7:14-20 When God is about to deliver his people, he stirs up their friends to pray for them. Apply spiritually the prophet's prayer to Christ, to take care of his church, as the great Shepherd of the sheep, and to go before them, while they are here in this world as in a wood, in this world but not of it. God promises in answer to this prayer, he will do that for them which shall be repeating the miracles of former ages. As their sin brought them into bondage, so God's pardoning their sin brought them out. All who find pardoning mercy, cannot but wonder at that mercy; we have reason to stand amazed, if we know what it is. When the Lord takes away the guilt of sin, that it may not condemn us, he will break the power of sin, that it may not have dominion over us. If left to ourselves, our sins will be too hard for us; but God's grace shall be sufficient to subdue them, so that they shall not rule us, and then they shall not ruin us. When God forgives sin, he takes care that it never shall be remembered any more against the sinner. He casts their sins into the sea; not near the shore-side, where they may appear again, but into the depth of the sea, never to rise again. All their sins shall be cast there, for when God forgives sin, he forgives all. He will perfect that which concerns us, and with this good work will do all for us which our case requires, and which he has promised. These engagements relate to Christ, and the success of the gospel to the end of time, the future restoration of Israel, and the final prevailing of true religion in all lands. The Lord will perform his truth and mercy, not one jot or tittle of it shall fall to the ground: faithful is He that has promised, who also will do it. Let us remember that the Lord has given the security of his covenant, for strong consolation to all who flee for refuge to lay hold on the hope set before them in Christ Jesus.
14. 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—including the idea of both pastoral rule and care over His people (Mic 5:4, Margin), regarded as a flock (Ps 80:1; 100:3). Our calamity must be fatal to the nation, unless Thou of Thy unmerited grace, remembering Thy covenant with "Thine heritage" (De 4:20; 7:6; 32:9), shalt restore us.
thy rod—the shepherd's rod, wherewith He directs the flock (Ps 23:4). No longer the rod of punishment (Mic 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 Mic 6:5, where also Balaam is referred to). "Lo, the people shall dwell alone" (Nu 23:9; compare De 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 (Eze 34:25). So that the Jews' "security," as well as their distinct nationality, is here foretold. Also Jer 49:31.
Bashan—famed for its cattle (Ps 22:12; Am 4:1). Parallel to this passage is Jer 50:19. Bashan and Gilead, east of Jordan, were chosen by Reuben, Gad, and half Manasseh, as abounding in pastures suited for their many cattle (Nu 32:1-42; De 3:12-17).