Lord your God? Cf. Ps. 42:3,10; Matt. 27:43.

7:11–13 Micah again spoke, recounting the many blessings awaiting the faithful remnant in Messiah’s millennial rule. It would include unprecedented expansion (cf. Zech. 2:1–5) and massive infusion of immigrants (cf. Is. 11:15,16). For those who defied Messiah’s millennial rulership, their land would become desolate (v. 13; cf. Zech. 14:16–19).

7:14–17 Micah petitioned the Lord (v. 14) to shepherd, feed, and protect His people like a flock (cf. Ps. 23). The Lord answered, reiterating that He would demonstrate His presence and power among them as He did in the Exodus from Egypt (v. 15). As a result (cf. v. 10), the vaunted pride and power of the nations would be rendered powerless (cf. Josh. 2:9–11) and, having been humbled (v. 17), they would no longer listen to or engage in the taunting of His people (v. 16b; cf. Gen. 12:3; Is 52:15).

7:15 wonders. These miracles will be fulfilled in God’s judgment on the earth which precedes the Second Advent of Messiah (cf. Rev. 6–19).

God’s Forgiveness of Sin

1.    God removes our sins as far as the E is from the W (Ps. 103:12)

2.    God completely cleanses us from the stain of our sins (Is. 1:18)

3.    God throws our sins behind His back (Is. 38:17)

4.    God remembers our sins no more (Jer. 31:34)

5.    God treads our sins underfoot (Mic. 7:19)

6.    God casts our sins into the depths of the sea (Mic. 7:19)

7:18–20 In response to the gracious, forgiving character displayed toward Israel by their Master, the repentant remnant of the people extolled His incomparable grace and mercy (cf. Ps. 130:3,4).

7:18 Who is a God like You? Micah began this final section with a play on words involving his name. See Introduction: Title.

7:20 sworn to our fathers. In spite of Israel’s unfaithfulness to God, the Lord intends to fulfill His unconditional promises in the Abrahamic Covenant made with Abraham and confirmed with Isaac and Jacob (cf. Gen. 12,15,17,22,26,28,35). When enacted in conjunction with the Davidic Covenant, Israel will again be restored as a people and a nation to the land originally promised to Abraham. Jesus Christ, the ultimate descendant of David, will rule from Jerusalem over the world as King of Kings and Lord of Lords (cf. Rev. 17:14; 19:16).


Verse 1

a [Woe is me! ...]

The 16-fold moral state of Israel:

1.    Woe is me! I am as when they have gathered summer fruits (ready to perish quickly, Mic :1).

2.    I am as the grape-gleanings of the vintage (only a few left, and those not fit to eat).

3.    The good man is perished (Mic 7:2).

4.    There is no man upright among men.

5.    All men lie in wait for blood.

6.    They hunt every man his brother with a net.

7.    They earnestly do evil with both hands (Mic 7:3).

8.    The princes and judges ask bribes.

9.    The great men receive rewards.

10.  The best are as briers (Mic 7:4).

11.  The most upright is sharper than a thorn hedge.

12.  There is no mutual trust between husband and wife (Mic 7:5).

13.  The son dishonors the father (Mic 7:6).

14.  The daughter rises up against her mother.

15.  The daughter-in-law rises up against the mother-in-law.

16.  A man's foes are they of his own house.


Verse 7

a [Therefore I will look unto the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me ...] The 10 th and last prophecy in Micah (Mic 7:7-20, unfulfilled). Eighteen Predictions — Unfulfilled:

1.    He will bring me forth to the light (Mic 7:9).

2.    I will behold His righteousness.

3.    Then my enemy will see it and be ashamed (Mic 7:10).

4.    My eyes will see her trodden down in the street.

5.    In the day your walls shall be built, the decree of your captivity will be far removed (Mic 7:11).

6.    In that day he (the individual Jew) will come to you even from Assyria, from fortified cities, from sea to sea,

       and from mountain to mountain (Mic 7:12).

7.    Notwithstanding the restoration of the remnant of Israel, the land shall be desolate because of them that

       dwell therein (Mic 7:13).

