Isaiah 59:15-21 International Bible Lessons Commentary and Lesson

The International Bible Lesson (Uniform Sunday School Lessons Series [ISSL]) for Sunday, August 2, 2015, is from Isaiah 59:15-21. This posting and the podcast below includes both the International Bible Lesson Commentary and the International Bible Lesson.

The International Bible Lessons Commentary is now available in five different Bible translations with all Student Study Handouts, Crossword Puzzles, Word Search Games, and True and False Tests for student review on the International Bible Lessons Commentary website.

You can go directly to and easily print out any of the five Bible versions below:

The English Standard Version (ESV)

The King James Version (KJV)

The New American Standard Bible (NASB)

The  New International Version (NIV)

The New Revised Standard Version (NRSV).

Questions for Discussion and Thinking Further follow the verse-by-verse International Bible Lesson Commentary below.  Study Hints for Discussion and Thinking Further discusses each of the Questions for Discussion and Thinking Further to help with class preparation and in conducting class discussion: these hints are available on the  International Bible Lessons Commentary website.

To listen to this commentary a podcast is available by subscribing and by clicking on the audio links here on the International Bible Lesson Forum.

International Bible Lesson Commentary

Isaiah 59:15-21

(Isaiah 59:15) Truth is nowhere to be found, and whoever shuns evil becomes a prey. The LORD looked and was displeased that there was no justice.

Eventually, Truth and the Word of God were not taught, believed, or followed by the descendants of those God led into the Promised Land. God’s law and basic honesty were disregarded by everyone except those who would not practice evil. Those who repented and returned to honest and truthful living according to God’s law and the written Word of God, the Scriptures, became innocent victims who were cheated, destroyed, or taken unjust advantage of by wicked leaders who controlled the political and religious establishment in the Promised Land. When honest and truthful people sought justice to make things right and restore what had been stolen from them, they received unjust rulings from those who were dishonest and controlled the legal system. God inspired His prophets to preach that God was not indifferent to injustice and the needs of His oppressed people, and God would take action in behalf of His true followers. Through Isaiah and other true prophets, God declared evil and unjust behavior were wrong and would not be tolerated. God promised that He would help those who followed Him and He would restore justice to the land. He would also send the Redeemer to save them.

(Isaiah 59:16) He saw that there was no one, he was appalled that there was no one to intervene; so his own arm achieved salvation for him, and his own righteousness sustained him.

God was disgusted and revolted that not one person in the Promised Land would intervene in behalf of the oppressed who sought to do God’s will and obey God’s law. God looked among His people and He expected to find responsible political and religious leaders who would work together to uphold truth, justice, and God’s way of right based on His laws, but He could not find anyone. God expected them to rule in righteousness and defend those who tried to follow God and God’s law in all that they did. However, not one of those who officially led God’s people would intercede for them before the ungodly establishment that oppressed them; therefore, God sent Isaiah to call them to repent and act responsibly. Because these leaders refused to do right, God would personally intervene to save those who sought to obey Him, and God acted based on His righteous character as revealed in the law of God and God’s acts in history. Even though God was appalled at the injustice He saw, His righteousness upheld or sustained Him—everything He had said and done was right, and He knew He had not done anything wrong or had omitted any action that needed to be done. God was not the cause of the evil others did, nor was God responsible for the refusal of those who knew His law when they would not rule justly and help the oppressed who obeyed Him.

(Isaiah 59:17) He put on righteousness as his breastplate, and the helmet of salvation on his head; he put on the garments of vengeance and wrapped himself in zeal as in a cloak.

Isaiah named part of “the whole armor of God” (see Ephesians 6:10-17). No evil act or thought can penetrate the heart of God and mislead Him because of His breastplate of righteousness. God’s righteousness can be clearly seen as a breastplate of protection, and Paul wrote that God’s people should put on that breastplate, which can protect them spiritually from the evil actions of others. God’s actions and thoughts in coming to the Promised Land focused on saving His people, in saving those who obeyed Him and acted in truth and righteousness, but He would need to fight evil to help them. No evil one or group could deter God from accomplishing the salvation of those who repented and returned to Him, and He would defeat evil and all unjust oppressors with armor they could not harm or understand.

(Isaiah 59:18) According to what they have done, so will he repay wrath to his enemies and retribution to his foes; he will repay the islands their due.

God will act and destroy evil by doing what is just and right. God will respond to those who practice evil, and He will do what is necessary to stop them; yet, God will not do anything unjust or unrighteous when He stops people from doing evil. God’s foes or enemies have also been the enemies of His people; God’s enemies have sought to destroy God’s people in a variety of ways as Amos and Micah described in their books of prophecy. God will do what His enemies justly deserve, because they have refused to repent, return to God, and practice what is right in all of their relationships with God and others.

