Micah 7:16
Nations will see and be ashamed, deprived of all their might. They will put their hands over their mouths, and their ears will become deaf.
The Ultimate Deliverance of Man from SinD. Thomas Micah 7:15-17

According to the days of thy coming out of the land of Egypt will I show unto him marvellous things The nations shall see and be confounded at all their might: they shall lay their hand upon their mouth, their cars shall be deaf. 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. In this passage there is an answer to the prophet's prayer. It contains a Divine assurance that wonders analogous to those displayed in the deliverance of the Jaws from Egypt would be vouchsafed in their deliverance from Babylonish captivity; and that the display of those wonders would lead to the utter confusion and ruin of the "nations" who were their enemies. They would feel that all their strength was contemptible impotence in the presence of God's great power. This deliverance, thus described, resembles the ultimate deliverance of man from sin and ruin in two respects.

I. IT INVOLVES THE EXHIBITION OF THE MARVELLOUS. There were "marvellous things" shown when the Hebrews were delivered from Egypt; marvellous things when they were brought out of Babylonian captivity; but these marvellous things are but mere shadows of the marvels displayed in the moral redemption of mankind. The incarnation of Christ; the wonders that his mighty hand performed; the extraordinary phenomena connected with his death, his resurrection, and ascension to heaven; the revolutions in the moral character and institutions of mankind; - all these are, in truth the wonders of the wonderful, the marvels of the marvellous.

II. IT INVOLVES THE CONFUSION OF ENEMIES. "The nations shall be confounded at their might, they shall lay their hand upon their mouth," etc. As Egypt and Babylon were confounded, humbled, and terrified at God's marvels in their deliverance, so will all the spiritual foes of Christ be ultimately overwhelmed at the wonders displayed at the redemption of the world. Matthew Henry's remarks on this passage are worth quoting. "1. Those that had exulted over the people of God in their distress, and gloried that when they had them down they would keep them down, shall be confounded when they see them thus surprisingly rising up; they shall be confounded at all the might with which the captives shall now exert themselves, whom they thought forever disabled. They shall now lay their hands upon their mouths as being ashamed of what they have said, and not be able to say any more by way of triumph over Israel. Nay, their ears shall be deaf too, so much so that they shall be ashamed at the wonderful deliverance; they shall stop their ears as being not willing to hear any more of God's wonders wrought for that people whom they had so despised and exulted over.

2. Those that had impudently confronted God himself shall now be struck with a fear of him, and thereby brought, in profession at least, to submit w him. They shall lick the dust like a serpent; they shall be so mortified as if they were to be sentenced to the same curse the serpent was laid under (Genesis 3:14). They shall be brought to the lowest abasements imaginable, and shall be so dispirited that they shall tamely submit to them. They shall lick the dust of the Church's feet (Isaiah 49:23). Proud oppressors shall be made sensible how mean and little they are before the great God; and they shall with trembling and the lowest submission move out of the holes into which they had crept, like worms of the earth as they are, being ashamed and afraid to show their heads; so low shall they be brought and such abjects shall they be when they are abased. When God did wonders for his Church, many of the people of the land became Jews because the fear of the Jews and of their God fell on them (Esther 8:17). So it is promised here that they shall be afraid of the Lord our God, and shall fear because of thee, O Israel! Forced submissions are often feigned submissions; yet they redound to the glory of God and the Church, though not to the benefit of the dissemblers themselves." - D.T.

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
The prophet gives an account of the state of the professing, visible Church, which he looks upon to be like unto a field or vineyard after the harvest is past and the vintage over. God never leaves a professing Church to be a wilderness, unless upon the utmost apostasy; but He many times leaves them to be as a field after harvest, or a vineyard after the vintage. He takes down the hedge, He suffers the wild beasts to come in, lets persons spoil at their pleasure; but there will come a time of culture again, when He will have fruit brought forth to His praise. The prophet says that those who were good were very few; and that those who were evil were very bad. When this is the condition, inevitable destruction lies at the door of that place or nation. If either of these be otherwise, there is yet hope. This being the state and condition of the people of the land, the prophet makes in the name of the Church a threefold application of himself —

1. To God. "I will look unto the Lord."

2. To her enemies. Who is this enemy? Wherein did she show her enmity?

3. To himself. "I will bear the indignation," etc.Here is a very becoming frame under the present state of affliction. In this state and condition, the prophet puts up this request, "Feed Thy people with Thy rod." In these words we have —

I. WHAT IS PRAYED FOR. The rod is the sign of the shepherd. Three things in the feeding of God's people —

1. That God would supply their spiritual and temporal wants.

2. That God, in that state which is coming upon them, would give them pledges, singular pledges of His own tenderness and love.

3. By "feeding" is intended rule, protection, deliverance. The shepherd has to preserve his flock from all evil.


1. They were the people of God —

(1)Upon election.

(2)By purchase and acquisition.

(3)By covenant.

2. They were "the flock of Thine heritage." They are a "flock." And as such they are helpless, harmless, useful — useful, because a secret blessing goes with them; by reason of their good example; and by reason of their industry. They are "the flock of God's heritage." As such, if God take not care of it, no one else will. It is the heritage of Him whom the whole world looks upon as their greatest enemy.

3. The third argument is taken from their state and condition. The first argument pleads God's glory, His love and faithfulness. The second pleads God's interest. The third pleads God's pity and compassion. They dwell "solitarily," that is disconsolately. "In a wood," that is, ins dark and entangled condition.

( J. Owen, D. D.)

This prayer recognises three things.


1. He is the absolute Owner of the flock. "All souls are Mine."

2. He has a perfect knowledge of the flock.

3. He has an infinite love for the flock.

4. He has abundant supplies for the flock.

II. THE TRYING CONDITION IN WHICH GOD'S PEOPLE ARE SOMETIMES FOUND. "Which dwell solitarily in the wood, in the midst of Carmel." The primary reference is to their captivity in Babylon.

1. It is caused by self. Souls have not been driven away into moral captivity. "All we like sheep have gone astray."

2. It is undeliverable by self. No soul ever found its way back to God by its own unaided efforts; hence Christ came to "seek and to save the lost."

III. THE IMPORTANCE OF RESTORATION TO FORMER ENJOYMENTS. "Let them feed in Bashan and Gilead, as in the days of old." The regions of Bashan and Gilead, on the east of the Jordan, were celebrated for their rich pasturage, and on this account were chosen by the tribes of Reuben and Gad and the half tribe of Manasseh (Numbers 12; Deuteronomy 3:17). Morally, the great need of man is the restoration of normal rights, normal virtues, normal enjoyments.


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