8.    According to the days of your coming out of Egypt I will show him (the returning Jew) marvelous things

       (Mic 7:15).

9.    The nations will see and be confounded at their might (Mic 7:16).

10.  They will lay their hand upon their mouth, and their ears will be deaf (that is, they will be dumbfounded at

       the return and blessing of Israel).

11.  They shall lick the dust like a serpent (that is, be greatly humiliated in defeat; 7:17).

12.  They shall move out of their holes like worms of the earth.

13.  They shall be afraid of the Lord our God, and of you.

14.  He will turn again to us (Mic 7:19).

15.  He will have compassion on us.

16.  He will subdue our iniquities.

17.  He will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.

18.  He will perform the truth of Jacob, and mercy to Abraham, which He has sworn to our fathers in the days of

       old (Mic 7:20).

b [I will look unto the Lord ...] Tenfold repentance of Israel in the last days:

1.    I will look unto the Lord (Mic 7:7).

2.    I will wait for the God of my salvation.

3.    My God will hear me.

4.    Rejoice not against me, O my enemy.

5.    When I fall, I will arise.

6.    When I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light unto me.

7.    I will bear the indignation of the Lord, because I have sinned against Him (Mic 7:9).

8.    I will bear it until He pleads my cause, and executes judgment for me.

9.    He will bring me forth to the light.

10.  I will behold His righteousness. c [wait].

Verse 10

a [Then she that is mine enemy shall see it, and shame shall cover her] Then — after the repentance and restoration of Israel — the enemies of the nation will be put to shame and be humbled in the streets.

b [Where is the LORD thy God?] Question 22. Next, Mic 7:18.

Verse 11

a [In the day that thy walls are to be built] In Mic 7:11-13 we have a reference to the regathering of Israel, one by one, from all lands to their own land where they will be blessed under their Messiah eternally (Isa 11:10-12, notes).

b [decree] The decree of her captivity.

Verse 13

a [the land shall be desolate because of them that dwell therein] The land will be desolate at the very first while it is being cleared of the millions of bodies of the multitudes killed at Armageddon. It will require seven months to bury the dead (Eze 39:8-16).

b [for the fruit of their doing] The Bible refers to the sins or good deeds of the inhabitants of a country as making the land either fertile or desolate and the people either prosperous or cursed with poverty. This is an unfailing law plainly stated in Lev 26 and Dt 28. Here it is clear that "for the fruit of their doings" the land was desolate. This means that because of the sins of the inhabitants God's curse was upon the land itself, so that it could not produce.


Verse 14

a [Feed thy people with thy rod, the flock of thine heritage, which dwell solitaily in the wood, in the midst of Carmel: let them feed in Bashan and Gilead, as in the days of old] This was a prayer of Micah for Israel, asking God to be their Shepherd and rule them, as in the days of old.


Verse 15

a [According to the days of thy coming out of the land of Egypt will I shew unto him marvellous things] Here (Mic 7:15-17) we have Jehovah's answer to the prayer of Micah in Mic 7:14. He promised to answer the petition by doing marvelous things for His people as He had done when He brought them out of Egypt. He declared further that the nations will see His mighty power and be absolutely confounded; they will lay their hands upon their mouths and stop their ears in confusion, at seeing the marvels of God performed for Israel. They will lick dust like a serpent — a figure of complete defeat (Mic 7:17; Ps 72:9; Isa 49:23). Like worms, they will move out of their holes where they have been driven by fear at the judgments of God as well as fear of what Israel might do to them in her exaltation (Mic 7:16-17).


Verse 17

a [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] Isaiah predicted that men would go into holes and caves for fear of the Lord in the day of the Lord, at which time He would come to judge the inhabitants of the earth for their sins and their persecution of Israel (Isa 2:12-21). In Rv 6:12-17 we read of men crying for the rocks and mountains to fall on them and hide them from the presence of God. Of course, this is several years before the day of the Lord, but it will be in the future tribulation of the 70 th week of Daniel, at which time all of Rv 6-19 will be fulfilled. This passage refers to the actual day of the Lord, as does Isa 2:12-21.


