Micah 7

 

 

Vers. 1-6 - Israel’s Penitential Acknowledgment of the General Corruption.

 

 

v. 1 - “Woe is me!  Micah threatens no more; he represents repentant Israel

confessing its corruption and lamenting the necessity of punishment. “I am as

when they have gathered the summer fruits”; At the fruit. harvest no

early figs are to be found, and (in the next clause) after the vintage no more

grapes; so in Israel there is none righteous left.  “My soul desired the first ripe

fruit- The holiness and grace of more primitive times (Jeremiah 2:1-3) are wholly

absent from this later period (see Hosea 9:10, where a similar figure is used;

compare also Christ’s dealing with the barren fig tree, Matthew 21:18-19). The

first ripe figs were proverbially sweet and good (see Isaiah 28:4; Jeremiah 24:2).

 

v. 2 – “The good man is perished out of the earth:  and there is none

            upright among men”

 

The grape and the early fig represent the righteous man, the godly, pious man.

The Hebrew word (khasidh) implies one who exercises love to others, who is

merciful, loving, and righteous but he has disappeared from the world (comp.

Psalm 14:2-3; Isaiah 57:1).  “they …. lie in wait for blood and ….hunt every

man his brother” - They all practice violence and rapine, and meditate

how they may pursue their evil designs, even to the shedding of blood.  They

ought to love their brethren, their fellow countrymen, partakers of the

same hope and privileges (Leviticus 19:18). Instead of this, they pursue

them as the fowler traps birds, or the hunter beasts.

 

v.3 – Their hands are busy to do evil – they are ready enough to do evil and

         can be bribed to do ANYTHING!  so they wrap it up” the prince,

         the judge, and the rich man weave their evil plans together.

 

v. 4 - Those who seem comparatively upright are more injurious,

tangled, and inaccessible than a hedge of thorns. In punishment of all this

corruption, the prophet points to the day of judgment.  now shall be their

perplexity” -  When this day of the Lord comes, there shall be confusion

(Isaiah 22:5)

 

v. 5 – Such is the moral corruption that the nearest relations cannot be

trusted: selfishness reigns everywhere The prophet emphasizes this

universal evil by warning the better portion of the people. “Trust ye not

in a friend… guide”.  There is a gradation here, beginning with “neighbor,”

or “common acquaintance,” and ending with “wife.”

 

 

 

v. 6 – “For the son dishonoreth the father, the daughter riseth up

against her mother, the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law;

a man’s enemies are the men of his own house” – from the son to

the daughter, from the in-laws to domestic servants, there is

dissolution of every natural tie!

 

vs. 7-13 - Israel expresses her faith in God, though she suffers

grievous tribulation, and is confident in the fulfilment of the promised

restoration.

 

v. 7 - Though love and confidence have disappeared, and the day of visitation

has come, and human help fails, yet Israel loses not her trust in the Lord.

“Therefore I will look unto the Lord”

 

“I will wait for the God of my salvation” – Our circumstances in life often

call for the exercise of this spirit of patient waiting for God!. It is the method

of our God by slow processes to bring to pass all that He has designed,

whether in nature, in providence, or in grace. His purposes are

gradually evolved. His delays are for wise and gracious reasons. Hence

instead of fretting and repining and growing impatient under adversity, as

though some strange thing were happening to us (I Peter 4:12-13),  it behoves

us to “rest in the Lord,” and so be cheerful even in the night and under the

shadow of the cloud, assured that to those rightly exercised by sorrow

tribulation worketh patience, and patience experience, and experience

hope” - (Romans 5:3-4).

