Devotional Commentary on Micah 7


In chapter 7 of Micah, the prophet is not any different than in the previous chapters. There is not suddenly a focus on the prophet here. It was not that he was lonely suddenly in his own day. That cannot be.

The Elijah syndrome that we see here, the desperation and anguish that he is the only righteous one in the country, that Elijah experienced, cannot be in the case of Micah. Why? Isaiah and Micah were contemporaries.

It is unlikely that Micah did not know about Isaiah and Isaiah did not know about Micah. Their ministry covered the same kings. Therefore, the Middle-Ages rabbi Rashi is not correct to suggest that Micah was lamenting "that I was appointed a prophet at this time [Micah's time]".

The prophet takes the role of the faithful in the time of Trouble that is to come over the World and which is also mentioned later by Daniel in Daniel 12:1-2. He already touched upon these aspects a number of times in the book (see Micah 6) and in continuation of that subject, before the Latter Rain, before the world-wide harvest of souls for Christ, a Great Apostasy is to happen of which many prophets and Paul spoke about in the Old and New Testaments.

A large number of remnant insiders will break away from the remnant and follow after the First Beast that was wounded but regained its power, a power that we know very well today to be in the Roman Catholic Church with their one billion members and hierarchy seated in the political-religious supremacy of the pope and the Curia.

It is in the reduction of the remnant period that the prophet felt, as he was one with the remnant, in video like presentation to his mind, future of course, after our own day, that he is saying: "Woe is to me, for I am as the last of the figs".

In the days of Jesus was the Second Elijah and in those days Jesus was looking for a fig. He also desired a fig.

In the days of the Third Elijah with the Advent Awakening there was a large remnant but when the disappointment came in 1844, many left the church.

With the Fourth Elijah in future, shortly before the coming of the Lord, there will also be this Elijah syndrome of "Woe is to me, for I am as the last of the figs". All others ran away and I am the only righteous one. In all cases it is a deception. The harvest that is mentioned here has nothing to do with a literal physical harvest.

The Targum Jonathan to the Prophets rendered that there is "no man who has good deeds". This is the translation of Rabbi Rashi in the Middle Ages of the Targum. Actually, the Targum reads "There is no man who has in him good deeds".

Rabbi Redak, the contemporary of Rashi understood it correctly "there are no pious or upright men from whom to learn to do good deeds".

Micah could not see a fig. It was a dark period in the history of the future remnant, even our future. At that time Micah suddenly says to himself: "the first ripe fig my soul desires". It is that future generation that he wish in his soul that they will learn the ways of the pious and upright, as Rabbi Redak correctly understood also.   

           We should get away from Preteristic commentaries that keep trying to unfold everything Micah said in his own day. There is hardly a commentary on the market that is not doing this.

           It is the period of the Great Apostasy here, just before the phenomenon of the Latter Rain that Joel is speaking about, because Micah is saying that at that future time, the pious have perished from the land and there is no upright among men. They all are violent. One brother hunts another with a net (Micah 7:2). The prophet is standing in a new milieu. He has a fast forwarded CD in 3D and himself in it. He stands alone then at some time after 1844.

           It is interesting to see how John Calvin applied Micah. He interpreted the book's information as stretched out between the days of Micah to the period of the church with an applicational last paragraph in his commentary applying data of Micah to his own day in 1530ff. to the Papists, which is a word for the Catholics following the pope. The stretched out position of the application into the time of the church is already a different stance than modern Calvinists are taking. Besides those liberals in the Calvinistic persuasion that are applying the methods of higher criticism in all its forms to the Word of God and dissecting and fractioning the Scripture. Look at Micah 7:2.

It is not talking about the land, as preteristic translators wish to select. "The pious have perished from the earth". It is global. It is min-haaretz. Of course they will all argue that haaretz can mean the land of Israel and is used that way many times. But the verse says that "there is no upright among men". This is not just the land of Israel. It is global. It is the sins of Adam that affected the whole human race tragically. Everyone will be a sinner. There is no perfect human being except Jesus Christ the Messiah who died on the cross.

