Jeremiah 7:1-15 International Bible Lessons Commentary and Lesson

The International Bible Lesson (Uniform Sunday School Lessons Series [ISSL]) for Sunday, August 9, 2015, is from Jeremiah 7:1-15. 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

Jeremiah 7:1-15

(Jeremiah 7:1) This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD:

The prophet Jeremiah has been called “the weeping prophet,” because he had to preach about the people’s sins against God and the coming judgment of God upon His people. “The word” was a message directly from God that Jeremiah declared to the people of Judah. His message could have been deducted based on the law of God and the people’s disobedience; however, his message truly came from God himself to Jeremiah and confirmed what the people should have known from their study of the Law of God.

(Jeremiah 7:2) “Stand at the gate of the LORD’s house and there proclaim this message: ‘Hear the word of the LORD, all you people of Judah who come through these gates to worship the LORD.’”

Jeremiah preached where God told him. He preached to those who came to the temple to sincerely worship God and to those who came to do business for selfish reasons (such as the money changers that Jesus cast out of the temple). God wanted Jeremiah to express His words exactly as He gave them, and God told Jeremiah exactly what to say. He preached to everyone, because everyone who came to the temple had to go through the gate to the Lord’s house. God’s message was not just for a select few or a mystery to be shared only among an elite group. God intended for everyone to learn the truth and act according to the truth of His word. Jeremiah preached in a dangerous place, because he preached against the priests and politicians for their idolatry and immorality. They could not help but hear his words at the gate of the LORD’s house. Eventually, they arrested and persecuted Jeremiah.

(Jeremiah 7:3) This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: “Reform your ways and your actions, and I will let you live in this place.

In 722 B.C., God destroyed the kingdom of Israel through their Assyrian enemies because of their sins; therefore, only the kingdom of Judah remained. As the God of both kingdoms, God sent prophets to call both kingdoms to repent, but neither kingdom repented (or they did not reform for very long). God wanted to dwell with His people, and because they were His people He would discipline them if they would not obey His commandments (which were always for their own good). God wanted to dwell with His people in Jerusalem, but they preferred to worship idols; therefore, God sent many of those who survived the siege of Jerusalem into exile in Babylon and the temple was destroyed as punishment in 586 B.C. However, through God’s prophets in Babylon, many repented and learned to obey and worship God rightly. Repentant believers found God even in Babylon, because God is everywhere present and with believers everywhere.

(Jeremiah 7:4) Do not trust in deceptive words and say, ‘This is the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD!’

These deceptive words referred to the belief and continual affirmations of the corrupt political and religious leaders that because God dwelt in the temple in Jerusalem that God would never let Jerusalem or the temple fall into the hands of Israel’s or Judah’s enemies. Rather than repent of their sins, the people pointed to the existence of the temple as the reason God would always protect them and their city. Jeremiah warned that this was a false hope, often repeated by the false prophets too. As we see from the commentary comments above, God proved Jeremiah right, and He also proved that Jeremiah was a true prophet of God when He fulfilled Jeremiah’s words.

(Jeremiah 7:5) If you really change your ways and your actions and deal with each other justly,

God wanted His people to change their way of life from practicing evil to doing that which is good. The Law of God (the Law of Moses in the first five books of the Bible) revealed the way of love and the specific ways for people to act justly in their relationships. The Law of God was an objective standard or measure by which people could evaluate their moral behavior and the behavior of the kingdom’s leaders. God’s indictment against His people included the fact that they did not treat each other justly; instead, they took selfish advantage of one another (as Amos and Micah also described so well).