 

my God will hear me”

 

v. 8 - Israel in her sorrow and captivity asserts her undiminished

confidence in the Lord.  “When I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a

light unto me” – Darkness comes to humanity in a variety of forms:

ignorance, failure of health, bereavement, persecutions, etc. -  “The

Lord is my Light and my Salvation (Psalm 27:1)  - “In His favor is

life (Psalm 30:5) - The distinction between darkness and the full light of day

is more marked in Eastern countries than in our Northern climes.  God

has revealed Himself in Nature (Psalm 19:1-4) and in the Bible – “the

heart-book of the world” also, in these last times He has revealed

Himself in Christ Jesus – (Hebrews 1:1-3) – To properly respond

to His revelation of Himself, we must bring our hearts as well as our intellects

to the study of the book, and endeavor to trace the application of His teachings

to the wants and aspirations of the human spirit.

 

 

 

 

 

v. 9 – “I will bear the indignation of the Lord” - However long may be

the delay before relief comes, Israel will patiently bear the chastisements

inflicted upon her, because she knows that they are deserved. This is the

language of the penitent people, owning the justice of the sentence, yet

trusting to the covenant God, who in wrath remembers mercy.  Job said

though He slay me, yet will I trust Him” – (Job 13:15)

 

v. 12 – “He shall come” -  they shall come. Men shall flock to Zion as

the metropolis of the new kingdom (Micah 4:2). The countries named

are those in which the Jews were dispersed (Isaiah 11:11). Micah

embraces in one view the restoration of Israel and the conversion of the

heathen (comp. Isaiah 19:24; 27:12-13)

 

v. 13 – “Notwithstanding the land shall be desolate” -  Very many

commentators consider the land of Canaan to be here intended, the prophet

recurring to threatenings of judgment before the great restoration comes to

pass; but it is best to regard the clause as referring to all the world,

exclusive of Canaan. While the Messianic kingdom is set up, judgment shall

fall upon the sinful world. “For the nation and kingdom that will not serve

thee shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted” (Isaiah 60:12;

comp. Revelation 12:12). And the material world shall suffer with its inhabitants

(Genesis 3:15, 18; 6:13; 19:25; Isaiah 34:4) – for the fruit of their doings”

Their evil deeds, especially the rejection of Messiah.

 

vs. 14-17 - The prophet in the name of the people prays for this

promised salvation, and the Lord assures him that His mercies shall not

fail, and that the hostile nations shall be humbled.

 

v. 14 – “as in the days of old” -  usually taken to refer to the time of Moses and

Joshua, but also and more probably, to that of David and Solomon, which realized

the ideal of peace and prosperity (comp. Micah 4:4).

 

v. 15 – “According to (as in) the days” - The Lord answers the

prophet’s prayer, taking up his last word, and promising even more than he

asks, engaging to equal the wonders which marked the exodus from Egypt.

That great deliverance was a type and foreshadowing of Messianic

salvation (comp. Isaiah 43:15, 51:10;1 Corinthians 10:1) – “unto him” -  unto the

people of Israel (v. 14). marvellous things” - Septuagint, Oyesqe qaumasta>,

 “Ye shall see marvellous things.”  Supernatural occurrences are meant, as

Exodus 3:20; 15:11; Psalm 77:14. We do not read of any special miracles at the

return from captivity, so the people were led to look onward to the advent of

Messiah for these wonders.

 

 

 

 

 

v. 16 – “Shall see” - The heathen shall see these marvellous things. and be

confounded at (ashamed of) all their might” -  Hostile nations shall be

ashamed when they find the impotence of their boasted power. Compare

the effect of the Exodus on contiguous nations (Exodus 15:14,

Joshua 2:9-10) – “they shall lay their hand upon their mouth” - They

shall be silent from awe and astonishment (Judges 18:19; Job 21:5;

Isaiah 52:15 – “their ears shall be deaf-  Their senses shall be stupefied

by the wonders which they see — that which Job (Job 26:14) calls “the

thunder of his mighty deeds.” There may also be an allusion to their wilful

obstinacy, and unbelief.  (Compare II Thessalonians 2:10-12)

 

v. 17 – “they shall be afraid of (whine with fear unto) the Lord our God” –

They shall be driven by terror to acknowledge the God of Israel.

