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The Evil That People Do

Poor me! I am like a hungry man,
    and all the summer fruit has been picked—
there are no grapes left to eat,
    none of the early figs I love.
All of the faithful people are gone;
    there is not one good person left in this country.
Everyone is waiting to kill someone;
    everyone is trying to trap someone else.
With both hands they are doing evil.
    Rulers ask for money,
    and judges’ decisions are bought for a price.
Rich people tell what they want,
    and they get it.
Even the best of them is like a thornbush;
    the most honest of them is worse than a prickly plant.
The day that your watchmen[a] warned you about has come.
    Now they will be confused.
Don’t believe your neighbor
    or trust a friend.
Don’t say anything,
    even to your wife.
A son will not honor his father,
    a daughter will turn against her mother,
and a daughter-in-law will be against her mother-in-law;
    a person’s enemies will be members of his own family.

The Lord’s Kindness

Israel says, “I will look to the Lord for help.
    I will wait for God to save me;
    my God will hear me.
Enemy, don’t laugh at me.
    I have fallen, but I will get up again.
I sit in the shadow of trouble now,
    but the Lord will be a light for me.
I sinned against the Lord,
    so he was angry with me,
but he will defend my case in court.
    He will bring about what is right for me.
Then he will bring me out into the light,
    and I will see him set things right.
10 Then my enemies will see this,
    and they will be ashamed,
those who said to me,
    ‘Where is the Lord your God?’
I will look down on them.
    They will get walked on, like mud in the street.”

Israel Will Return

11 The time will come when your walls will be built again,
    when your country will grow.
12 At that time your people will come back to you
    from Assyria and the cities of Egypt,
and from Egypt to the Euphrates River,
    and from sea to sea and mountain to mountain.
13 The earth will be ruined for the people who live in it
    because of their deeds.

A Prayer to God

14 So shepherd your people with your stick;
    tend the flock of people who belong to you.
That flock now lives alone in the forest
    in the middle of a garden land.
Let them feed in Bashan and Gilead
    as in days long ago.

15 “As in the days when I brought you out of Egypt,
    I will show them miracles.”

16 When the nations see those miracles,
    they will no longer brag about their power.
They will put their hands over their mouths,
    refusing to listen.
17 They will crawl in the dust like a snake,
    like insects crawling on the ground.
They will come trembling from their holes to the Lord our God
    and will turn in fear before you.
18 There is no God like you.
    You forgive those who are guilty of sin;
you don’t look at the sins of your people
    who are left alive.
You will not stay angry forever,
    because you enjoy being kind.
19 You will have mercy on us again;
    you will conquer our sins.
You will throw away all our sins
    into the deepest part of the sea.
20 You will be true to the people of Jacob,
    and you will be kind to the people of Abraham
as you promised to our ancestors long ago.

Footnotes

  1. 7:4 watchmen Another name for prophets. The prophets were like guards who stood on a city’s wall and watched for trouble coming from far away.

Israel’s Misery

What misery is mine!
I am like one who gathers summer fruit
    at the gleaning of the vineyard;
there is no cluster of grapes to eat,
    none of the early figs(A) that I crave.
The faithful have been swept from the land;(B)
    not one(C) upright person remains.
Everyone lies in wait(D) to shed blood;(E)
    they hunt each other(F) with nets.(G)
Both hands are skilled in doing evil;(H)
    the ruler demands gifts,
the judge accepts bribes,(I)
    the powerful dictate what they desire—
    they all conspire together.
The best of them is like a brier,(J)
    the most upright worse than a thorn(K) hedge.
The day God visits you has come,
    the day your watchmen sound the alarm.
    Now is the time of your confusion.(L)
Do not trust a neighbor;
    put no confidence in a friend.(M)
Even with the woman who lies in your embrace
    guard the words of your lips.
For a son dishonors his father,
    a daughter rises up against her mother,(N)
a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—
    a man’s enemies are the members of his own household.(O)

But as for me, I watch(P) in hope(Q) for the Lord,
    I wait for God my Savior;
    my God will hear(R) me.

Israel Will Rise

Do not gloat over me,(S) my enemy!
    Though I have fallen, I will rise.(T)
Though I sit in darkness,
    the Lord will be my light.(U)
Because I have sinned against him,
    I will bear the Lord’s wrath,(V)
until he pleads my case(W)
    and upholds my cause.
He will bring me out into the light;(X)
    I will see his righteousness.(Y)
10 Then my enemy will see it
    and will be covered with shame,(Z)
she who said to me,
    “Where is the Lord your God?”(AA)
My eyes will see her downfall;(AB)
    even now she will be trampled(AC) underfoot
    like mire in the streets.

11 The day for building your walls(AD) will come,
    the day for extending your boundaries.
12 In that day people will come to you
    from Assyria(AE) and the cities of Egypt,
even from Egypt to the Euphrates
    and from sea to sea
    and from mountain to mountain.(AF)
13 The earth will become desolate because of its inhabitants,
    as the result of their deeds.(AG)

Prayer and Praise

14 Shepherd(AH) your people with your staff,(AI)
    the flock of your inheritance,
which lives by itself in a forest,
    in fertile pasturelands.[a](AJ)
Let them feed in Bashan(AK) and Gilead(AL)
    as in days long ago.(AM)

15 “As in the days when you came out of Egypt,
    I will show them my wonders.(AN)

16 Nations will see and be ashamed,(AO)
    deprived of all their power.
They will put their hands over their mouths(AP)
    and their ears will become deaf.
17 They will lick dust(AQ) like a snake,
    like creatures that crawl on the ground.
They will come trembling(AR) out of their dens;
    they will turn in fear(AS) to the Lord our God
    and will be afraid of you.
18 Who is a God(AT) like you,
    who pardons sin(AU) and forgives(AV) the transgression
    of the remnant(AW) of his inheritance?(AX)
You do not stay angry(AY) forever
    but delight to show mercy.(AZ)
19 You will again have compassion on us;
    you will tread our sins underfoot
    and hurl all our iniquities(BA) into the depths of the sea.(BB)
20 You will be faithful to Jacob,
    and show love to Abraham,(BC)
as you pledged on oath to our ancestors(BD)
    in days long ago.(BE)

Footnotes

  1. Micah 7:14 Or in the middle of Carmel

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