Micah 7:14 KJV
Feed thy people with thy rod,
the flock of thine heritage,
which dwell solitarily in the wood,
in the midst of Carmel:
let them feed in Bashan and Gilead,
as in the days of old.
Rule us and lead us, Lord . You are like a man who leads his sheep. He uses a strong stick to lead them. We are your own special people. We are like a group of sheep that lives by itself in a forest. There is good grass all round them. Let your sheep eat grass in Bashan and Gilead, as they did a long time ago.
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Feed thy people
Prayer of the prophet, in the name of his people to God, which, as God fulfils believing prayer, is prophetical of what God would do. When God is about to deliver His people, He stirs up their friends to pray for them.
Feed is here including the idea of both pastoral rule and care over His people (Micah 5:4), regarded as a flock (Psalms 80:1, 100:3 ).
Our calamity must be fatal to the nation, unless Thou of Thy unmerited grace, remembering Thy covenant with “Thine heritage” (Deuteronomy 4:20, 7:6, 32:9), shalt restore us.
The shepherd’s rod, wherewith He directs the flock (Psalms 23:4).
No longer the rod of punishment (Micah 6:9).
Which dwell solitarily in the wood, in . . . Carmel
Let Thy people who have been dwelling as it were in a solitude of woods (in the world, but not of it), scattered among various nations, dwell in Carmel, that is, where there are fruit-bearing lands and vineyards [CALVIN].
Rather, “which are about to dwell (that is, that they may dwell) separate in the wood, in . . . Carmel” [MAURER], which are to be no longer mingled with the heathen, but are to dwell as a distinct people in their own land.
Micah has here Balaam’s prophecy in view (compare Micah 6:5 , where also Balaam is referred to). “Lo, the people shall dwell alone” (Numbers 23:9; compare Deuteronomy 33:28).
To “feed in the wood in Carmel,” is to feed in the rich pastures among its woods.
To “sleep in the woods,” is the image of most perfect security (Ezekiel 34:25).
So that the Jews’ “security,” as well as their distinct nationality, is here foretold.
See also Jeremiah 49:31.
Bashan is famed for its cattle (Psalms 22:12, Amos 4:1).
Parallel to this passage is Jeremiah 50:19.
Bashan and Gilead
Bashan and Gilead were east of the river Jordan and chosen by Reuben, Gad, and half of Manasseh, as is was abounding in pastures and it suited for their many cattle (Numbers 32:1-42 , Deuteronomy 3:12-17 ).
So they had been parts of Israel before, but Assyria had taken them.
In this verse Micah says that the people of Israel long to be there again.
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Shepherd your people with your staff.
Here the prophet looks into the heart again. He had a heavy burden to carry and had to announce God’s judgments. But he doesn’t do that coldly and unmoved. As if he is having a secret pleasure in reading a lesson to the people.
No, at the same time, Micha is a fervent intercessor for land and people in priestly compassion.
He begs that the faithful God of the covenant will not leave the people to themselves, but will have mercy on His flock as a Shepherd: “You, then, feed Your people with Your rod, the flock of Your inheritance …!”
The question may be asked, “Do we also know this secret of that persistent intercession for land and people, for church and church, for the church of the Christ worldwide?”
Every Christian has something of this prophetic and priestly character of Micah.
▪︎ You see prophetically, how leaving God can only result in judgment and punishment.
▪︎ But that simultaneously, fills your heart with priestly compassion and you pray with Micah: “Faithful Shepherd, bring us back, save us, show us the lovely light of Your comforting face.”
Know that a true priest is often found at the altar! You too?
You would tend to forget, after all the judgments, Micah has made on behalf of God about Israel, that these people are and will remain God’s people.
We may forget that, but the prophet does not forget this, and in his prayer he assumes that the Lord has not forgotten this either. Micah prays that the Lord will feed His people like a flock. He speaks of ‘Your people and the flock of Your’ legacy.
That ‘You’ indicates that God has a right to His people, and it explains the strict words of judgment.
But because of that “Your” God also remains the Shepherd who, according to His promise and according to His covenant, shepherds and feeds the people.
The good Shepherd who can’t bear to see the wolves ravage and scatter the flock.
If the Lord goes first again, the people will recognize the Lord again as her guide and leader. Thus Micah prays for the people. And we pray it with him. For Israel and for the church. For our people and for the nations. “O Shepherd, look after us and feed us”.
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