there be in us a different spirit! Otherwise we too must learn in bitterness of soul the folly of departure from the living God.
Is The Spirit Op The Lord Straitened?
It is the will of God that those whom He has taken into covenant relationship with Himself should ever be overcomers. If it is otherwise, the fault is in them-not in Him. He has abundant resources for the believer to draw upon. But where unbelief and disobedience hold sway, spiritual paralysis must necessarily ensue.
Often had this been proven in Israel’s case, and never more so than when Micah was sent to them with Jehovah’s message upon his lips. Their state of soul at this time was wretchedly low; consequently their apprehension of divine things was so dulled that they had lost the power to distinguish what was of God, and what was of man. It is ever thus when people do not walk in obedience to revealed truth. They lose the power to distinguish truth from error, and may, under the deadening influence of the deceitfulness of sin, do the most outrageous things, and calmly announce that they were for the glory of God: yea, and be deeply grieved if their high pretensions are not recognized and bowed to.
In this second chapter the unrighteousness prevailing (as detailed in vers. 1 and 2) is given by God as the reason why He devised evil against the whole family of Israel. As they had ignored His righteous claims in their dealings with each other, He could but measure out to them what they had measured to their fellows. So He told them He would bring evil upon them which no haughtiness could preserve them from. They would fall upon difficult days (ver. 3). Lamentations and mourning were to succeed their careless songs. Their fields were to be divided among strangers, and none of themselves should “cast a cord by lot in the assembly of the Lord” (vers. 4, 5)-that is, none would be left of Israel with authority to divide the land and measure it off, placing the landmarks accordingly.
Unpalatable was this, and so they cry, “Prophesy thou not!” Like many today, they would silence the messenger and forget the message. But God says, “They shall prophesy.” His servants were not to be thus refused with impunity. On the other hand, the Word given and rejected, the Lord says, “They shall not prophesy to these, that reproach may not overtake them” (ver. 6).22
For the judgment was now decreed, and must surely fall. Nevertheless, He asks the questions, “Shall it be said in the house of Jacob, Is the Spirit of the Lord straitened? are these His doings? do not my words do good to him that walketh uprightly?” Surely He would have recognized repentance if manifested in any, and shown Himself strong in their behalf, whatever the impending ruin.
This is full of comfort and encouragement for any who in these last days of the Church’s history on earth have an ear to hear what God has said in His Word. Nothing can now avert the soon-coming doom of haughty Christendom, nor raise up the fallen assembly of God. But wherever there is individual faithfulness, or wherever a few in weakness seek to heed the Word of God, there will be blessing, and the Lord will own all He can own as of Himself.
God’s words will ever “do good to him that walketh uprightly.” Spiritual things “are spiritually discerned,” and therefore only the upright and godly soul will find real profit and blessing in the Scriptures. But where there is exercise as to this, that Word will be found sufficient for all the needs of the pilgrim-path. There will never be a circumstance so trying, a crisis so serious, that the man of God will be left without furnishing unto all good works, if he be found feeding upon the truth. Scripture, with the Holy Spirit’s enlightenment, is all that is required in every emergency.
But if the professed people of God “rise up as an enemy,” and refuse to heed His Word (as in vers. 8 and 9), then comes the call for separation from what is unclean and unholy, “Arise ye, and depart; for this is not your rest: because it is polluted” (ver. 10). To continue in fellowship with what is opposed to God’s mind will result in desolation. We are called to “buy the truth, and sell it not.”
With Israel, any false prophet was more acceptable than a God-sent messenger (ver. 11). An evil man “speaking lies in hypocrisy,” and “turning the grace of God into lasciviousness,” would have been a suited prophet for them in their fallen condition.
Thus they set at naught the Shepherd of Israel, and would not follow His ways. Hence their casting off. Nevertheless His anger shall not burn forever; for the message closes with a precious promise of restoration and blessing to be fulfilled in a day yet future (vers. 12, 13). God will Himself assemble the lost sheep of Jacob, gathering the remnant of Israel, and placing them together as flocks in His fold. If walls rise before them to bar their return to the land of their rest, He will send His breaker23 to open a way for His redeemed, thus leading them in triumph back to Immanuel’s land, as it is written, “Their king shall pass before them, and the Lord at the head of them.”
Happy ending when all their discipline is accomplished, and they ask the way to Zion!
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Ironside, H. A. "Commentary on Micah 2". Ironside's Notes on Selected Books. https://www.studylight.org/
Second Sunday after Epiphany