(Isaiah 59:19) From the west, people will fear the name of the LORD, and from the rising of the sun, they will revere his glory. For he will come like a pent-up flood that the breath of the LORD drives along.

When the LORD comes to bring justice and righteousness to His people, those who practice injustice will see God dressed in His whole armor, which will bring fear to their hearts. They will see their unjust deeds and immoral ways of living reflected in His shining breastplate of righteousness. They will see from His helmet that they cannot prevent Him from saving those they have abused and afflicted. Therefore, they will fear His name and bow down before His blazing brightness. God will come upon them as an irresistible flood and bring an end to their evil deeds.

(Isaiah 59:20) “The Redeemer will come to Zion, to those in Jacob who repent of their sins,” declares the LORD.

Isaiah foretold that God will come as the Redeemer to free those who have turned from evil to the LORD and His Truth. The Redeemer will free them from the evil ones who have despoiled them and taken unjust advantage of them. Those who have been persecuted for obeying God’s law will see their Redeemer and all the answers to their prayers reflected in His breastplate of righteousness and the actions He takes. Though much of Isaiah’s message included symbolism, he preached that God will save those who repent of their sins, and God will punish those who persist in disobedience and injustice.

(Isaiah 59:21) “As for me, this is my covenant with them,” says the LORD. “My Spirit, who is on you, will not depart from you, and my words that I have put in your mouth will always be on your lips, on the lips of your children and on the lips of their descendants–from this time on and forever,” says the LORD.

Jeremiah preached about the new covenant, and Isaiah revealed more about the new covenant that the Messiah would bring: “‘The days are coming,’” declares the LORD, ‘when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah’” (Jeremiah 31:31; see also Hebrews 8:8 and Hebrews 9:15). When Jesus came the first time, He established the new covenant. Luke wrote, “In the same way, after the supper he [Jesus] took the cup, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you’” (Luke 22:20). Jesus defeated all of the spiritual enemies of all those who repented and trusted in Him as the Truth (see John 14:6). Those who truly repented and believed in Him, He filled with the Holy Spirit of God; furthermore, Jesus promised that He would never leave or forsake His followers. The words of truth that Jesus taught, and the words that the Holy Spirit inspired His apostles to remember, preach, teach, and write in the Bible have not departed from those who have believed in and obey Jesus. These words of truth have been passed down from parents to children for generations and they will remain true forever. When Jesus comes again, He will defeat all of the enemies of God, just as the prophets foretold (Luke 20:40-44).

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Questions for Discussion and Thinking Further

1. What did God see when He looked upon the people living in Judah and Jerusalem?

2. What sustained or upheld God when He considered the situation in the Promised Land?

3. What two pieces of armor did God put on in order to help His true followers?

4. What did God say He would do to those who practiced evil?

5. Who did God say He would send, to whom would He send Him, what would He do, and what would be the results of His coming?

Study Hints for Discussion and Thinking Further, a study guide for teachers, discusses the questions above to help with class preparation and in conducting class discussion. These hints are available on the International Bible Lessons Commentary website, along with additional easy-print resources.


International Bible Lesson

God’s Words Will Remain Forever

“As for me, this is my covenant with them, saith the LORD; My spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed’s seed, saith the LORD, from henceforth and for ever” (Isaiah 59:21—KJV).

“‘As for me, this is my covenant with them,’ says the LORD. ‘My Spirit, who is on you, will not depart from you, and my words that I have put in your mouth will always be on your lips, on the lips of your children and on the lips of their descendants—from this time on and forever,’ says the LORD” (Isaiah 59:21—NIV).

When God looked upon the earth, Isaiah said God was appalled that no one intervened in behalf of those who had turned from practicing evil to obeying the truth; instead, honest believers became the victims of evil people who gave them no justice when they appealed for help. Therefore, Isaiah foretold that God would send the Redeemer to Jerusalem in order to save those who repented of their sins (Isaiah 59:20). When Jesus came as the Messiah, He fulfilled Isaiah’s prophecy. Jesus made a new covenant with His own blood—not the blood of sheep or goats. He brought salvation to all who repented and entrusted their lives to Him as Lord and Savior. He filled His apostles with the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost, and on that Day, when the crowd understood that they had been responsible for the death of God’s Messiah so that they asked what they could do, Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38). About three thousand people obeyed Peter’s message and were baptized and received the Holy Spirit that very Day. Since then, the words of Jesus have been recorded in the Scriptures and His teachings have been passed down from generation to generation. – L.G. Parkhurst, Jr.


Begin or close your class by reading the short weekly International Bible Lesson. To print the International Bible Lesson in three different sizes (including large print size and bulletin size) and for the Teacher’s Study Hints for Five Discussion Questions and Thinking Further, go to the International Bible Lessons Commentary website.