Verse 18

a [Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage?] Question 23. Last one in Micah.

b [that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage] Here we have evidence of Israel's renewed faith and trust in Jehovah. At this time they recognize Him as being who He really is.

Ten Facts About Jehovah:

1.    No god like Him (Mic 7:18).

2.    He pardons iniquity.

3.    He passes by the transgression of His people (when they come to repentance).

4.    He does not retain anger forever.

5.    He delights in mercy.

6.    He will turn again to those who obey and turn to Him (Mic 7:19).

7.    He will have compassion on penitents.

8.    He wil subdue and forgive sins.

9.    He will cast all confessed sins into the depths of the sea.

10.  He will perform the truth and mercy that He swore to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Mic 7:20).


Verse 19

a [cast all their sins into the depths of the sea] This is the nearest to the often-quoted statement about casting sins into "the sea of forgetfulness" to be remembered no more.

Thirty-six Quotations NOT in the Bible


Verse 20

a [Thou wilt perform the truth to Jacob, and the mercy to Abraham, which thou hast sworn unto our fathers from the days of old] Quoted in Lk 1:72-73.

b [hast sworn unto our fathers from the days of old] See Ge 12:1-3; 26:24; 28:13-15.

(from Dake Annotated Reference Bible © 2007 by Dake Publishing. All rights reserved in U.S.A. and Other Countries.)


7:1 ff This chapter begins in gloom (7:1-6) and ends in hope (7:8-20). Micah watched as society rotted around him. Rulers demanded gifts; judges accepted bribes; corruption was universal. But God promised to lead the people out of the darkness of sin and into his light. Then the people would praise him for his faithfulness. God alone is perfectly faithful.

7:1-4 Micah could not find an honest person anywhere in the land. Even today, fair-mindedness (uprightness, honesty, integrity) is difficult to find. Society rationalizes sin, and even believers sometimes compromise Christian principles in order to do what they want. It is easy to convince ourselves that we deserve a few breaks, especially when "everyone else" is doing it. But the standards for honesty come from God, not society. We are to be honest because God is truth, and we are to be like him.

7:5, 6 Sin had affected the government leaders and society in general. Deceit and dishonesty had even ruined the family, the core of society. As a result, the only way left to purify the people was God's judgment. This would draw the nation back to God and restore them from the inside out.

7:7-10 Micah showed great faith in God both personally (7:7) and on Israel's behalf (7:8-10) as he proclaimed that (1) he would wait upon God because God hears and saves when help is needed, (2) God would bring his people through when times were tough, (3) Israel must be patient in punishment because God would bring them out of the darkness, and (4) their enemies would be punished. We, too, can have a relationship with God that can allow us to have confidence like Micah's. It doesn't take unusual talent; it simply takes faith in God and a willingness to act on that faith.

7:9 Micah understood that if the people would be patient and obedient while they were being punished, God would forgive them and show his goodness again (Lam 3:39-41). Punishment does not mean rejection. The people were being punished in order to bring them back to God, not to send them away from him. When you face trials because of your sin, do not be angry with God or afraid that he has rejected you. Instead, turn away from your sin, turn to God, and continue to be patient and obedient.

7:14 Bashan and Gilead were fertile areas east of the Jordan, previously the territory of Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh.

7:18 God delights to show his unfailing love! He does not forgive grudgingly but is glad when we repent, and he offers forgiveness to all who come back to him. Today you can confess your sins and receive his loving forgiveness. Don't be too proud to accept God's free offer.

7:20 In an age when religion was making little difference in people's lives, Micah said that God expected his people to do what is right, love mercy, and walk humbly with him (6:8). He requires the same of Christians today. In a world that is unjust, we must act justly and do what is right. In a world of tough breaks, we must be merciful. In a world of pride and self-sufficiency, we must walk humbly with God. Only when we live according to God's way will we begin to affect our homes, our society, and our world.

(from Life Application Study Bible Copyright © 1988, 1989, 1991, 1993, 1996 by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.)