 

vs. 18-20 - The book ends with a lyric ode in praise of Gods

mercy and faithfulness.

 

v. 18 - In view of the many provocations and backslidings of the

people, Micah is filled with wonder at the goodness and long suffering of

God. Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and

passeth by transgression?…He retaineth not His anger for ever,

because He delighteth in mercy”

 

GOD’S NATURE IS TO HAVE MERCY AND TO FORGIVE!

 

v. 19 – “He will turn again, and have compassion upon us” -  The verb

turn again,” joined with another verb, often denotes the repetition of an

action, so here we may translate simply “He will again have compassion.”

He will subdue” - literally, tread underfoot. Sin is regarded as a personal

enemy, which by God’s sovereign grace will be entirely subdued. So,

according to one interpretation, sin is personified (Genesis 4:7; comp.

Psalm 65:3). thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea”

Thou wilt blot out and bury completely and forever, as once thou didst

overwhelm the Egyptians in the Red Sea (Exodus 15:1, 4, 10, 21). The

miraculous deliverance of the Israelites at the Exodus is a type of the

greater deliverance of the true Israelites in Christ (Psalm 103:12;

1 John 1:7; comp. Isaiah 43:25).

 

v. 20 – “Thou wilt perform the truth to Jacob, and the mercy to

Abraham, which thou hast sworn unto our fathers from the days

of old” - The general meaning, therefore, is that God will perform the

promises made to the forefathers, as Luke 1:72, Genesis 22:16-18,

28:13-15, Deuteronomy 7:12-16. Compare Romans 11:33-36.

 

 

 

                                   

 

                                    ADDITIONAL NOTES

 

vs. 1-13 - The Good in Degenerate Times.

 

We are not to understand these verses as referring specially to the prophet

himself. In Micah 1:8, 9 we have his own lamentation in view of the

prevailing ungodliness; here “the speaker is not the prophet, but the true

Israel, i.e. Israel within Israel, personified” (Cheyne). God has never left

Himself without witnesses. Even in the most corrupt and degenerate times

He has had a people to show forth His praise. It was so in the age to which

this book of Scripture refers.  (may it be so in the 21st century – CY – 2009)

 Widespread though the depravity was, “a remnant” continued faithful,

true, loyal to God and obedient to His will; and Micah here speaks simply as

the mouthpiece of these, setting forth their sadness in view of the abounding

wickedness, Notice here, concerning the Church of God

 

I. HER BITTER DISAPPOINTMENT. (vs. 1-6.)

 

A.  The desire for spiritual excellence was ardently cherished. This

aspiration of the good is here expressed figuratively. “My soul desired the

first ripe figs” (v. 1). These were accounted the choicest and sweetest,

and were very refreshing and very welcome to the weary traveller, and

hence were chosen as the symbol of spiritual excellence. So elsewhere in

the prophetical writings (Hosea 9:10; Jeremiah 24.). The meaning,

then, is that the good longed for the prevalence of piety in the nation, and

to see the people bringing forth the fruits of righteousness. This is the

aspiration of the good in every age.  As the horticulturist to see the waste

field transformed into a garden of delight, and bearing, in infinite variety,

the flowers and fruits; so all good men yearn to see the spiritual transformation of

the world. “My soul desired the first ripe figs”

 

B.  This ardently cherished desire was unrealized. (v.1.) The verse

brings vividly before us the sense of disappointment arising from the

spiritual barrenness and unproductiveness that prevailed in the land. The

scene presented was not that of an abundant harvest, but of a land bare and

barren, whose best days were of yore, in which so little good remained as

to be but like gleanings when the vintage is over, not even a cluster

remaining. “I am as when they have gathered  And as further

illustrating this disappointment, a graphic description is given of the

prevailing spiritual desolation.

 

  • Mortality and martyrdom had impoverished the land in the removal

from it of the tender, the trusty, the true (v. 2; Isaiah 57:1).