See the recommended Bible study, Recovery, and Worship Resources at SmallChurchResources.com.

— © All Contents of this website are copyright 2010-2015 by L.G. Parkhurst, Jr. Permission Granted for Not for Profit Use.

Listen to the International Bible Lesson Commentary using the podcast below.

Posted in Bible | Comments Off on Isaiah 59:15-21 International Bible Lessons Commentary and Lesson

Micah 7:14-20 International Bible Lessons Commentary and Lesson

The International Bible Lesson (Uniform Sunday School Lessons Series [ISSL]) for Sunday, July 26, 2015, is from Micah 7:14-20. This posting and podcast includes both the International Bible Lesson Commentary and the International Bible Lesson. The International Bible Lesson Commentary is now available in five different Bible translations on the International Bible Lessons Commentary website: these versions are the English Standard Version (ESV), King James Version (KJV), New American Standard Bible (NASB), New International Version (NIV), and the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)Questions for Discussion and Thinking Further follow the verse-by-verse International Bible Lesson Commentary. The Study Hints for Discussion and Thinking Further discusses each of the Questions for Discussion and Thinking Further to help with class preparation and in conducting class discussion: these hints are available on the  International Bible Lessons Commentary website along with the International Bible Lesson that you may want to read to your class as part of your Bible study using the easy printable lesson. To help your class review the lesson, links to an easy printable Word Search Puzzle, a Crossword Puzzle, and a True and False Test are also available below. To listen to this commentary a podcast is available by subscribing and by clicking on the audio links here on the International Bible Lesson Forum.

International Bible Lesson Commentary

Micah 7:14-20

(Micah 7:14) Shepherd your people with your staff, the flock of your inheritance, which lives by itself in a forest, in fertile pasturelands. Let them feed in Bashan and Gilead as in days long ago.

Micah concluded with a prayer and praise to God that affirmed his faith in God. Though God punished Israel and Judah for their sins, Micah prayed that God would continue to care for His people as a good shepherd who owned his flock and not as a hired hand, who would abandon his flock (see John 10:12). Micah foresaw a time when God’s people would live away from the good land that could nourish them, either living in exile or surviving away from the good land in Judah and Israel that was occupied by their enemies in the Promised Land. Bashan and Gilead were good lands east of the Jordan River that the Hebrews once occupied–“in the days of old” when they entered the Promised Land with Joshua.

(Micah 7:15) “As in the days when you came out of Egypt, I will show them my wonders.

Micah continued to pray that God would work wonders in their midst as He did when He worked miracles and led His people like a Shepherd out of Egypt–the house of slavery. Micah foresaw the time when God’s people would be in exile away from the Promised Land; so Micah prayed for God to work miracles and lead them home again.

(Micah 7:16) Nations will see and be ashamed, deprived of all their power. They will put their hands over their mouths and their ears will become deaf.

Micah foresaw, hoped, and prayed that the nations that had mocked God’s people when Jerusalem fell and they had been carried into exile would be ashamed when God restored them in the Promised Land. Micah prayed that God’s mighty works in restoring His people would make their enemies feel so ashamed when God restored them in the Promised Land that they would say nothing; but if something was said, that their enemies would hear nothing.

(Micah 7:17) They will lick dust like a snake, like creatures that crawl on the ground. They will come trembling out of their dens; they will turn in fear to the LORD our God and will be afraid of you.

The snake in the Garden of Eden was Satan after God humiliated him for leading Eve and Adam into sin. Micah prayed that the devil and the enemies of God’s people would be humiliated or humbled when God led His people back to their homeland. Micah prayed that those who occupied the Promised Land and their surrounding enemies would leave their fortresses in the fear of the LORD and Israel when they returned from exile so they could completely occupy the Promised Land once again without fighting.

(Micah 7:18) Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy.

Micah concluded his prayer with praise to our God. When compared to God’s creation and all of the idols of Israel’s enemies and neighbors, there is no God like the true God. No God but the LORD will pardon iniquity and choose not punish but “pass over” people’s transgressions. After Israel and Judah were defeated as God’s punishment for their sins, only a remnant (a small number or size) of God’s people remained. Micah praised the LORD for not staying angry with sinners forever, but forgiving them for their sins. God takes delight in forgiving people, and He seeks sinners to save them (see Luke 15 for Jesus’ parables on the lost sheep, the lost silver coin, and the lost sons which show God’s delight in saving sinners).

(Micah 7:19) You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.

Compassion is active love shown by someone in a place of power or in a situation to help someone else in need. Compassion is often shown to the undeserving; such as, the rebellious houses of Judah and Israel. Though God had to punish the unrepentant rebels among His people, God’s love would move Him to disregard as nothing (“tread under foot”) the rebellious acts of His people and cast all their sins far away from Him and themselves so they could live holy before God in faith, love, and thankful obedience.