That is the other principle of interpretation that is very vital for the book of Micah. The Messiah to come in Micah, as is mentioned in Micah 5:2, identifying his birth-place, came, and all interpretation of the Old Testament is properly put in place through His eyes and the interpretation of the New Testament as well. Nothing is changed, it is just viewed properly. Micah is not adjusted to fit Jesus. Jesus came forth by the unfolding of Micah. The Messiah mentioned small detail of His coming to Micah before He Himself came. That is how it works. The Messianic program and application is a natural and necessary one without which Micah cannot be properly understood.

Micah says that these people at the End Time [after 1798 in biblical terms as we learned from Daniel and Revelation] will fill upon their hand-palms evil and they expect that they will be benefited by Him. Yet the prince asks favors in his dealings, the judge accepts bribery and great leaders speaks the bad that is in their souls. They weave the whole society of evil. "And they weave it of evil". Rabbi Rashi said of this judge that he says: "Do me a favor in this case, and I will vindicate you in another case". Lawyers negotiations on behalf of the wealthy are involved here.

The best in the society of that time, which is post-1844 is "like a brier" and the upright "from a thorn hedge". The day from your looking forward, your visitation, shall come, says Micah (Micah 7:4). All are expecting the Advent. Micah says it will surely come. He uses the word "now" and commentators thought that it is in the days of Micah, but this is not what "now" in Micah means. It means "at that time when the event anticipated and seen in prophecy take place within a frame of what was before and after". It is a future timeline of events and a certain point on the timeline is the "now". At that time the evil will be perplexed (Micah 7:4).

The bible provides vivid pictures of the Endtime of the wicked. Habbakuk, a later prophet was probably familiar with scenes depicted in Micah but he may have seen these things as a rehearsal by himself in his visions. Habbakuk 3 is the description of the reaction of the wicked in the day of the Lord's coming. Rabbi Redak was under the impression that it was description of scenes when the Torah was given in 1448 BCE. But not so. It is eschatology and either the second coming of Christ or His third coming with the final executive judgment of the wicked.

Micah 7:5 indicates that it will be wise how we speak to friends, princes and family. Men should watch what they say to their wives. The reason is the same disease that will be an endtime sign in Maleachi 3:24 in the Hebrew where the Third Elijah (since 1844) will turn the heart of the parents to the children and the children to the parents. With the Latter Rain there will be the Fourth Elijah, which will do just this since the condition of parents and children will be deteriorated before the Latter Rain. But, when the Latter Rain falls, the roles will be reversed and they will find each other.

Micah 7:6 is describing the condition before Maleachi 3:24 kicks in. In between these two events is Elijah's coming. Micah says that the son disgraces the father, a daughter rises up upon her mother, a daughter-in-law against the mother-in-law. A man's enemies are the members of his household. These are outlined by Paul as signals of the Time of the End.

Micah then indicated that amidst this post-1844 event of parental discipline crisis, if he was alive in that situation, he will take the position of Elijah, namely "But I will [if I were in that situation then] hope in the Lord, I will wait for the God of my salvation, my God shall hear me" (Micah 7:7). The waiting theology is part of the Old and New Testament. The accompanying question in the waiting theology is: How long? The how long-genre is both in the Bible and in the ANE texts. When Lagash fell in the Sargonic Period the Lagash hymns asks: "How long?" When Ur fell in 2004 BCE, the "Destruction of Ur Hymn" asks the question "How long?" It is also in the fall of Nippur, Tyre, Sidon, and many other great cities one can see this. When there is disaster, the question is asked: how long should we wait for repair? It was asked in Daniel 8:13. So Micah is saying that during this unsettled time in future, before the Latter Rain, one should wait upon God.

It is definitely not a good time, this time prior to the Latter Rain. The enemy of the church will mock the remnant as if or indeed because they appear to have fallen. "Rejoice not against me, my enemy, although I have fallen, I will rise" (Micah 7:8).

