Israel’s Moral Decline 7 1How sad for me! For I am like one who— when the summer fruit has been gathered after the gleaning of the grape harvest— finds no grape cluster to eat, no early fig, which I crave. 2Godly people have vanished from the land; there is no one upright among the people. All of them wait in ambush to shed blood; they hunt each other with a net. 3Both hands are good at accomplishing evil: the official and the judge demand a bribe; when the powerful man communicates his evil desire, they plot it together. 4The best of them is like a brier; the most upright is worse than a hedge of thorns. The day of your watchmen, the day of your punishment, is coming; at this time their panic is here. 5Do not rely on a friend; don’t trust in a close companion. Seal your mouth from the woman who lies in your arms. 6Surely a son considers his father a fool, a daughter opposes her mother, and a daughter-in-law is against her mother-in-law; a man’s enemies are the men of his own household. 7But I will look to the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation. My God will hear me.     Zion’s Vindication   8Do not rejoice over me, my enemy! Though I have fallen, I will stand up; though I sit in darkness, the Lord will be my light. 9Because I have sinned against Him, I must endure the Lord’s rage until He argues my case and establishes justice for me. He will bring me into the light; I will see His salvation.[D] 10Then my enemy will see, and she will be covered with shame, the one who said to me, “Where is the Lord your God?” My eyes will look at her in triumph; at that time she will be trampled like mud in the streets.   11A day will come for rebuilding your walls; on that day your boundary will be extended. 12On that day people will come to you from Assyria and the cities of Egypt, even from Egypt to the Euphrates River and from sea to sea and mountain to mountain. 13Then the earth will become a wasteland because of its inhabitants and as a result of their actions.   Micah’s Prayer Answered   14Shepherd Your people with Your staff, the flock that is Your possession. They live alone in a woodland surrounded by pastures. Let them graze in Bashan and Gilead as in ancient times.   15I will perform miracles for them[E] as in the days of your exodus from the land of Egypt. 16Nations will see and be ashamed of[F] all their power. They will put their hands over their mouths, and their ears will become deaf. 17They will lick the dust like a snake; they will come trembling out of their hiding places like reptiles slithering on the ground. They will tremble in the presence of Yahweh our God; they will stand in awe of You.   18Who is a God like You, removing iniquity and passing over rebellion for the remnant of His inheritance? He does not hold on to His anger forever, because He delights in faithful love. 19He will again have compassion on us; He will vanquish our iniquities. You will cast all our[G] sins into the depths of the sea. 20You will show loyalty to Jacob and faithful love to Abraham, as You swore to our fathers from days long ago.  
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