 

  • Anarchy reigned, with its accompanying violence, treachery, and

injustice (vs. 2-3).

 

  • The administration of justice had become a burlesque, its

administrators working together, “wrapping it up,” weaving it together

so as to keep up the form, and to appear just, whilst really seeking their

own selfish ends (v. 3), and even “the best” amongst them being “hard

and piercing,” even as a briar, and “the most upright” being as “a thorn

hedge which, set for protection, inflicts injury.” (v.4).

 

  • Friendship, sweet’ner of life and solder of society,” had become

insincere and unreal; yea, even the most sacred relationships of life had

become perverted, and natural affection sacrificed and changed to hate

(vs. 5-6).

 

C.  This non-realization occasioned bitter disappointment. “Woe is me!”

(v.1). A life of piety is marked by the experience of true joy (Psalm 1:1-3;

Proverbs 3:17). Yet it is not always sunshine even with the good.

 “If we listen to David’s harp, we shall hear as many hearse-like

harmonies as carols” (Bacon). And a very large ingredient in the cup of

sorrow to the good is occasioned by the contemplation of the blighting

effects of sin. As looking around them, and despite their endeavors to

disseminate truth and righteousness, they see multitudes walking according

to the world’s maxims, cherishing its spirit and reaping its sad harvest,

sorrow fills their hearts, and they become desponding and sad. And hence

the lament of the Church in view of her small numbers and the general

corruption, as here expressed, “Woe is me!”

 

 II. HER UNSWERVING CONFIDENCE. (vs. 7-10.)

 

A.  This confidence rested in God. “Therefore I will look unto the Lord” (v.7).

 

B.  This confidence as expressed in patient waiting for God. He had

spoken good concerning Israel,” and had declared “glorious things”

respecting Zion, the city of God. And in the dark days His servants were

prepared patiently to wait for the fulfilment of these, even as she mariner

waits for fair winds and favorable tide, or as the watchman waits through

the long night for the coming of the day. “I will walt for the God of my

salvation (ver. 7).

 

C.  This confidence was sustained by inspiring hope. “My God will hear

me.” So did hope cast her bow of promise across the stormy cloud and

kindle the bright star in the dark sky.

 

 

 

 

D.  This confidence triumphed even in the midst of adversity. The world

was very evil, and the good in the land were few. Iniquity, appeared to be

victorious, and might to triumph over right. The hearts of the pious, full of

patriotism and of the love of God, were sad; yet their reliance was

unshaken and unswerving. Dark days were before them, severe

chastisement must be experienced, and they would soon feel the rod of the

oppressor and be exposed to the taunts of the heathen, who would

mockingly ask, “Where is the Lord thy God?” But they could rest in the

assurance that the Lord would be their Light in darkness; that he would

interpose on their behalf, bringing them forth out of the gloom into the

light covering their foes with shame, and vindicating His own righteousness.

“Rejoice not against me,” etc. (vs. 8-10).

 

