The great hallmark of the New Covenant lies in the promise of God to forgive the sins of his people, a promise that simply did not pertain to the old covenant (Jeremiah 31:31-35); and, therefore, in Micah 7, we have a certain indication that the passage is Messianic.
Note that the promise of forgiveness here is not to the whole of apostate Israel, but to the “RIGHTEOUS REMNANT,” the true Israel to be revealed in Christ and from which no person, either Jew or Gentile is excluded.
Most of the commentators attempting an explanation of these verses apply them to “the abject surrender” of the Gentile nations to Israel in the days of Israel’s coming glory, or to “their prostration before Jehovah with fear and trembling, and their recognition that in none other name under heaven is there salvation.
That latter view is preferable to the other; but we incline to view this passage as eschatological, referring to the final humiliation of all the unbelieving world in those days immediately before the Second Coming of Christ.
The low estate of mankind (crawling … licking dust … deaf … the great fear) does not appear to represent the triumph of Christianity, but a final rejection of it that is prophesied to occur shortly before the end of the age.
The entire 18th chapter of Revelation gives a more elaborate picture of the same conditions in view here.
“Compassion upon us …” This is a promise of forgiveness to the righteous remnant, to all that are “in Christ Jesus.” These last two verses are in no sense “a doxology.”
It is not a prayer for God to do the glorious things mentioned, but a promise that “HE WILL DO THEM.” The ASV should be followed here.
The promise that he would “bless all the families of the earth” in Abraham is now being fulfilled in the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ.
The Messianic age is clearly identified here as the time when those precious promises would indeed be fully and completely realized.
The casting of sins into the sea indicated that they would be put completely out of God’s sight, “as far as the east is from the west” (Psalms 103:12), and remembered no more forever (Jeremiah 31:34), and “blotted out” (Acts 3:19).
Before concluding this study of Micah, we again call attention to the “remnant” concept which appears on every page of it.
God could judge his people, and destroy them, but nevertheless save enough of them (the remnant), penitent and purified, to serve as the nucleus of a renewed Israel.
Therefore, instead of reading the alternate passages of doom and blessing as the blundering result of some “editor’s” rearranging of the text of this prophecy, may men read the one as applicable to the disobedient, and the other as glorious encouragement for the “righteous remnant.”