Micah 7

Israel's people are very bad, but Micah still believes God

1 I am very sad!

I am like someone who comes to trees with no fruit on them.

Other people have picked the fruit already.

So I am like those people who can only pick the last grapes.

Those are the grapes that other people leave behind.

Really, there are no grapes there to eat.

There are none of the first figs that I like so much.

2 There are no longer any people here who obey God.

There are no good, honest people.

Everyone is waiting to kill someone else.

They are all like hunters, who try to catch each other.

3 They know very well how to work together to do bad things.

Rulers demand gifts and judges ask for money.

7:3A judge is someone with authority to decide what is right or fair.

Powerful bad people always get what they want.

All these people work together to do what is bad.

4 The best of them are dangerous like wild plants with thorns.

7:4Micah says that the bad people are like plants with thorns. He means that they are always ready to cause trouble for other people.

The most honest of them are worse than thorn bushes.

The bad time that your prophets told you about is coming.

Soon God will punish you,

and you will be confused.

5 Do not believe anyone, even somebody that you know well.

You cannot be sure that your friend will always be honest with you.

Be careful what you say to your wife.

Be careful even when you are hugging her.

6 Sons think that their fathers are fools.

And daughters refuse to obey their mothers.

Wives quarrel with their husbands' mothers.

A man's enemies are the people who live in his own house now.

7 But as for me, I will watch for what the Lord will do.

I will wait for God, who saves me.

I know that he hears me.

Israel's enemies will be ashamed

8 My enemy, do not be happy because I am in trouble.

7:8Verses 8-10 Here Micah speaks on behalf of Zion's people, as if they were one person.

I have fallen down, but I will get up.

I am in the dark, but the Lord will be a light to me.

9 I have not obeyed the Lord,

so he is angry with me.

He will continue to punish me,

until the time when he speaks for me.

Then he will make things right for me.

He will bring me out into the light.

He always does what is really right.

And I will see that then.

10 ‘Why does the Lord your God not help you?’ my enemies say to me.

They will see what God does for me.

Then they will be very ashamed.

And I will see the bad things that happen to them.

Soon other people will crush them and beat them.

Then they will be like wet ground in the streets under people's feet.

Jerusalem will be great again

11 But the time will come for you to build the walls of your cities again.

You will make the borders of your country much wider then.

12 At that time many of Assyria's people and Egypt's people will come to you.

People will come to you from the countries between Egypt and the River Euphrates.

They will come to you from all over the earth,

from sea to sea and from mountain to mountain.

13 The other parts of the earth will become sad places where nobody lives.

God will destroy them because of the people who live there.

Those people have done what is bad.

Micah talks to God

14 Rule us and lead us, Lord.

You are like a man who leads his sheep.

He uses a strong stick to lead them.

We are your own special people.

We are like a group of sheep that lives by itself in a forest.

There is good grass all round them.

Let your sheep eat grass in Bashan and Gilead,

as they did a long time ago.

7:14Bashan and Gilead were east of the Jordan River. They were good places for sheep because lots of grass grew there. They had been parts of Israel's land many years before, but Assyria's people had taken them. In this verse, Micah is saying that Israel's people can live there again.

15 Lord, you did great things long ago,

when you brought us out of the land of Egypt.

Do great things like that again.

16 The people in other countries will see what you do.

They will understand that they are not really powerful.

So then they will be ashamed.

They will be like deaf people and dumb people.

17 They will be like snakes that move along the ground.

They will be afraid and they will eat dust like snakes.

7:17‘Eat dust’ means ‘show that they will obey you’.

They will come carefully out of their safe places,

because they are afraid of you, the Lord our God.

18 No other god is like you.

You chose us to be your people.

And you decide not to remember what we have done wrong.

Not many of your people remain and we have done bad things.

But you choose to forget those bad things.

You will not always be angry,

because you want very much to be kind.

19 You like to be kind because you love us.

You will remove everything that we have done wrong.

You will crush those bad things.

You will throw all of them into the deep sea.

20 You will continue to be kind to us,

because we are Jacob's and Abraham's people.

7:20Abraham was the man that God chose. God chose him a long time before Micah lived. Abraham was Jacob's (Israel's) grandfather. All his people after that time have the name: ‘Israel's people’. Abraham believed God and obeyed him. He believed even when it was very difficult. (See Genesis 12-25.)

That is what you promised to our grandfathers a long time ago.