(Jeremiah 7:6) if you do not oppress the foreigner, the fatherless or the widow and do not shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not follow other gods to your own harm,

Most of the foreigners or sojourners or aliens were those who were not Israelites or Judeans but who lived in the Promised Land because they were descendants of those who had not been driven out after Joshua led the Hebrews into the Promised Land. Some of these foreigners had led the Hebrews to worship idols and into immorality, and they could be punished for violating the Law of God. However, God insisted that foreigners were not to be oppressed simply because they were foreigners. Some of these foreigners had converted to the Jewish faith, but they were still oppressed by some of those who were Hebrews according to the flesh. So many of the Jews oppressed or took selfish, unfair advantage of those who were not racially like them, or who were orphaned or widowed or innocent, that if the kingdom did not repent God would destroy it. The people had even begun to worship the idols of the land by throwing their innocent children into the fire in order to secure the blessings their false gods promised. Indeed, what they were doing was to their own hurt and the hurt of others, so God warned them to repent so He would not need to discipline them. Their society would become worse and worse if God did not intervene.

(Jeremiah 7:7) then I will let you live in this place, in the land I gave your ancestors for ever and ever.

Whether or not God would dwell with them did not depend upon what they believed about the temple in Jerusalem, but on how justly they treated each other and how they obeyed God’s laws. Whether or not God would dwell with them forever and ever in the Promised Land depended on how they treated the poor and underprivileged and whether or not they worshiped and promoted sacrifices to false gods. Because they did not repent, they were sent into exile for seventy years.

(Jeremiah 7:8) But look, you are trusting in deceptive words that are worthless.

The “deceptive words” the people had come to believe and trust in were the false teachings of their priests, their political leaders, and their false prophets. The “deceptive words” enabled the privileged class to stay in power and enabled everyone to think they could escape moral accountability for their behavior if they continued to worship God every Sabbath at the temple (where God told Jeremiah to preach). Jeremiah consistently warned that God would hold them morally accountable, and God would punish them for their unrepentant hearts no matter how many times they went to the temple on the Sabbath. Because Jeremiah preached contrary to the “deceptive words” of the kingdom’s leaders, he was persecuted and punished by the religious and political leaders in Jerusalem.

(Jeremiah 7:9) Will you steal and murder, commit adultery and perjury, burn incense to Baal and follow other gods you have not known,

All of the sins listed here violated the Ten Commandments, which all of the people should have known by heart. The people went through the temple gates supposedly to worship God, but the other six days of the week they violated the Law of God (and perhaps did so even on the Sabbath). God’s objective standard of right and wrong that God had revealed clearly to them forbid murder, adultery, lying, worshiping idols, and sacrificing to the false gods their neighbors had led them to serve. They did not go through the temple gates to show their love and devotion to the true God.

(Jeremiah 7:10) and then come and stand before me in this house, which bears my Name, and say, ‘We are safe’—safe to do all these detestable things?

The sins of God’s people in Israel and Judah seem to be similar to the sins of God’s people throughout human history. Some people think that they can disobey God throughout the week, but if they go to God’s house one day a week to worship God according to their formulas and leave God’s house feeling good that they will be safe and never suffer the just discipline of God that they deserve here or hereafter. They think they can worship God with unrepentant hearts and God does not see their hypocrisy. When he preached the word of the LORD, Jeremiah revealed the hypocrisy of the leaders and people who came to the temple.

(Jeremiah 7:11) Has this house, which bears my Name, become a den of robbers to you? But I have been watching! declares the LORD.

The temple had become a den of robbers in Jeremiah’s day; so, God destroyed the temple in 586 B.C. When the people returned from exile, they rebuilt the temple. By Jesus’ day, the temple had become a den of robbers again, and God was watching. Many of the people, including the religious leaders who permitted it, used the temple for personal enrichment rather than for the true worship of the true God. Jesus cleansed the temple, but after the religious leaders crucified Jesus, it soon became a den of robbers again; so, after about 40 years the temple was destroyed in 70 A.D. by the Romans.

(Jeremiah 7:12) Go now to the place in Shiloh where I first made a dwelling for my Name, and see what I did to it because of the wickedness of my people Israel.

Because of the sins the priests practiced at Shiloh, God destroyed Shiloh as a place of worship. God told the people to remember Shiloh’s history and go and look at what He had done, because He would do the same in Jerusalem and to the temple if the people would not repent. When God kept His word, the people learned that they had trusted in the “deceptive words” of their leaders and false prophets. Compare 1 Samuel 3:21 and Psalm 78:56-64. Jerusalem did suffer as did the priests and people at Shiloh suffered.