(Micah 7:20) You will be faithful to Jacob, and show love to Abraham, as you pledged on oath to our ancestors in days long ago.

The Lord Jesus Christ would be a descendant of Abraham and Jacob, and the LORD would demonstrate His faithfulness and loyalty to Abraham and Jacob by keeping His promises to them that one of their descendants would bless the nations. God saved a remnant and returned to them to the Promised Land as He looked forward to sending Jesus, His only begotten Son, Who by His sacrificial death on the cross would make possible God’s loving, just, and merciful promise of pardoning iniquity and casting our sins into the depths of the sea never to be remembered again.

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Questions for Discussion and Thinking Further

1. What seems to be most important about “the days of old” that Micah mentions?

2. What would make the nations ashamed of their might?

3. Why would God’s people not need to be afraid when they returned from exile to the Promised Land?

4. In what ways does Micah say God is unlike all other gods?

5. What are the important character traits or qualities of God that Micah lists in Micah 7:18-20?

Study Hints for Discussion and Thinking Further, a study guide for teachers, discusses the questions above to help with class preparation and in conducting class discussion. These hints are available on the International Bible Lessons Commentary website.


The Word Search Puzzle, the True and False Test, and the Crossword Puzzle below are provided from the International Bible Lessons Commentary website to help teachers provide a simple review game or quiz for their students. May you find them helpful.

Word Search Puzzle

Micah 7:14-20
An Educational Take Home Review and Handout using Key Bible Lesson Words.

True and False Test

Micah 7:14-20
An Easy Review Test to Help Students Remember the Bible Lesson

Crossword Puzzle

Micah 7:14-20
An Easy Review or Handout to End Your Class


International Bible Lesson

The Unique God of the Bible

“Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy” (Micah 7:18—KJV).

“Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy” (Micah 7:18—NIV).

“Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity and passing over the transgression of the remnant of your possession? He does not retain his anger forever, because he delights in showing clemency” (Micah 7:18—NRSV).

From historical studies about the gods that people have worshiped around the world for thousands of years, we know the answer that Micah wanted to imply with his question. Answer: there is no other God like the God of the Bible. No one has been able to imagine a person, a thing, or a god with all of the character traits of God as revealed in the Bible. If millions of people were surveyed and asked to describe the characteristics of God, they might list traits that many gods have in common; characteristics such as power, authority, creativity, and wisdom. But carefully consider the traits that Micah emphasized which make the God of the Bible unique. The God of the Bible “delights in showing clemency.” God delights in forgiving others instead of punishing everyone who has defied Him, practiced wickedness, or treated others cruelly and unjustly. Most would admit that only a saint could delight in forgiving someone who had deeply hurt and mistreated them or the ones they love. However, we can best describe the God of the Bible as unlike all others because God so delighted in pardoning iniquity that He sent His only begotten Son to die on a cross so He could be just when He showed mercy to repentant sinners who believed in His Son. Furthermore, think about those who truly try to follow the God of the Bible—the Spirit of God within them inclines them to try to live like God’s children, forgive others, and not remain angry with anyone forever. – L.G. Parkhurst, Jr.

 



Begin or close your class by reading the short weekly International Bible Lesson. To print the International Bible Lesson in three different sizes (including large print size and bulletin size) and for the Teacher’s Study Hints for Five Discussion Questions and Thinking Further, go to the International Bible Lessons Commentary website.

See the recommended Bible study, Recovery, and Worship Resources at SmallChurchResources.com.

— © All Contents of this website are copyright 2010-2015 by L.G. Parkhurst, Jr. Permission Granted for Not for Profit Use.

Listen to the International Bible Lesson Commentary using the podcast below.

Posted in Bible | Comments Off on Micah 7:14-20 International Bible Lessons Commentary and Lesson

Micah 6:1-8 International Bible Lessons Commentary and Lesson

The International Bible Lesson (Uniform Sunday School Lessons Series [ISSL]) for Sunday, July 19, 2015, is from Micah 6:1-8. Please Note: Some churches will only study Micah 6:3-8. This posting and podcast includes both the International Bible Lesson Commentary and the International Bible Lesson. The International Bible Lesson Commentary is now available in five different Bible translations on the International Bible Lessons Commentary website: these versions are the English Standard Version (ESV), King James Version (KJV), New American Standard Bible (NASB), New International Version (NIV), and the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)Questions for Discussion and Thinking Further follow the verse-by-verse International Bible Lesson Commentary. The Study Hints for Discussion and Thinking Further discusses each of the Questions for Discussion and Thinking Further to help with class preparation and in conducting class discussion: these hints are available on the  International Bible Lessons Commentary website along with the International Bible Lesson that you may want to read to your class as part of your Bible study using the easy printable lesson. To help your class review the lesson, links to an easy printable Word Search Puzzle, a Crossword Puzzle, and a True and False Test are also available below. To listen to this commentary a podcast is available by subscribing and by clicking on the audio links here on the International Bible Lesson Forum.

