Micah 7:9
I will bear the indignation of the LORD, because I have sinned against him, until he plead my cause, and execute judgment for me: he will bring me forth to the light, and I shall behold his righteousness.
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(9) I will bear.—Micah places himself and his people with confidence in the hands of God. So, too, id David speak when his sin was brought home to him by God: “I am in a great strait; let us fall now into the hand of the Lord: for His mercies are great; and let me not fall into the hand of man” (2Samuel 24:14). “This is the temper of all penitents when stricken by God, or under chastisement from Him.”

7:8-13 Those truly penitent for sin, will see great reason to be patient under affliction. When we complain to the Lord of the badness of the times, we ought to complain against ourselves for the badness of our hearts. We must depend upon God to work deliverance for us in due time. We must not only look to him, but look for him. In our greatest distresses, we shall see no reason to despair of salvation, if by faith we look to the Lord as the God of our salvation. Though enemies triumph and insult, they shall be silenced and put to shame. Though Zion's walls may long be in ruins, there will come a day when they shall be repaired. Israel shall come from all the remote parts, not turning back for discouragements. Though our enemies may seem to prevail against us, and to rejoice over us, we should not despond. Though cast down, we are not destroyed; we may join hope in God's mercy, with submission to his correction. No hinderances can prevent the favours the Lord intends for his church.I will bear the indignation of the Lord, because I have sinned against Him - This is the temper of all penitents, when stricken by God, or under chastisement from Him. "It is the Lord, let Him, do what seemeth Him good" 1 Samuel 3:18. "So let him curse, because the Lord hath said unto him, curse David. Who shall then say, Wherefore hast thou done so?" 2 Samuel 16:10. "He putteth his mouth in the dust; if so be there may be hope" Lamentations 3:29. The penitent owns the just sentence of God, and, knowing that he deserves far more than God inflicts, is thankful to endure it, "until He remove it, until He plead my cause rend execute judgment for me", that is, until God Himself think the punishments inflicted, enough, and judge between me and those through whose hands they come. The judgments which God righteously sends, and which man suffers righteously from Him, are unrighteously inflicted by those whose malice He overrules, whether it be that of evil men (as the Assyrian or the Chaldaean or the Edomite) or of Satan. The close of the chastisements of His people is the beginning of the visible punishment of their misdecds, who used amiss the power which God gave them over it.

Whence it is said, "Daughter of Babylon, the wasted! blessed he that rewardth thee as thou hast served us" Psalm 137:8. But all is of the mercy of God. So He saith, "He shall bring me forth to the light" of His Countenance and His favor and His truth. Micah speaks in the name of those who were penitent, and so were forgiven, and yet, in that they were under punishment, seemed to lie under the wrath of God. For, although God remits at once the eternal penalty of sin, yet we see daily, how punishment pursues the for given sinner, even to the end of life. The light of God's love may not, on grounds which He knoweth, shine unchequered upon him. We should not know the blackness of the offence of sin, and should never know the depth of God's mercy, but for our punishment. The indignation of God toward the penitcnt is an austere form of His love. So then penitents may well say, in every grief or sickness or visitation or disappointment, I will bear the indignation of the Lord, because I have sinned against Him. He says, "I shall behold His righteousness", because they had a righteous cause against man, although not toward God, and God in His just judgment on their enemies shewed Himself as the righteous Judge of the world.

9. bear—patiently.

the indignation of the Lord—His punishment inflicted on me (La 3:39). The true penitent "accepts the punishment of his iniquity" (Le 26:41, 43); they who murmur against God, do not yet know their guilt (Job 40:4, 5).

execute judgment for me—against my foe. God's people plead guilty before God; but, in respect to their human foes, they are innocent and undeserving of their foes' injuries.

bring me forth to the light—to the temporal and spiritual redemption.

I shall behold his righteousness—His gracious faithfulness to His promises (Ps 103:17).

I will bear, patiently and submissively, the indignation of the Lord; the just and chastising anger of the Lord, in the effects of it upon me.