(Jeremiah 7:13) While you were doing all these things, declares the LORD, I spoke to you again and again, but you did not listen; I called you, but you did not answer.

The Bible reveals that the LORD is persistently patient, but at some point patience with persistently evil practices ceases to be a virtue. God did not send just one or two prophets to speak His words and call His people to repent, but many. The leaders and people persistently refused to listen to God or His prophets and return to God and obedience. As Jesus reminded His listeners, their ancestors killed the prophets (Luke 11:47-51). God does not speak empty or meaningless words; God speaks and acts.

(Jeremiah 7:14) Therefore, what I did to Shiloh I will now do to the house that bears my Name, the temple you trust in, the place I gave to you and your ancestors.

The leaders and people had come to trust in a false theology that taught that because God had indwelt the temple from the time of King Solomon that He would never let His house be destroyed or desecrated by their enemies. They trusted in an unfounded deduction rather than trust in the words of God and His true prophets. Their ancestors learned at Shiloh that God would allow the Ark of the Covenant to be captured and He would take the lives of their immoral political and religious leaders. God wanted the people to learn from this example in their own history. God warned the people through Jeremiah that He would do something similar to their temple and to them, which God did in 586 B.C.

(Jeremiah 7:15) I will thrust you from my presence, just as I did all your fellow Israelites, the people of Ephraim.”

God meant His promise as a threat that would lead His people to repent. God had destroyed the Kingdom of Israel (their fellow Israelites) in 722 B.C, and God expected them to learn from that how He would fulfill what His prophets foretold, but they would not listen and learn. Therefore, God did thrust that generation from His presence and into exile (where God went with those who truly loved and obeyed Him, but who suffered the fate of their nation because of its disobedience).

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Questions for Discussion and Thinking Further

1. Where did Jeremiah preach and why was that a dangerous place for him?

2. What did God want people to do and stop doing and why?

3. What place did the people of Judah trust instead of trusting in the LORD and why?

4. What words did the people trust instead of the words of the LORD?

5. What had God’s House, the Temple, become, and what was it in Jesus’ day?

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

Preaching in Unsafe Places

“The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, Stand in the gate of the LORD’S house, and proclaim there this word, and say, Hear the word of the LORD, all ye of Judah, that enter in at these gates to worship the LORD” (Jeremiah 7:1-2—KJV).

“This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD: ‘Stand at the gate of the LORD’s house and there proclaim this message: “Hear the word of the LORD, all you people of Judah who come through these gates to worship the LORD”’” (Jeremiah 7:1-2—NIV).

God did not give His prophets easy speeches or places to preach. God sent Amos to warn the people of Israel about God’s coming judgment if they refused to repent. They refused and Israel perished. God sent Jeremiah to the temple gate so every political and religious leader and the people they ruled could hear God’s warnings of future punishment if they refused to change their ways and actions. God commanded Jeremiah to list the people’s specific sins so they would know how God expected them to reform their lives. To motivate them, God wanted everyone to hear about His threat of future judgment both before and after they worshiped in His house. If the people and their leaders refused to repent and obey God, they had no one to blame but themselves when Jerusalem was destroyed, for God had sent them sufficient warnings of coming judgment. Instead of returning to God and obedience, which included treating others justly, the leaders in Jerusalem arrested Jeremiah and threw him into prison (Jeremiah 37). Then, as Jeremiah foretold, the Babylonians destroyed Jerusalem and carried many of the most influential survivors into exile. Jeremiah was right in preaching God’s word, but tradition states that Jeremiah was forcibly carried to Egypt where the leaders of Judah stoned him to death. However, Jeremiah’s loyalty to God was honored in the days of Jesus, because some thought Jesus was Jeremiah returned or at least a prophet similar to Jeremiah (Matthew 16:14-17). – 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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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.

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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