III. HER ASSURED VICTORY. (Vers. 11-13.) In these verses,

speaking, not as the mouthpiece of the good but prophetically as the seer,

Micah delivers the assurance he was inspired by God to utter, and bearing

upon the time to come. His words, as rendered in the Authorized Version,

are somewhat obscure, but we gather from them that a brighter future

should dawn upon the world sin had darkened and defiled, and of that

glorious era he here speaks. And as His people, in the days when they “sat

by the rivers of Babylon, and wept as they remembered Zion,” and thought

of the desolation sin had wrought, turned to these and similar assurances of

the golden age yet to come, who can tell to what an extent they became

nerved afresh and inspired with renewed courage and hope! Even so let

those today who grieve, with the good through all ages, over the blighting

effects of sin, rejoice in the prospect of the ultimate victory. “Lift up your

heads redemption draweth nigh.” Now death reigns and sin triumphs; but

ere long grace shall reign through righteousness unto eternal life. Every

throe of sorrow is bringing us nearer to the time of the world’s full

deliverance from the power of evil. The triumph is sure. “The Lord God

Omnipotent reigneth.” This suggestive paragraph closes with a note of

warning. “Notwithstanding,” (v. 13). There is a glorious future

awaiting the Church of God, but meanwhile the work of judgment must be

perfected. Notwithstanding the bright prospect here unfolded, sin will

assuredly work its dire effects. The triumph of righteousness carries with it

the defeat of unrighteousness. One of the poets sings of a bell suspended

on the Inchcape rock, that the sound might warn the sailors of their

nearness to danger; and tells how pirates cut the bell so as to silence the

sound; and how that subsequently these same pirates struck upon the very

rock which they had deprived of its means of warning them. Let us not

thus treat this note of warning, but be constrained to “break off sin by

righteousness,” as it reminds us that “God is not mocked,and that

whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”  (Galatians 6:7)

 

 

 

 

vs. 14-17 - Prayer and Its Response.

 

How mysteriously great is the privilege of prayer! How wonderful that

finite creatures may thus draw near to the Infinite, carrying their needs into

the Divine presence, breathing their desires into the ear of God, and

obtaining from Him all required mercy and grace! We think of the patriarch

who, weary and worn with his wanderings, slept, with a stone for his

pillow, and we speak of the ladder he beheld connecting the spot where he

lay with the very throne of God, as his vision; but the thought of prayer

changes this into a blessed reality, for communication between earth and

heaven has been established, and thus human spirits rise to God, and

enrichments descend from him to satisfy men’s deepest needs! Prayer, in

the highest conception of it, is a thoughtful communion with God. It is

intercourse with God. It is sympathetic contact with him. It is an exercise

in which we engage that we may have fellowship with the Invisible, and

may thus understand the Divine will, and become increasingly disposed to

become obedient thereunto. Helpful, indeed, is the influence we derive

from communion with the pure and holy amongst men; then say how

elevating must be contact with Him who is perfect in purity, the Eternal

Spirit! But prayer is also supplication. We have wants. God has constituted

us dependent beings. Needs, both temporal and spiritual, press upon us at

times with a heavy weight. And prayer is the soul, deeply conscious of

these necessities, coming to God with intense desire seeking their supply.

Our supplications, however, should rise beyond our own individual wants.

Prayer should be presented by us on behalf of others. In this holy exercise

we should seize upon interests broader than those pertaining to our own

personal life, and, with a true concern, should bear these up before the

throne of God. As the great Intercessor pleads for us before his Father’s

throne, - (Hebrews 7:25) - so we also in our measure are to be intercessors

for men.   “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much”

(James 5:16)

 

vs. 18-19 - The Forgiving God.

 

No words could possibly have been more appropriate than these by way of

bringing this brief book of prophecy to a close. When we think of the

degenerate character of the age in which this prophet lived, (and our times

also – CY – 2009) and when we remember that he had constantly to deal with

human guilt and depravity, to declare the Divine judgments, and to endeavor

by warnings and threatenings to bring home to men a sense of their sinfulness,

what could be more fitting than that, in closing his contribution to the Divine

oracles, he should expatiate, as he does here so impressively, upon Jehovah

as being the forgiving God. His design in these verses clearly was to extol

the grace and mercy of the Lord his God. As he thought of the Divine

forgiving love, he felt that with the Most High none can compare. With

warmest admiration, combined with the profoundest adoration, he asks,

“Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the

transgression of the remnant of his heritage? (v.18). And instead of

attempting to answer his own inquiry, he indicates what his answer would

be by enlarging yet further upon God’s pardoning grace: “He retaineth

not His anger for ever, because HE DELIGHTETH IN MERCY”

 

I.  WHAT THIS DIVINE FORGIVENESS IMPLIES.

 

A.  The great fact of sin. There are those who have endeavored to explain

away this solemn fact of sin; who contend that there is not to be found in

man any intentional preference of wrong to right; that what we call sin is

something predicable of society rather than of the individual; that man

himself is right enough, but lacks the science required to organize society

rightly; and that what we call sin is after all only the development of these

discordant causes in society. There is no escape from admitting the great fact

of sin. The Word is unerring as it declares that “all have sinned, and come

short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23); that “there is none that doeth good,

no, not one” (Romans 3:12); and that “every mouth must be stopped, and the

whole world stand guilty before God” (Romans 3:19).