Because I have sinned against him, greatly, continually, both against his law and the precepts thereof, and against his love and the effects thereof. Judah was guilty of idolatry, ingratitude against God; and of injustice, unfaithfulness, and unmercifulness against one another; and these sins deserved sorer punishments than they suffered, therefore the righteous ones here justify God, and humble themselves.

Until he plead my cause against mine enemy, for that he will ere long do, as well as now he doth plead his own cause against me. He will be as well a just judge against mine enemies, to avenge me on them, as he is a just God, by my sins provoked to chastise me.

And execute judgment for me; when that day comes, he will certainly and evidently declare his judgment to be against mine insulting adversaries, my cruel enemies, and that he doth so punish them for my sake, as Psalm 137:7 Isaiah 10:5,12 Jer 30:8 Zechariah 1:12,15.

He, the great and glorious, the holy and just God, who now chastiseth me,

will bring me forth to the light; as a prisoner brought out of a dark prison or dungeon into the light, is set at liberty, advanced and beautified, so shall the church be delivered and made to prosper.

I shall behold his righteousness; the truth and riches of his promised salvation. This made good, partly in the restitution of the captivity, rebuilding of Jerusalem by order of Cyrus and Darius, and partly before this in Hezekiah’s rescue from Sennacherib’s pride and rage.

I will bear the indignation of the Lord,.... The Targum prefaces these words with

"Jerusalem saith;''

and they are the words of the prophet, in the name of Jerusalem or the church, resolving in the strength of divine grace to bear the present affliction, which had at least some appearance of divine indignation in it; not against the persons of God's people, who are always the objects of his love, and towards whom there is no fury in him; but against their sins, which are displeasing and abominable to him; and this is not in a vindictive way, for such indignation they could never bear; nor can any creature stand before it, or bear up under it; and, besides, Christ has bore the wrath and indignation of God in this sense for them but it here means the displicency and indignation of God in fatherly chastisements, consistent with the strongest love and affection for them; and to bear this is to be humble under the mighty hand of God, quietly to submit to it, and patiently to endure the affliction, without murmuring and repining, till the Lord pleases to remove it. The reason follows,

because I have sinned against him; the best of men sin; sin is the cause and reason of all affliction and distress, whether temporal or spiritual. The consideration of this tends to make and keep good men humble, and quietly submit to the chastising rod of their heavenly father, which they see it is right and proper should be used; and as knowing that they are chastised and afflicted less than their iniquities deserve; and that it is all for their good; a sense of sin stops their mouths, that they have nothing to say against God. The word here used sometimes signifies the offering an expiatory sacrifice for sin to God; and Gussetius (c) thinks this is the meaning of it here; and observes, that with the oblation of a contrite heart, and works of charity, the satisfaction of Christ is to be pleaded, and in our way to be offered up to God the Judge, through faith flying to it; whereby the mind is disposed to bear correction patiently, in hope that favour will quickly shine forth in help and deliverance:

until he plead cause, and execute judgment for me; Christ the mighty Redeemer, and powerful and prevalent Mediator, not only pleads the cause of his people with God his Father, and obtains all blessings of grace for them; but he also pleads their cause against their enemies, an ungodly people that strive with them, persecute and distress them; and will in his own time do them justice, and execute vengeance, his righteous judgments, on those that hate them, and rise up against them, as he will on all the antichristian party:

he will bring me forth to the light; like a person taken out of prison, or out of a dungeon, to behold and enjoy the light of the sun and day. The sense is, that he will openly espouse the cause of his church, and give her honour and glory publicly before men; bring forth her righteousness as the light, and her judgment as the noon day; and make her innocence appear as clear as the day, and bring her at last to the light of glory; see Psalm 37:6;

and I shall behold his righteousness: the equity of his proceedings with his people, in chastising and afflicting them, that they are all right and good; his justice in punishing their enemies, and executing judgment on them; his goodness and beneficence to the saints, all his ways being mercy and truth; his faithfulness in the fulfilment of his promises; and the righteousness of Christ, which justifies them before God, renders them acceptable to him, will answer for them in a time to come, and introduce them into his everlasting kingdom and glory.

(c) Ebr. Comment. p. 923.

