1. In Micah’s “woe is me” statements, how bleak did things look among the people of Israel?
Very bleak. To the point wherein the best of them was as a brier [thorn]: “(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” (Micah 7:1-4).
- Jeremiah had “woe is me” moments (Jeremiah 4:31; 10:19; 15:10; 45:3).
- Micah has been at work, but NO FRUIT is coming forth. It is not until later that the people will realize the prophets were right (Zechariah 1:6).
- When a man puts all he has into helping the lost, he can feel that his work has been empty (Galatians 4:8-11, Philippians 2:14-16, and I Thessalonians 3:1-8).
- There had been multiple times in Israel’s history wherein the faithful felt as though there were no faithful people on earth (I Kings 18:1-19, Psalms 12:1, Psalms 14:1-3, and Ecclesiastes 7:20).
- There was always a remnant (II Kings 19:30-31, Isaiah 1:9, Isaiah 10:20-22, Jeremiah 23:3, Romans 9:27, and Romans 11:1-5).
- They lie in wait for blood (Proverbs 1:11-19 and Isaiah 59:1-6).
- They hunt every man his brother with a net (Jeremiah 5:26).
- Corrupt from top to bottom (Isaiah 1:21-23 and Isaiah 9:13-16).
2. At this time in Israel’s history, could you at least look to friends and family for support?
No: “(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” (Micah 7:5-6).
- Who could be trusted in such a state as Israel was in (Proverbs 30:11, Jeremiah 9:1-6, and Ezekiel 22:7)?
- Enemies in one’s own house wasn’t just a matter in the days of Micah (Matthew 10:34-39).
3. Who did Micah trust to hear him?
The Lord: “Therefore I will look unto the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me” (Micah 7:7).
- Isaiah 8:17 and Lamentations 3:25-26; cf. Isaiah 45:22
4. What did Micah say about the time of falling and sin against the Lord?
Don’t rejoice against him, because after bearing the indignation of the Lord he would be back up: “(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. (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” (Micah 7:8-10).
- Micah warned, in connection with his previous statement (cf. Psalms 13:1-6), his enemies not rejoice against him at times of a fall (Proverbs 24:16).
- The Lord is the light to bring people out of darkness (Psalms 107:10-15 and Luke 1:76-79).
- Micah understood punishment for sins was just (Lamentations 3:39-42).
- Micah submitted Himself to God’s judgment (Psalms 43:1).
- He understood God would bring Him into the light (Luke 15:1-32).
- The enemy that rejoiced at his fall would then, at his restoration and being upheld by God, be shamed (Psalms 35:24-26).
- Remember, sometimes God had His people punished and set them before their enemies (Lamentations 2:17).
5. When the walls were to be built, who would be caused to fear the Lord?
The nations: “(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” (Micah 7:11-17).
- The walls to be built (Nehemiah days).
- The people gathered from abroad (Jeremiah 23:3).
- The land was still desolate in this future prophesy (Jeremiah 7:34; 44:6) for the fruit of their doings (Jeremiah 21:14; 32:19).
- The feeding of His people (Isaiah 40:11).
- This time of restoration to was requested to be like the coming out of Egypt (Isaiah 63:11-15 and Jeremiah 23:7-8).
- The nations seeing and fearing (Jeremiah 33:1-13).
6. What message does the book of Micah conclude with?
God’s mercy for the remnant of His heritage: “(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” (Micah 7:18-20).
- There is NONE like our God (Deuteronomy 33:26, I Chronicles 17:20, Psalms 86:8, and Isaiah 46:9-13)!
- None like God who pardons (Nehemiah 9:17, Isaiah 40:1-2, Isaiah 55:6-7, and Jeremiah 50:20), with conditions (Exodus 23:21 and I Samuel 15:1-26; cf. Jeremiah 5:1-7).
- None like God who passes by transgression (Exodus 34:7).
- None like God who lets go of His anger (Isaiah 57:16).
- None like God who delights in mercy (Deuteronomy 7:9, Ezekiel 33:11, and Ephesians 2:1-10).
- Micah knew God would turn again and have compassion (Deuteronomy 30:1-3).
- Micah expressed the fact that God would keep His oath to their forefathers (Psalms 105:1-10, Jeremiah 33:25-26, and Acts 3:14-26; cf. Genesis 12:1-3 and Genesis 22:1-18).
© 2021 This study was prepared for a Bible class with the Sunrise Acres church of Christ in El Paso, TX by Brian A. Yeager.