International Bible Lesson Commentary

Micah 6:1-8

(Micah 6:1) Listen to what the LORD says: “Stand up, plead my case before the mountains; let the hills hear what you have to say.

Micah wrote of a vision where the LORD and His people appeared together in court. The LORD, the Creator of all, called the court into session before the mountains and the hills, and the LORD called upon the mountains and the hills to hear the testimony of His people, Israel, as well as His own testimony about the relationship between them. The mountains and the hills were used as a metaphor and represented a law court or a jury, for they had “seen” the behavior of God and His people. They could affirm that everything God said was true and God was in the right. From reading the Bible and studying history, we would also judge God was in the right in the controversy between God and Israel.

(Micah 6:2) “Hear, you mountains, the LORD’s accusation; listen, you everlasting foundations of the earth. For the LORD has a case against his people; he is lodging a charge against Israel.

God called the highest hills as well as the depths of the earth to consider what they had witnessed and what they would hear from God and His people. The LORD would not ignore the rebellion and transgressions of His people; after patiently calling them to repent through the preaching of His prophets, God would now contend with them and show that His coming punishment of His people was necessary and just. The LORD would bring charges against His people. As the Supreme Judge and King over all, He would show all creation and His people that He had done and would only do what is right, just, and merciful – for God is love.

(Micah 6:3) “My people, what have I done to you? How have I burdened you? Answer me.

The LORD asked His people to tell Him and “the court” (the symbolic mountains and the hills with ears to hear and eyes that had seen all that God had done) what He had done that would lead Israel to turn from Him and the good laws that He had given them to bless them. God wanted them to say how His requirements of them had so oppressed or failed them that they felt the need to turn to the idols of their neighbors and to practicing sins that these idols and their neighbors inspired them to commit.

(Micah 6:4) I brought you up out of Egypt and redeemed you from the land of slavery. I sent Moses to lead you, also Aaron and Miriam.

Next, the LORD reminded them of what He had done for them. God had made them into a mighty kingdom after He had led them from slavery in Egypt and into the Promised Land. God did so with mighty miracles. God sent them Moses as their primary leader. God also sent them additional leaders to meet all of their needs: Moses, Aaron and Miriam are emphasized by name. God led them and met all of their leadership needs when they left Egypt.

(Micah 6:5) My people, remember what Balak king of Moab plotted and what Balaam son of Beor answered. Remember your journey from Shittim to Gilgal, that you may know the righteous acts of the LORD.”

King Balak wanted Balaam to curse Israel, but God stopped Balaam when God spoke to Balaam through a donkey and revealed to him an angel with a sword standing in his way on the path. Though Micah did not mention Joshua by name, “what happened from Shittim to Gilgal” was Joshua leading God’s people through the parted waters of the Jordan River, even as Moses had led them through the parted Red Sea. Shittim was the last place the Israelites camped before crossing the Jordan River into the Promised Land. Gilgal was the first place they camped after crossing the Jordan River. God wanted to them to recall all of His saving acts in their behalf.

(Micah 6:6) With what shall I come before the LORD and bow down before the exalted God? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old?

Micah represented the reply or asked the questions that God’s people should have asked if they felt convicted of their sins against God in “court.” After admitting that God was right and acknowledging God’s saving acts, Micah “asked” in behalf of God’s people how they should come before God as their King and Savior, as the holy God that they had offended by their transgressions. The list of sacrifices Micah named goes from the least valuable to the most valuable. The offerings are sent to God by burning them as whole burnt offerings; therefore, the offerings are no longer available for use by the giver. One year old calf would be worth less than a fully mature bull or ox capable of working.

(Micah 6:7) Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousand rivers of olive oil? Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?

King Solomon sacrificed thousands of rams to God while at the same time leading God’s people into idolatry through his marriages to forbidden foreign wives. The religious rituals of rebellious King Solomon would not satisfy God or reverse the ruin that his idolatry and promotion of idolatry brought upon Israel. Child sacrifice was always forbidden by God, but encouraged by the priests who represented the idols that God’s people had begun to worship. Therefore the people confused their idol worship practices with the true worship of the true God. Only God’s sacrifice of His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, can bring God’s just and merciful forgiveness of our transgressions and save our souls.

(Micah 6:8) He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

Micah reminded God’s people of the Law of God revealed through Moses; the Law that they would obey if they had true faith in the true God. Rituals and sacrifices could not substitute for right living to please God or to avert His just punishment for their sins. God wanted His people to treat others right, justly, and mercifully, as He treated to them. God wanted them to humbly walk with Him as had Moses and Joshua and other godly leaders of His people. We are reminded of how Adam and Eve walked with God in the garden before they rebelled against God.

