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GOD’S MESSAGE IN EVIL TIMES
‘Thus saith the Lord.’
I. If the former chapter deals with sins against the first table of the law, this deals with those against the second.—Men are depicted devising evil to their neighbours, coveting their goods, and oppressing their persons. Therefore God would devise evil against them. And as they would not have His yoke of mercy, they should bear that of heavy judgment. So absolute was to be the devastation of the land, that the inheritance should no longer descend from father to son, or be measured out by lot; and so inveterate would be the people’s revolt from God, that they would no longer bear to hear the words of the true prophet.
II. Jehovah protests that it is not His desire that such things should obtain.—They were not His doings. He wanted to do only good to them that walked uprightly. But the people had so absolutely forfeited all claim upon Him. They had deprived the helpless of the robes that they wore next their skin; they had taken advantage of widows and orphans in their distress; and therefore the sentence had gone forth for them to arise and depart, to go into captivity, since Canaan could no longer be their resting-place. Drunken men were offered the sinful people as their prophets, since they rejected the true.
III. Yet God would restore His people.—He would break a way for them through the gates of the walled cities in which they were imprisoned, and lead them back to their own land. Our Breaker is the Lord Jesus, Who broke a way for us from the prison-house of death, and we have but to follow Him Who passes on before us—the Lord at our head.
CHRIST THE BREAKER
‘The breaker is come up before them.’
I make no apology for taking the words as having their only real accomplishment in the office and working of Jesus Christ. He is ‘the Breaker Which is come up before us.’ He it is that has broken out the path on which we may travel, and in Whom, in a manner which the prophet dreamed not of, ‘the Lord is at the head’ of us, and our King goes before us. So that my object is simply to take that great name, ‘The Breaker,’ and to see the manifold ways in which in Scripture it is applied to the various work of Jesus Christ in our redemption.
I. I follow entirely the lead of corresponding passages in other portions of Scripture and, to begin with, I ask you to think of that great work of our Divine Redeemer by which He has broken for the captives the prison-house of their bondage.
II. Take another application of this same figure found in Scripture, which sets forth Jesus Christ as being the Opener of the path to God.—For we do not know God as He is except by Jesus Christ. We see fragments, and often distorted fragments, of the Divine nature and character apart from Jesus, but the real Divine nature it is, and as it is in its relation to me, a sinner, is only made known to me in the face of Jesus Christ. When we see Him we see God.
III. Then still another modification of this figure is found in the frequent representations of Scripture, by which our Lord is the Breaker, going up before us in the sense that He is the Captain of our life’s march.—We have, in the words of the text, the image of the gladly-gathered people flocking after the Leader. ‘They have broken up, and have passed through the gate, and are gone out by it; and their King shall pass before them, and the Lord on the head of them.’
IV. Lastly, there is a final application of this figure which sets forth our Lord as the Breaker for us of the bands of death, and the Forerunner ‘entered for us into the heavens.’—Christ’s resurrection is the only solid proof of a future life. Christ’s present resurrection life is the power by partaking in which, ‘though we were dead, yet shall we live.’
He has trodden that path, too, before us. He has entered into the great prison-house into which the generations of men have been hounded and hurried; and where they lie in their graves, as in their narrow cells. He has entered there; with one blow He has struck the gates from their hinges, and has passed out, and no soul can any longer be shut in as for ever into that ruined and opened prison.
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Nisbet, James. "Commentary on Micah 2". The Church Pulpit Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/
the Second Week of Advent