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This verse introduces us to a reflection which it is very important that we should sometimes thoughtfully dwell on; that thought is, the responsibility of power, or the temptations peculiar to power.
I. Of all things in heaven and earth which the human heart craves for most vehemently, there is nothing that it longs for so intensely and unceasingly, as power. "To be weak, is to be miserable, doing and suffering," says our great poet. To be weak is to be always craving and never having; always yearning and never possessing. We flatter ourselves with the belief that we lack nothing but strength, to make us heroes; nothing but resources to make us higher than the angels, and like unto God. Something better than mere power is wanted to make a hero or an angel. If we be blessed with the gifts of power, and vigour, and force, we must reflect that we watch them wisely, lest what God meant should be a boon become in our case a bane.
II. Had these men of Israel, over whose heads a heavy doom was hanging, been men of the mob, poor and feeble, how different their thoughts on their beds might have been, in that they would then have lacked the power of gratification. No man meditates long upon the doing of what he is convinced at starting is an impossibility. And therefore, if we be wise, we shall give thanks to God at times for weakness, as well as for strength, for failures as well as successes, for the difficulties that meet us day by day, as well as for our many helps and supporters. We shall thank G6d that we have been found out in many an unworthy act, and not suffered to go on in it, and that we have been put to shame in the course of many a wicked plan, and stopped ere we could quite accomplish it; and have been held back from the doing of many a shameful deed which we had devised upon our beds, and were only restrained from practising, because it was not in the power of our hands.
A. Jessopp, Norwich School Sermons, p. 11.
I. Consider the promise of the Pentecost. There was (i) the promise of a Divine Spirit by symbols which express some, at all events, of the characteristics and wonderfulness of His work. The "rushing of a mighty wind" spoke of a power which varies in its manifestations, from the gentlest breath that scarce moves the leaves on the summer trees to the wildest blast that casts down all which stands in its way. The twin symbol of the fiery tongues which parted and sat upon each of them speaks in like manner of the Divine influence, not as destructive, but full of quick, rejoicing energy and life, the power to transform and to purify. (ii) There is, further, in the fact of Pentecost the promise of a Divine Spirit which is to influence the moral side of humanity. (iii) The Pentecost carried in it the promise and prophecy of a Spirit granted to all the Church. "They were all filled with the Holy Ghost." (iv) The promise of the early history was that of a Spirit which should fill the whole nature of the men to whom He was granted; filling them in the measure of their receptivity, as the great sea does all the creeks and indentations along the shore.
II. Look at the apparent failure of the promise. "Is the Spirit of the Lord straitened?" Look at Christendom. Will anyone say that the religious condition of any body of professed believers at this moment corresponds to Pentecost? Is not the gap so wide that to fill it up seems almost impossible? (i) Does the ordinary tenour of our own religious life look as if we had that Divine Spirit in us which transforms everything into its own beauty? (ii) Do the relations of modern Christians and their churches to one another attest the presence of a unifying Spirit? (iii) Look at the comparative impotence of the Church in its conflict with the growing worldliness of the world. "If God be with us, why has all this come upon us?"
III. Think for a moment of the solution of the contradiction. It is our own fault and the result of evil in ourselves that may be remedied, that we have so little of the Divine gift. The same fulness of the Spirit which filled the believers on the day of Pentecost, is available for us all. "Ask, and ye shall receive," and be filled with the Holy Ghost, and with power.
A. Maclaren, Christ in the Heart, p. 305.
References: Micah 2:7 . J. H. Evans, Thursday Penny Pulpit, vol. x., p. 65.Micah 2:8 . Spurgeon, My Sermon Notes: Ecclesiastes to Malachi, p. 339. Micah 2:10 . Ibid., Morning by Morning, p. 38; Christian World Pulpit, vol. xiii., p. 33.Micah 2:13 . Ibid., Morning by Morning, p. 237.
The title of the "Breaker" was most appropriately given to the Lord Jesus, (i) because it was through His agency alone that the power of sin was broken; (ii) because, by His death, the distinction between Jews and Gentiles was for ever removed; (iii) because, by His death He destroyed death, and by His triumphant resurrection He has given an earnest of what He will one day accomplish for all who sleep in Him
J. N. Norton, Every Sunday, p. 11.
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Nicoll, William R. "Commentary on Micah 2". "Sermon Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29