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Future Repentance And Blessing
This last chapter, which forms the fourth division, is closely allied to the book of the Lamentations. It is the prayer of the repentant remnant in the days of the great tribulation, the time of Jacob’s trouble. That is, the prophet sets forth the suited utterance of those who no longer walk in pride, but, humbled because of their sin, own the justice of the Hand that smote them. Excuses there are none, nor do they look at second causes, but they accept all as the due reward of their deeds, and yet look up in faith to the God of their fathers, upon whose unfailing grace they count for restoration. The three discourses, or divisions, that have gone before, were all designed to lead to this desired end: so that this chapter sets forth the future result of the ministry which at the time seemed to fall to the ground. It was the Word of the living God, and could not return unto Him void, but must accomplish that for which it was sent.
In the six opening verses we have a most graphic portrayal of conditions in the fearful days of the Antichrist. To the remnant it seems as though the good have been destroyed out of the earth, and “there is none upright among men.” Treachery and deceit shall so abound that one dare not put confidence in his most intimate friend. Even the wife of his bosom may betray him to the unholy inquisition of that fearful time. For those be the days of vengeance described by our Lord in Matthew 24:9-31, when the abomination of desolation shall stand in the holy place; as also in Matthew 10:21-36, where He quotes this very passage when referring to the final testimony ere the appearing of the Son of Man.
Such times have been known already in many places, as in the dark days of Roman Catholicism’s power; but for Israel, in a special sense, darker days are yet to come.
The confidence of the remnant and their submission to the will of God are beautifully delineated in vers. 7 to 10. Owning the righteousness of His dealings, they yet look up to Him in faith, crying, “I will wait for the God of my salvation;” and they are assured that He will hear. The enemy may seem to triumph; but though fallen, they shall arise, and the Lord shall be their light when the darkness has become the deepest. In lowliness and humility they say, “I will bear the indignation of the Lord because I have sinned against Him.” This is remarkably fine, and shows how truly their exercises have resulted in the peaceable fruits of righteousness. Thus they can count on God for deliverance, and wait in patience till He shall plead their cause and execute judgment for them, that they may glorify Him for His righteousness. Then shall Israel’s enemies, who taunted her in her forsaken condition, own that she is indeed the chosen of the Lord.
“In that day” temporal prosperity will return to Jerusalem, and her walls shall be rebuilt. Her children shall be brought back from Assyria and all the places whither they have been carried captive. Though the land shall first be desolated by the armies of the nations, because of the fruit of Israel’s doings, yet the old wastes shall be rebuilt, and the flock of Jehovah’s heritage shall be brought from their hiding-places and shepherded in the choice pastures of Bashan and Gilead, “as in the days of old” (vers. 11-14).
As once the Lord had brought them up in triumph out of the land of Egypt, He will show marvelous things when He arises for the salvation of His chosen in the last days. The Gentiles, who have despised and hated the Jew, will be filled with astonishment when the remnant are reestablished in the land of their fathers, and the first dominion has returned to Jacob (vers. 15-17). It will be a marvelous exhibition of grace, and of the loving-kindness of the Lord.
No wonder the book closes with so precious an ascription of adoring gratitude. “Who is a God like unto Thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He retaineth not His anger forever, because He delighteth in mercy. He will turn again, He will have compassion upon us; He will subdue our iniquities; and Thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea. Thou wilt perform the truth to Jacob, and the mercy to Abraham, which Thou hast sworn unto our fathers from the days of old” (vers. 18-20).
This will be the happy ending of all God’s ways with Israel. Established in the kingdom of the Son of Man, they will be brought into the blessedness of the knowledge of transgressions forgiven and sin covered. And they will trace all that blessing back to the smitten Judge, who came in grace to save, but who was despised and rejected by the very people who held in their hands the Scripture of truth, foretelling the actual things which they in their unbelief fulfilled.
In the hour of their deepest anguish they will turn back to the same sacred books, and learn therefrom that the Nazarene was the long-expected One whose goings forth have been of old, from everlasting. At last convinced of their fearful sin, the remnant will bow in bitterness of soul before God, owning the guilt of their fathers, and judging their own past unbelief. Then grace will act on their behalf, and restoration to their land and their God will follow.
From every renewed heart will burst the cry of worshipful praise, “Who is a God like unto Thee, that pardoneth iniquity?”
Into the sea of His forgetfulness He will cast all their sins, justifying them freely by His grace through the same wondrous redemption which is now the ground of blessing for every Jew and Gentile who trusts in the name of Jesus.
Thus Micah’s prophecy reaches the end to which all the prophets pointed; when the oath of Jehovah to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob will be performed, and their seed will be established in their ancient patrimony, never again to be uprooted, and enjoying all the blessings of the new covenant, confirmed by the precious blood of Christ.
21 Such is the divine title rendered here “the Lord God.”
22 The A. V. is very confusing here. Verse 6, according to eminent scholars, should read, “Prophesy not! [say they; but] they shall prophesy: they shall not prophesy [indeed] to these, that reproach may not overtake them.”
23 It is really “wall-breaker.”
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Ironside, H. A. "Commentary on Micah 7". Ironside's Notes on Selected Books. https://www.studylight.org/
the First Week of Advent