James Nisbet Commentary - Micah 7:8 - 7:9

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James Nisbet Commentary - Micah 7:8 - 7:9

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This Chapter Verse Commentaries:


‘Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light unto me. I will bear the indignation of the Lord, because I have sinned against Him.’


I. Men commonly think a sin to be cancelled when it is done and over; or, in other words, that amendment is an expiation.—They do not take the trouble to repent. Regret, vexation, sorrow—such feelings seem to this busy, practical, unspiritual generation as idle; as something despicable and unmanly, just as tears may be. They are unbelieving, they are irrational, if they are nothing more than remorse, gloom, and despondency. Such is ‘the sorrow of the world,’ which ‘worketh death.’ Yet there is a ‘godly sorrow’ also; a positive sorrowing for sin, and a deprecation of its consequences, and that quite distinct from faith or amendment; and this, so far from being a barren sorrow, worketh, as the Apostle assures us, ‘repentance to salvation not to be repented of.’

II. When Christians have gone wrong in any way, whether in belief or in practice, scandalously or secretly, it seems that pardon is not explicitly, definitely, promised them in Scripture as a matter of course; and the mere fact that they afterwards become better men, and are restored to God’s favour, does not decide the question whether they are in every sense pardoned; for David was restored, and yet was afterwards punished. It is still a question whether a debt is not standing against them for their past sins, and is not now operating, or to operate, to their disadvantage. What the payment consists in and how it will be exacted is quite another question, and a hidden one. God may spare us, He may punish. In either case, however, our duty is to surrender ourselves into His hands, that He may do what He will.


‘It has been said recently that cases of answered prayer are the exception, and not the rule. Would it not be better to say that our prayers are always answered, though the petitions are not granted just in the way we had hoped. God is so wise, good, and faithful that, however urgently we pressed our case, it would not be for our best interests if He were to do as we ask. When we reach the other world we shall have abundant reason, in the pure light of eternity, to thank God that He did not grant all our petitions, though he always answered our real prayers. We asked for stones, but He gave us bread; for scorpions, but He gave us fish. He could not for love’s sake give us the poison we clamoured for. We ask amiss, and know not what we ask. But He, reading right our wrong request, gives what we would ask did we know. We are also hot-blooded. It is so hard for us to wait for God. The hand moves so slowly round the dial-plate, it seems as though the hour will never strike. In the meanwhile the enemy speaks strongly in our ears of God having forsaken us; but it is not so. Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy; when I fall, I shall arise! My soul, wait thou only upon God.’