Joel, Micah, & Zephaniah Lesson 10
Chapter 7 Assignment Questions
- Who is the “I” of 7:1?
- What is the message of the phrase, “Like the fruit pickers and the grape gatherers”? Note: the Hebrew reads, “I am as the harvests of summer (fruit), as gleaners of vintage.”
- What is the message of the phrase, “Or a first-ripe fig which I crave”? Note: the Hebrew reads, “there is no cluster for eating, early figs she craved, my soul.”
- What is the cause of the messages occurring in the phrases referred to in b and c?
What is the message of the phrase in verse 4b which the NASB translates, “The day when you post a watchman, your punishment will come. Then there confusing will occur”?
Who is the “I” of this verse?
What is the message of these verses? What is God here like?
- Who is the sufferer? Primary application? Secondary application? Is there a third application?
- Why does he suffer?
- What brings an end to his suffering?
- Who is “your” in verse 11, and “you” in verse 12?
- Why is there desolation in verse 13 and growth in verses 11 and 12?
- Do these verses set forth the eschatology of the Old Testament or of the New Testament?
- What is the message of these verses?
Who is the spokesman in this verse?
Who is speaking?
- Who is talking?
- What message is being given?
In a couple of sentences, in your own words, summarize the message of this chapter.
Chapter 7 Assignment Answers
- Micah is the “I” of 7:1, in the primary application.
- He is one of very few left.
- He desired companionship in his life with God – in his innermost life – and there was none.
- The cause of the messages occurring in these verses is the lack which Micah is experiencing; which lack is due to God’s predicted future acts in response to the sins of the people, on the one hand (cf.6:13-16), acts which cause him to feel separated from God, and it is due to the continuing sins of the people in the present, on the other hand (cf. 7:2-6).
The Hebrew of 4b can be translated, “(the) day of your watching, your visitation (or appointment), she is coming. Now will be their confusion.”
The message of this phrase is that inspite of the present successes and the large extensiveness of evil, judgment will come; and its coming will bring confusion to those who were living as if God was no longer going to do anything – either good or bad.
Micah’s experience of God is modulated through the nation’s relation to God in these verses. Micah encounters God in these verses as a member of that nation against whom God is bringing evil because of the nation’s identification of themselves with evil acts and policies. But while Micah recognizes that in times of retributive acts of judgment by God against His people the righteous suffer with the wicked, nevertheless he declares that the end of the righteous and the end of wicked is not the same. He states that he “will watch, I will stand waiting for (the) God of my salvation. He will harken to me, my God.
“Do not rejoice my enemies to me because he has fallen me, I will stand up.
“When I sit in darkness, the Lord is a light to me.”
In these verses God is the One who in spite of appearances and/or circumstances never is failing those whose trust is in Him.
- In the primary application Micah is the sufferer. (For the other applications, see the rest of the notes on this chapter.)
- He suffers because he is a part of Israel in a time of evil (7:9b). (It should be noted that the part of suffering he experienced by being a part of Israel he could have avoided by simply disassociating himself with Israel.)
- That which brings about an end to his suffering is the character of God. In these verses the One who brings an end to suffering is the same One who afflicts the people for their sins when they follow evil (6:16). The Source of Salvation acts on their behalf when they wait on Him (7:7-9). Here He again reveals Himself as the Lion to the rebellious, the Lamb to the righteous.
Note the qualities to which God is responding in these verses:
|Watch expectantly||–||verse 7a|
|(Speak) He will hear||–||verse 7c|
|(Faith) I will arise||–||verse 8b|
|(Letting God lead and believing in His goodness). Bear the indignation of the Lord||–||verse 9a|
|(confession of sin) I have sinned||–||verse 9b|
|Note God’s response:|
|Pleads my case||–||verse 9c|
|Brings me out to the light||–||verse 9d|
|(Changes my viewpoint) I will see his right doing or, (Reward) I will see His right doing||–||verse 9e|
- There is desolation in verse 13 because the fruit of the deeds being rewarded is evil; in verses 11 and 12 the growth is the result of cooperation with God.
- They set forth Old Testament eschatology.
- There will come a time when the righteous will see evil suffer, and righteousness will increase and be appreciated.
The primary application is Micah speaking
God is speaking – in response to the words spoken in verse 14.
- The primary application is to Micah.
- The message is that people who come to God in fear find in Him a wonderful friend – because that is the kind of person He is; and has always planned on being (v.20c).
Though Micah lived in a time of apostasy by God’s people and retributive judgments by God, though his fellowmen were not to be trusted, and he himself experienced the correction of God, he found in God hope for the future, for himself and for the nation.
This hope was based in a knowledge of the character of God he had acquired as he sought the Lord for himself and his nation in a troubled time.
Note: “Bid the tempted to look not to circumstances, to the weakness of self, or to the power of temptation, but to the power of God’s word. All its strength is ours. . . . “
“Talk courage to the people; . . . He who is faithful and just will forgive their sins and cleanse them from all unrighteousness.
“Nothing is apparently more helpless, yet really more invincible, than the soul that feels its nothingness and relies wholly on the merits of the Savior. By prayer, by study of His word, by faith in His abiding presence, the weakest of human beings may live in contact with the living Christ, and He will hold him by the hand that will never let go.
“These precious words every soul that abides in Christ may make his own. He may say:
‘I will look unto the Lord;
I will wait for the God of my salvation;
My God will hear me.
Rejoice not against me, O my enemy;
When I fall, I shall arise;
When I sit in darkness,
The Lord shall be a light unto me.’ Micah 7:7,8.
‘He will again have compassion on us,
He will blot out our iniquities;
Yea, Thou wilt cast all our sins
Into the depths of the sea! Micah 7:19 Noyes.”
Ellen G. White, The Ministry of Healing, pp 181-182.
Supplement to Micah chapter 7 Notes
In Isaiah 7 we read of a prophet of God making a prediction to a king; the prophecy, when it was fulfilled, was a sign to the king whom the prophet made the prediction to.
This prophecy by Isaiah to Ahaz, with a primary application to their time, is picked up by Matthew and revealed to be a prophecy of the Savior of the world and the manner of His birth.
This may at first seem strange to us; but then we realize that the Bible is the story of God in relation to His creatures. I have often wished to have been on the Emmaus walk when “beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.” Luke 24:27.
Different commentaries have noted that in Micah 7 the pronoun “I” sometimes seems to carry more than the weight of a Micah. It is sometimes suggested that the spokesman is therefore a collective unit such as the community of Israel.
This writer also feels there is more weight than just the prophet Micah riding on the pronoun “I” in this chapter. It is the opinion of this writer that with the exception of the phrase, “I have sinned against the Lord,” (7:9b), that the passage is a messianic prophecy; that while the primary application of the pronoun – the spokesman is Micah – is to Micah, that the secondary application is to the Savior (the third application being to us).
When read this way the dialogue is by Christ about Himself, His work, and His experiences as a redeemer living here on earth, including Calvary.
When viewed this way
7:1-13 Is Christ speaking to whoever will listen;
7:14 Christ to the Father, or the Father to Christ;
7:15 the Father speaking
7:16-18 Christ speaking
7:19a Israel responds
7:19b Christ speaking
7:20 Israel responds
(Reread the chapter watching for this dimension and see if you agree.)
Maybe this is one of the passages Christ opened to the disciples on the way to Emmaus.