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Questions for Discussion and Thinking Further

1. What are some of the things that God did that wearied His people?

2. What land or kingdom was called “the house of slavery”?

3. Who did God send to lead His people from “the house of slavery”?

4. Which of the offerings for transgression listed in Micah will please the LORD?

5. What does God require from His people?

Study Hints for Discussion and Thinking Further, a study guide for teachers, discusses the questions above to help with class preparation and in conducting class discussion. These hints are available on the International Bible Lessons Commentary website.


The Word Search Puzzle, the True and False Test, and the Crossword Puzzle below are provided from the International Bible Lessons Commentary website to help teachers provide a simple review game or quiz for their students. May you find them helpful.

Word Search Puzzle

Micah 6:1-8
An Educational Take Home Review and Handout using Key Bible Lesson Words.

True and False Test

Micah 6:1-8
An Easy Review Test to Help Students Remember the Bible Lesson

Crossword Puzzle

Micah 6:1-8
An Easy Review or Handout to End Your Class


International Bible Lesson

What God Requires of Everyone

“He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” (Micah 6:8—KJV).

“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8—NIV).

“He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8—NRSV).

Some people think they can please God by making sacrifices, but God does not want anyone to think they can substitute sacrificial giving for responsible living. In Micah’s day, some people thought their gods were tyrant kings; gods that demanded tribute from those they ruled; therefore, fearful worshippers brought valuable gifts to their priests. However, if someone sinned against the true God, what would please Him? Should someone bring God a sacrificial calf, a thousand rams, or a firstborn son? The Bible reveals that the Creator God is King over all, but giving things to God is not what God requires or seeks. Micah revealed that giving ourselves to God pleases God; however, as Paul wrote, if we give our possessions and bodies to God, but have not love, we gain nothing (1 Corinthians 13:3). Micah summed up the law of love by three ways of living. First, God requires those who want to be in a right relationship with God to treat other people justly. For example, to treat others justly includes not cheating, not stealing, and not lying about or to someone. A person cannot do what God requires if they are breaking the Ten Commandments. Second, believers need to do more than treat others as they deserve. God expects believers to show loving-kindness, which includes forgiving others. Third, God requires believers to walk humbly with God—to seek God’s purposes and will for their lives, to follow God instead of selfishly putting themselves first and using God and others to give them whatever they want. – L.G. Parkhurst, Jr.



Begin or close your class by reading the short weekly International Bible Lesson. To print the International Bible Lesson in three different sizes (including large print size and bulletin size) and for the Teacher’s Study Hints for Five Discussion Questions and Thinking Further, go to the International Bible Lessons Commentary website.

See the recommended Bible study, Recovery, and Worship Resources at SmallChurchResources.com.

— © All Contents of this website are copyright 2010-2015 by L.G. Parkhurst, Jr. Permission Granted for Not for Profit Use.

Listen to the International Bible Lesson Commentary using the podcast below.

Posted in Bible | Comments Off on Micah 6:1-8 International Bible Lessons Commentary and Lesson

Micah 3:1-12 International Bible Lessons Commentary and Lesson

The International Bible Lesson (Uniform Sunday School Lessons Series [ISSL]) for Sunday, July 12, 2015, is from Micah 3:1-12. Please Note: Some churches will only study Micah 3:5-12. This posting and podcast includes both the International Bible Lesson Commentary and the International Bible Lesson. The International Bible Lesson Commentary is now available in five different Bible translations on the International Bible Lessons Commentary website: these versions are the English Standard Version (ESV), King James Version (KJV), New American Standard Bible (NASB), New International Version (NIV), and the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)Questions for Discussion and Thinking Further follow the verse-by-verse International Bible Lesson Commentary. The Study Hints for Discussion and Thinking Further discusses each of the Questions for Discussion and Thinking Further to help with class preparation and in conducting class discussion: these hints are available on the  International Bible Lessons Commentary website along with the International Bible Lesson that you may want to read to your class as part of your Bible study using the easy printable lesson. To help your class review the lesson, links to an easy printable Word Search Puzzle, a Crossword Puzzle, and a True and False Test are also available below. To listen to this commentary a podcast is available by subscribing and by clicking on the audio links here on the International Bible Lesson Forum.

International Bible Lesson Commentary

Micah 3:1-12

(Micah 3:1) And I said: Listen, you heads of Jacob and rulers of the house of Israel! Should you not know justice?—

Since the temple of the LORD and the priests were in Jerusalem, the capital of the Kingdom of Judah, the religious and political leaders in Jerusalem should know the Law of the LORD and how to administer justice rightly in all of Israel, including Judah. Micah preached a prophetic message to the Kingdom of Judah similar to the message of Amos, who preached in the Kingdom of Israel. God expected the leaders and people of both kingdoms to execute justice according to and in obedience to the Law of the LORD. The rulers in Israel and Judah had no excuse for not knowing and administering true justice in and out of their law courts, in their business practices, and in treating others.