I will bear the indignation of the LORD, because I have sinned against him, until he plead my cause, and execute judgment for me: he will bring me forth to the light, and I shall behold his righteousness.
9. I will bear the indignation …] The speaker is sure that Jehovah is still his God; consequently in wrath He will still remember mercy, and will, in His own good time, remove the rod.

I have sinned against him] The pious portion of Israel is included in the confession, as in Isaiah 64:5.

my cause] i.e. Israel’s quarrel with the oppressor.

his righteousness] i.e. His interposition for my deliverance. When God has once entered into a covenant, it is only ‘righteous’ for Him to protect those who are in relations with Him. This conception of the Divine righteousness is important; as another equally Biblical conception (the forensic) has become almost too prominent. So St John says (1st Ephesians 1:9) that God is ‘faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins.’

Verse 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. Until he plead my cause. Until God considers that the punishment has done its work, and takes my cause in hand, and judges between me and the instruments of his vengeance. Execute judgment for me. Secure my rights, violated by the heathen, who misuse the power given them by God. The light (see note on ver. 8). His righteousness (Micah 6:5); his faithfulness to his premises exhibited in the destruction of the enemies and the restoration of his people. For this conception of the Divine righteousness, Cheyne compares 1 John 1:9, "He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins." Micah 7:9"The wrath of Jehovah shall I bear, for I have sinned against Him, till He shall fight my fight, and secure my right. He will bring me forth to the light; I shall behold His righteousness. Micah 7:10. And may my enemy see it, and shame cover her, who hath said to me, Where is Jehovah thy God? Mine eyes will see it; now will she be for a treading down, like mire of the streets." Confidence in the help of the Lord flows from the consciousness, that the wretchedness and sufferings are a merited punishment for the sins. This consciousness and feeling generate patience and hope: patience to bear the wrath of God manifesting itself in the sufferings; hope that the sufferings, as inflicted by the righteous God, will cease as soon as the divine justice has been satisfied. Za‛aph: lit., the foaming up of wrath (Isaiah 30:30); hence strong wrath. This the church will bear, till the Lord conducts its conflict and secures its rights. ריבי is the judicial conflict between Israel and the heathen power of the world. Although, for example, God had given up His nation to the power of its enemies, the nations of the world, on account of its sins, so that they accomplished the will of God, by destroying the kingdoms of Israel and Judah, and carrying away the people into exile; yet they grew proud of their own might in so doing, and did not recognise themselves as instruments of punishment in the hand of the Lord, but attributed their victories to the power of their own arm, and even aimed at the destruction of Israel, with scornful defiance of the living God (cf. Isaiah 10:5-15; Habakkuk 1:11). Thus they violated the rights of Israel, so that the Lord was obliged to conduct the contest of His people with the heathen, and secure the rights of Israel by the overthrow of the heathen power of the world. For ריב ריבי, see Psalm 43:1; for עשׂה משׁפּט, Psalm 9:4-5; and for the fact itself, Isaiah 49:25; Isaiah 51:22. Mishpât is Israel's right, in opposition to the powers of the world, who would destroy it. The following word יוציאני is not governed by עד אשׁר, as the absence of the copula Vav shows. With these words the hope takes the form of the certain assurance that the Lord will remove the distress, and let Israel see His righteousness. Tsedâqâh is the righteousness of God revealing itself in the forgiveness and restoration of Israel to favour; like tsedâqōth in Micah 6:5 : in actual fact, the salvation of Israel about to be secured, regarded as an emanation of the righteousness of the covenant God; hence parallel to אור. ראה with ב, to look at, so that one penetrates, as it were, into an object, seeing with feasting of the eyes (so also in Micah 7:10). This exaltation of Israel to new salvation it is hoped that the enemy will see (ותרא, opt.), and be covered with shame; for the power of the world is overthrown, in order that Israel may be redeemed out of its power. This desire is a just one, because the enemy has despised the Lord God. For the expression, "Where is Jehovah thy God?" compare Joel 2:17. And Israel will see its fulfilment (תּראינּה with Nun doubled after a sharpened ; see Ewald, 198, a). ‛Attâh, now (seeing the future in spirit, as having already come), the enemy will be trodden down like mire of the streets (for this figure, see Isaiah 10:6).
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