 

B.  The Divine interposition with a view to the deliverance of the race from

this terrible blight. We can form no true conception of the Divine

forgiveness unless these facts of personal guilt and transgression, and of

the Divine interposition in order to our deliverance, are kept prominently

before us. And even at this stage our admiration is called into exercise, and

we cry, “Who is a God like unto thee?” This is intensified as we consider

 

II. WHAT THIS DIVINE FORGIVENESS INCLUDES. It includes

deliverance from the sad consequences of sin.  Note what these are:

 

A.  Mark the consequences of sin to the individual.

 

  • There is loss of power. Every spiritual defeat is attended by the

      weakening of moral strength.

  • There is disquietude of conscience.
  • There is separation from God. There can be no communion where there is

            contrariety of nature. “How can two walk together except they be

            agreed?”

  • There is suffering and death.  The connection between the spirit and the

      body is so intimate that the body necessarily suffers through the  

      disorganization sin has wrought in the soul.

 

  

 

 

 B.  Consequences resulting to society. These also are sad and distressing.

“The bad inheritance passes, and fears, frauds, crimes against property,

character, and life, abuses of power, oppressions of the weak, persecutions

of the good, piracies, wars of revolt, wars of conquest, are the staple of the

world’s bitter history. It is a pitiless and dreadful power, as fallen society

must necessarily be” (Bushnell, ‘Nature and the Supernatural,’ p. 123). The

Divine forgiveness means deliverance from all these sad consequences of

evil It is not a bare pardon merely, but it carries with it enfranchisement

from the blighting effects of evil There is the impartation to the forgiven of

a Divine power, an inward spiritual force to enable them to resist the evil

and downward tendencies; the lost power is restored, and which is mighty

in “subduing our iniquities” (v.19). There is the impartation to the

forgiven of peace of conscience; the discordant and disturbing elements are

hushed; the harmonies are restored. There is the experience of renewed

communion with the Eternal. The soul, accepted and renewed, would ever

abide at the feet of the Lord. There is oneness and agreement now, and

hence fellowship is possible and practicable, yea, is felt to be desirable and

essential “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.” (Matthew

5:8) - And whilst suffering and death remain, yet by a Divine alchemy the character

of these life sorrows becomes entirely changed, and they cease to he viewed as

harsh inflictions, but are accepted as the loving discipline by which the

Divine Father renders the character perfect and entire, whilst “the sting of

death having been taken away, the terror also is gone. And as men

become thus brought into this holy experience will the regeneration of the

world and its complete deliverance from evil be brought to pass. What a

fulness of meaning, then, there is when God is spoken of as “pardoning

iniquity”! And as we think how that this forgiveness carries with it all the

privileges, honors, and enjoyments here and hereafter of the spiritual life,

our admiration of Him who has made all this possible to the individual

and the race rises higher still, and we cry with wondering and adoring love,

“Who is a God like unto thee?”

 

III. WHAT THIS DIVINE FORGIVENESS INVOLVES.

 

A.  It has involved on the part of God all that is comprehended in the gift

and work of his Son Jesus Christ; for it is THROUGH CHRIST ALONE

 that this forgiveness of sin is secured. “In Him have we redemption through

His blood, even the forgiveness of our sins” (Colossians 1:14). It involved

the heavenly Shepherd’s coming forth to seek His lost and fallen world.