(Micah 3:2) you who hate the good and love the evil, who tear the skin off my people, and the flesh off their bones;

Micah expressed facts of human life, of people who have turned from the true God, of people who have chosen what to believe and not to believe about God, of people who have chosen what laws of God to obey and what laws of God to disregard. Factually, some people hate the good (good people and doing good) and they love the evil (doing evil and those that act contrary to God’s law when it gives them pleasure or what they covet).

(Micah 3:3) who eat the flesh of my people, flay their skin off them, break their bones in pieces, and chop them up like meat in a kettle, like flesh in a caldron.

Through Micah, God compared those who hate good and love evil to cannibals. Perhaps cannibalism was practiced by some in the Kingdom of Judah, just as it has been in other pagan places. During the siege of Jerusalem by the Babylonians, cannibalism was practiced in the city, and it was probably practiced in other cities that were under siege. Micah may have been predicting these times; but more probably, Micah was trying to express graphically the end result of practices that enabled the wealthy to oppress and steal from the poor and those who were economically between the rich and the poor. The poor and the less wealthy would ultimately die of starvation or the brutalities of slavery. Those who hate the good can invent many ways to destroy the good.

(Micah 3:4) Then they will cry to the LORD, but he will not answer them; he will hide his face from them at that time, because they have acted wickedly.

Micah foretold a time when God’s justice would come upon those who hated good and loved evil. On that day of punishment from the LORD, they would call out to the LORD for help, but the LORD would not help them because of their wickedness. The wicked needed to believe Micah’s words and repent of their sins before it was too late.

(Micah 3:5) Thus says the LORD concerning the prophets who lead my people astray, who cry “Peace” when they have something to eat, but declare war against those who put nothing into their mouths.

Micah spoke out in the name of the LORD against the leaders in Jerusalem while the professional prophets or preachers kept silent. If they did preach, they would endorse the decisions of their political leaders, and they would cry “Peace” to uphold their wickedness as long as they were paid to do so. They put acquiring money first, and used God and preaching as a means to the end of material prosperity and personal security.

(Micah 3:6) Therefore it shall be night to you, without vision, and darkness to you, without revelation. The sun shall go down upon the prophets, and the day shall be black over them;

Micah foretold God’s judgment on the prophets for their hating the good and loving the evil. God would not shine the light and peace of His presence upon them. He would no longer reveal His will for the future to them so they could escape the catastrophe of judgment, but the Day of the LORD would be blackness or darkness for the prophets as well as for the politicians in Jerusalem.

(Micah 3:7) the seers shall be disgraced, and the diviners put to shame; they shall all cover their lips, for there is no answer from God.

Seers and diviners gave advice to individuals trying to make decisions. They often told kings whether or not to go to war or whether or not they should pay tribute or surrender to an enemy. They claimed to give advice directly from God. Micah said that those who gave advice or foresaw the future for money instead of to serve God and His people would be abandoned by God as they and the rich political leaders had abandoned God.

(Micah 3:8) But as for me, I am filled with power, with the spirit of the LORD, and with justice and might, to declare to Jacob his transgression and to Israel his sin.

[Instead of “spirit of the LORD,” as in KJV and NRSV, “Spirit of the LORD” is to be preferred.] Micah and Amos were not professional prophets, seers, or diviners. God called them to serve Him; God filled them with His power and Spirit; God told them where to preach and what to say, and they obeyed the LORD. Micah and Amos both preached what no one wanted to hear. They revealed the sins of powerful leaders who were misleading the people, and they called them to repent or receive their just punishment from God.

(Micah 3:9) Hear this, you rulers of the house of Jacob and chiefs of the house of Israel, who abhor justice and pervert all equity,

Though we may find it difficult to admit and understand, those who love evil abhor justice and they pervert equality or equal rights among people. Equity means fair treatment or justice in the way people are treated. The religious and political leaders throughout Israel and Judah abhorred or hated justice and loving their neighbors as themselves. They used the law of God to selfishly steal from others and fulfill their self-centered lusts.

(Micah 3:10) who build Zion with blood and Jerusalem with wrong!

Some of the kings and other leaders in Jerusalem used slave labor to build the city’s defenses and public works to their benefit. They misused and misinterpreted and twisted or ignored the Law of God for their personal enrichment, which God forbid in the law He gave Moses. The professional prophets, scribes, and priests did not call the wicked rich and powerful leaders to account for their evil behaviors or call them to obey God – they profited from the wrongs of others, which was also contrary to God’s law.