During this time, it is the investigative judgment, as we have learned from Daniel 8:14 in combination with Ezra 4 and 6 and also with the year-day principle for prophecy. Our Advocate in heaven during the Heavenly court scenes, "in behalf of the saints" Daniel 7, is Christ our High Priest. What appears in the difficult time prior to the Latter Rain to be "the fury of the Lord" for the believer (Micah 7:9), will be no problem for the sinner-faithful, because the sins are not intentional but unintentional. Rabbi Malbim went out of his way in Micah 7:19 to explain that there are three kinds of sins mentioned here in Micah, namely awon and pesah, which is iniquity and transgression, both intentional rebellious sins, but hatha is unintentional sins. In Micah 7:9 the hope of the person in the heavenly Advocate is because they have hatha against Christ. Unintentional sinning against Christ.

His fury will be against the sinner "until He pleads my cause and executes justice for me". This is the action taking place now since 1844. When this action in heaven is completed in my case, "He shall take me out into the light". I will see His righteousness.

Let us paraphrase: "My mortality through Adam [Adventists do not believe in original sin but in mortality transmitted] and my own sins together are against Him, until He enters into Investigative Judgment in Heaven as Advocate for me and plead my case and make my judgment, leading me out [from darkness of sins] to light [then] I will see in His righteousness. I was blind [through my sins] but I shall see. Also my enemies shall see (Micah 7:10).

This process of Christ will be completed when the Door of Mercy closes.

After the Time of Trouble caused by the evil, the Second Advent will take place (Daniel 12:1) with "my enemy shall see and shame shall cover her who says to me: Where is the Lord your God?". Habbakuk 3 also describes the havoc among the evil as the Lord is coming in glory. "My eyes shall gaze upon her, now [at that point in prophecy, not at the time of Micah] she shall become trodden as the mire of the streets" (Micah 7:10).

Mockers in the end-time will ask: Where is your Lord? They will mock the delay.

Some other sentences of these mockers will be: "The day to build your walls, that day, its time is way off". The mockers claim that it will still be a long time before the Second Coming takes place.

Micah knows that it is a certain day "Day is it and unto you He will come" (Micah 7:12). It appears as if there will be trouble in Iraq (Assyria) "and the fortified cities" or military build-up areas, "and from the fortress" (is it Pentagon of the present World Empire, namely the USA?) and unto the river (Iran and other countries bordering Euphrates and Tigris) "and the sea from the west" (USA?) "and the dwellers of the mountains" (Russia?). Are these the big players at the end time? Daniel 11:44 do pull three parties together: USA, Iran and Iraq. Iran = East of Shushan, Iraq = North of Shushan. The USA is the he all the way from 11:36. The turmoil of these parties will lead to desolation (Micah 7:13). Also of its inhabitants "from the fruit from their deeds". As a result of evil mongering, wars will plunder them all apart and desolate.

In a time like this, Micah is pleading that the Great Shepherd will lead His remnant (Micah 7:14). It appears that these events are still prior to the Latter Rain and before the closing of the Door of Mercy. We know that since Micah 7:15 will speak of the Latter Rain (wonders).

When the Shepherd leads them during this difficult time, they will be left alone "who dwell alone", a "forest in the middle of a fruitful field". Surrounded by many other trees which is presumably fruitful, they are different, they are a forest. They cannot supply fruits since the society has cut them out of those opportunities at that time. They are isolated by networks and webs. It is when the fruitful trees of pluralism and ecumenism surrounds the remnant who is particularistic and different, "like a forest", it is then that "they shall graze" because the Lord is their Shepherd. They shall graze, simulating Bashan and Gilead in their Exodus history, but this time in a later timeline, "as in the days of eternity" (Micah 7:14).

The situation will compare to the supernatural inventions of God after 1450-1410 BCE "as in the days of your exodus from the land of Egypt" (Micah 7:15). It is the Latter Rain time and Christ promised here "I will show him wonders". "I will cause him to see wonders". "I will make him to see wonders". It will be again a supernatural event. Joel spent time in explaining this supernatural event to come in future. The Early Rain (of the Holy Spirit) came in Acts and the Latter Rain (of the Holy Spirit) will come at the End of Time. 