“The Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost”

(Luke 19:10). Lo! the Christ of God, the Gift of the Father’s love,

clothed Himself in our humanity, obeyed the Law we had broken, atoned

for sin in the death of the cross, that we might not perish, that we might

exchange the wilderness for the fold, be lifted out of the lost condition into

hope, dignity, and character here, and be raised hereafter to immortal

purity, peace, and joy. The power of human language is too weak

adequately to describe the love of God as expressed even in the minutest of

his doings; but in reference to this seeking the erring, with a view to their

restoration, it signally fails, and we can only adoringly cry, “Who is a God

like unto thee?”

 

B.   On the part of man this Divine forgiveness involves penitence and faith.

“Repent ye, and believe the gospel” (Mark 1:15). On conditions thus

simple the vilest transgressor may find mercy of the Lord. And if there is

another thought which leads us to feel this pardoning love of God to be the

more wonderful, it is the remembrance that He has not only provided the

pardon, but even condescends to plead with men, that they may be led to

fulfil the righteous conditions and to receive the boon (Isaiah 1:18;

Revelation 3:20). Let us not repel Him who has come to bless us by

turning us away from our iniquities, but rather give Him a hearty greeting.

Then, with this ancient seer and with the forgiven through all ages, we shall

cry, with hearts overflowing, with love and praise, “Who is a God like unto

thee?” (vs. 18-19).

 

v. 20 – Divine Promises and Their Fulfillment

 

I.   THE DIVINE PROMISES AS CHARACTERIZED BY “MERCY”

AND “TRUTH.”

 

“The truth to Jacob, and the mercy to Abraham” (v.20). The expression is,

at  first sight, rather peculiar; yet it may easily be explained. By  mercy” we

understand favor shown to the undeserving. Grand hero as Abraham

was, there was nothing in him to merit such distinguishing honor as was

conferred upon him. The choice was altogether traceable to the abounding

mercy and grace of God.  So also with Jacob, who, at the outset of his

career, was about as unlovely as man could well be. Then why, it may be

asked, the change in the form of expression? Why not “the mercy to

Abraham” and the mercy to Jacob”? Why “the mercy to Abraham and the

truth to Jacob”? Simply to introduce the additional thought of “truth.”

“Truth” here means the bringing into clearer light that which had been

partially hinted at. “What was free mercy to Abraham became, when God

had once promised it, His truth”. And His revelation of truth

became clearer and brighter, until at length He appeared in whom both

grace and truth” came in their unveiled clearness and their unrestricted

fulness.  (John 1:14)

 

II. HE TRACES THESE DIVINE PROMISES AS HAVING THEIR

SOURCE AND SPRING IN THE ETERNAL LOVE OF GOD.”

 

 

 

 

v. 20 - “from the days of old” i.e. from eternity, God has cherished the

loving purpose of enriching us thus. It is not “a modern project, but an

ancient charter.” – “Known  unto God are all His works from the

beginning of the world” – (Acts 15:18)  Christ stood as “the Lamb

slain from the foundation of the world” – (Revelation 13:8)

 

III. HE REJOICES IN THE ASSURANCE THAT THESE DIVINE

PROMISES SHALL BE UNDOUBTEDLY FULFILLED.

 

“Thou wilt perform,  This assurance rested on the Divine pledge (“which

thou hast sworn unto our fathers”), and which the faithful Promiser

is both able and willing to redeem. “He cannot deny himself” (2 Timothy 2:13).

In building the temple of Solomon two pillars were set up in the porch of the

edifice — the left one being called Boaz, i.e. “In God is strength;” and the

other on the right being named Jachin, i.e. “He will establish” — thus

beautifully associating together the thoughts of GOD’S ABILITY AND

HIS WILLING RESOLVE TO BLESS!  Let these thoughts dwell in our

minds respecting Him, for on these pillars our faith and hope may EVER

SECURELY REST!

 

 

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