James Nisbet Commentary - Micah 1:3 - 1:4

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James Nisbet Commentary - Micah 1:3 - 1:4

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‘The Lord cometh forth out of His place … and the mountains shall be molten under Him.’


God, said the prophet, would come down in judgment. He loved His people too well to give them over to their sins. God’s one purpose is to set us free from the dominion of evil, for He knows that we can never be really blessed until our bonds are broken and our uncleanness removed. How shall we ever be thankful enough that Jesus Christ has come forth out of His place in the glory to deliver us; and whatever mountains may oppose Him in His great redemptive work, surely they shall flow down at His presence!

I. There must be suffering.—The suffering of chastisement. As it was with Israel, so it must be with us. We must learn that it is an evil and bitter thing to indulge in known sin. The strokes will fall quick and fast, although the rod is held by a Father’s hand. Where conscience is not quick enough to admonish us, outward discipline must be called in to supplement her.

II. We must claim the shelter of Christ’s Cross and grave.—Israel knew nought of these as we know them. But how great our privilege and power to retreat to the cleft of the rock and hide there whilst storms of temptation sweep past! Satan cannot reach the soul that is sheltering there. This is being truly ‘dead unto sin.’

III. We must look up for the indwelling energy of the ascended Christ.—The Ascension means even more than the Resurrection. From the glorious height of His Ascension, the Lord Jesus comes to indwell us, and to melt down the strong mountains of our rebellious will, substituting His own.


(1) ‘The sublime imagery of the opening paragraph was probably supplied by the traditions of the great earthquake which took place in the reign of Uzziah. The Almighty God is depicted as coming down to judgment, and nature trembles before His advent. He judges Samaria first, and pronounces the dread sentence of its approaching overthrow by Assyria.’

(2) ‘Micah was a contemporary of Isaiah and Hosea. Jeremiah quotes Mic_3:12 (Jer_26:18); and there are several correspondences between his words and Isaiah. He denounces the idolatries perpetrated in Samaria, so soon to fall, and Jerusalem. God’s coming to judge his guilty people is attended by earthquake and storm. Samaria would be made desolate, and all the wealth which Israel boasted of having received from her idols, as her reward or hire for worshipping them, would return to them again when she was carried into captivity. The prophet describes his own anguish, as he sees the approaching calamity, which should involve, not Samaria only, but Jerusalem.’