(Micah 3:11) Its rulers give judgment for a bribe, its priests teach for a price, its prophets give oracles for money; yet they lean upon the LORD and say, “Surely the LORD is with us! No harm shall come upon us.”

In summary, those who had and paid the most money received the judgments and rulings in their favor irrespective of the Law of God. Rather than teach the Law of God and call people to love and obey the LORD, the priests served primarily for money—and the same for the prophets who were supposed to serve as the conscience of political and religious leaders and people who did wrong. Micah assured them that no matter what they thought or said that the time was coming when the LORD would no longer be with them and His punishment would fall upon them.

(Micah 3:12) Therefore because of you Zion shall be plowed as a field; Jerusalem shall become a heap of ruins, and the mountain of the house a wooded height.

The kingdoms of Israel and Judah had become totally corrupt from top to bottom. All of the leadership in the capitals of both kingdoms loved evil and money instead of good and God. Therefore, God called some small-town farmers and businessmen to preach His word in the capital cities of both kingdoms (neither Amos nor Micah were professional prophets). Jerusalem would be destroyed, including the temple, which happened about 125 years after Micah preached–which does reveal the patience of God; and in the time of Jeremiah, some of the elders of the people remembered the words of Micah, which they quoted in order to save Jeremiah from death for his preaching.

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Questions for Discussion and Thinking Further

1. When did some of the prophets cry “Peace,” and who did they declare war against?

2. What did God say His judgment would be upon these false prophets?

3. How did Micah describe himself in contrast to the false prophets?

4. What do some people abhor, and who did Micah accuse of perverting all equity?

5. Who does Micah accuse of doing all they do for money, and what do these people say about the LORD?

Study Hints for Discussion and Thinking Further, a study guide for teachers, discusses the questions above to help with class preparation and in conducting class discussion. These hints are available on the International Bible Lessons Commentary website.


The Word Search Puzzle, the True and False Test, and the Crossword Puzzle below are provided from the International Bible Lessons Commentary website to help teachers provide a simple review game or quiz for their students. May you find them helpful.

Word Search Puzzle

Micah 3:1-12
An Educational Take Home Review and Handout using Key Bible Lesson Words.

True and False Test

Micah 3:1-12
An Easy Review Test to Help Students Remember the Bible Lesson

Crossword Puzzle

Micah 3:1-12
An Easy Review or Handout to End Your Class


International Bible Lesson

The Purposes of Powerful Leaders

“But truly I am full of power by the spirit of the LORD, and of judgment, and of might, to declare unto Jacob his transgression, and to Israel his sin” (Micah 3:8—KJV).

“But as for me, I am filled with power, with the Spirit of the LORD, and with justice and might, to declare to Jacob his transgression, to Israel his sin” (Micah 3:8—NIV).

“But as for me, I am filled with power, with the spirit of the LORD, and with justice and might, to declare to Jacob his transgression and to Israel his sin” (Micah 3:8—NRSV).

The Bible describes two different types of leaders. One type promotes whatever those who pay them want to hear or want said for their benefit. When they “have something to eat,” these leaders cry “Peace.” If they do not get what they want, they “declare war against those who put nothing in their mouths” (Micah 3:5). Micah specified their selfishness: “Priests teach for a price” and “Prophets give oracles for money” (Micah 3:11). To punish them, God declared, “the seers shall be disgraced, and the diviners put to shame” (Micah 3:7). Though corrupt religious leaders claimed that God was with them, so no harm would come to them, they refused to receive God’s revelation through His true prophets; therefore, they suffered disgrace and death when Jerusalem became a heap of ruins as Micah foretold. Amos and Micah fit into the other type of spiritual leaders. God filled them with His power and Spirit. God spoke through them, and with a mighty voice they denounced unjust leaders in both the political and religious arenas. Those who sought to obey God discerned rightly when God was speaking through His true prophets. Rather than conform their words to the desires of those who could kill them, God’s true prophets courageously denounced the specific sins of those who abhorred justice and perverted the fair treatment of others that God’s law demanded. God promised to be with those who declared and believed the truth. Only those who trusted in the LORD and His true prophets passed through Jerusalem’s destruction with God’s presence and help. – L.G. Parkhurst, Jr.



Begin or close your class by reading the short weekly International Bible Lesson. To print the International Bible Lesson in three different sizes (including large print size and bulletin size) and for the Teacher’s Study Hints for Five Discussion Questions and Thinking Further, go to the International Bible Lessons Commentary website.

See the recommended Bible study, Recovery, and Worship Resources at SmallChurchResources.com.

— © All Contents of this website are copyright 2010-2015 by L.G. Parkhurst, Jr. Permission Granted for Not for Profit Use.

Listen to the International Bible Lesson Commentary using the podcast below.

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