The results of the Latter Rain experience is that "nations shall be ashamed of all their might". The remnant shall be very powerful and they will be ashamed that through their dealing and wheeling and network control and scheming, they were not able to excel the remnant's power to influence the world.

Secularism will be given a heavy blow that will left designers of secularism astounded and dumbfounded. "They shall place a hand upon the mouth" (Micah 7:16). The enemies ears will become deaf. "They shall lick the dust as a snake" (Micah 7:17).

This expression rings the same sound as in Genesis when God cursed the snake because of his instrumentality to be a vehicle for Satan in causing the Fall of humanity. The secularist designers are also a vehicle for Satan and they shall receive the same curse from God. "They shall quake from their imprisonment" (Micah 7:17). The imprisonment is really the situation that is scoop up in front of them and given to the remnant and left them without any room or space to excel their own agendas. This is a supernatural event and will last only a short period.

But, it is the final call all over the world for the salvation of people. Everyone will have a chance to say yes or no. The evil shall "fear the Lord, our God and they shall fear you" (Micah 7:17).

This means not that those who imprisoned Israel shall quake in fear of Israel's revenge as Rabbi Mezudath David and Abarbanel thought. The text does not read that way. They will fear God. Period. Any other fear is secondary but not primary.

Redak also misunderstood the reading since he suggested that the enemies shall lock themselves up in their cities  because of the fear of Israel, but the text says for the fear of God. By extension it is also the remnant but only in relation to the fear of God, Who's fear is the determining One.

“I will show him wonders". Him? Rabbi Chaim Vital thought that it refers to Moses. Micah in 730 BCE talking about Moses in 1450-1410 BCE? Difficult to grasp. Better to shelf the idea. For verse 16 Redak has in mind the Gog and Magog war and most scholars tend to classify that war with the End Time events.

Now in Micah 7:18 Micah reflects upon the character of God. He wants to know, who is there that can be compared to God? God forgives iniquity and passes over transgression of the remnant. He does not "strengthen His anger unto the endpoint".

Modern translations wants to use the word forever. Redak did not translate it as forever as modern Judaism thinks but he kept to the biblical form of the word which is "unto the endpoint". It is the same ad as ad matay of Daniel 8:13. "Unto when?" God desires "loving-kindness".

All this happen on behalf of the saints (Daniel 7) in the Investigative Judgment since 1844. That is where the heavenly court has to check the case of the saints and establish their cases individually. That is why Christ says that the faithful will not come into judgment. It is all in heaven while saints are living on earth. It happens as we exist these days.

The mechanism of the Investigative Judgment is explained by Micah 7:19 "He shall return and grant us compassion, He shall hide our iniquities". Then an interesting phenomenon happen. It is common in ANE narrative writing. "You shall cast into the depths of the sea all their sins (hatha)".

During this Investigative Judgment, a very special event takes place for those who has a relationship with God: "According to the strict standard of justice, we do not deserve all this good fortune, for we are full of iniquity - but who is a God like You, Who forgives iniquity?" asks Rabbi Mezudath David. He understood the role of Grace very well here in the Investigative Judgment.

When Christ comes at the Second Advent, the issues or courtcases against the saints are all over. He is King of Kings, a title He will receive after the completion of his function as Advocate in High Priest capacity in the Heavenly Sanctuary. Micah's language is mountain of mountains. There are articles and books written on the concept of mountain as sanctuary in the ANE.

In Micah 7:20 Christ will come at the Second Advent and what shall He do? Resurrect of course and with Jacob and Abraham alive then, He will give "truth to Jacob" and "lovingkindness to Abraham". This He promised to them before and repeated it in covenants to the forefathers in days before. Rabbi Alshich also translated it as "truth to Jacob" and not as Targum Jonathan to the Prophets as "truth of Jacob". The truth and loving-kindness will not be given to the children of Jacob and Abraham, as Rabbi Alshich thought or as Rabbi Kara and Rashi also thought. That is not what the text says.


Dear God

You have packed your prophets with messages and our problem is that we allow preterists to tell us what we should see and not see. Open our eyes and change our lives accordingly. In Jesus Name. Amen.