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Micah 7:7

7. Therefore I will look unto the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me.

7. Ego autem ad Jehovam respiciam, expectabo ad Deum salutis meae; exaudiet me Deus meus.

 

The Prophet points out here the only remedy, to preserve the faithful from being led away by bad examples and that is, to fix their eyes on God, and to believe that he will be their deliverer. Nothing is more difficult than to refrain from doing wrong, when the ungodly provoke us; for they seem to afford us a good reason for retaliation. And when no one injures us, yet custom is deemed almost a law: thus it happens that we think that to be lawful which is sanctioned by the manners and customs of the age; and when success attends the wicked, this becomes a very strong incentive. Thus it happens, that the faithful can hardly, and with no small difficulty, keep themselves within proper bounds: when they see that wickedness reigns everywhere, and that with impunity; and still more, when they see the abettors of wickedness increasing in esteem and wealth, immediately the corrupt lust of emulation creeps in. But when the faithful themselves are provoked by injuries, there seems then to be a just reason for doing wrong; for they say that they willfully do harm to no one, but only resist an injury done to them, or retaliate fraud with fraud: this they think is lawful. The Prophet, in order to prevent this temptation, bids the faithful to look to God. The same sentiment we often meet with in Psalm 119: its import is, that the faithful are not to suffer themselves to be led away by bad examples, but to continue ever obedient to God’s word, however great and violent the provocations they may receive. Let us now consider the words of the Prophet.

To Jehovah, he says, will I look The verb צפה, tsaphe, properly means to look on, to behold; (speculari;) it is sometimes taken in the sense of expecting; but I am inclined to retain its proper meaning, I will look, he says, on God; that is, I will do the same as though the only true God were before my eyes. How indeed does it happen that even the good indulge themselves while living among the wicked and ungodly, except that they are too much occupied with things around them? If then we desire to maintain integrity, while the world presents to us nothing but examples of sin, let us learn to pass by these temptations as with closed eyes. This may be done, if we direct our eyes to God alone. I will look, he says, to Jehovah

He then adds, I will wait for the God of my salvation The Prophet says nothing new here, but only explains more clearly the last clause, defining the manner of the looking of which he had spoken; as though he said, — “Patiently will I bear, while God helps me:” for when the wicked harass us on every side, we shall no doubt soon turn away our eyes from Gods except we be armed with patience. And how comes patience, unless we be fully persuaded that God will be our deliverer, when the suitable time shall come? We now perceive the intention of the Prophet. He shows that the godly cannot otherwise continue constant in their integrity, except they turn their eyes to the only true God. Then he adds, that they cannot be preserved in this contemplation, unless they wait patiently for God, that is, for his help.

And he calls him the God of his salvation; by which he intimates that, relying on his word, he thus perseveres in enduring injuries: for it cannot be but that every one will submit himself to God, and surrender himself to be protected by him, if this truth be first fixed in his mind — that God will never forsake his own people. This then is the reason why he calls him the God of his salvation. But this title must be referred to his present circumstances, as though he said, — “Though God’s hand does not now appear to help or to bring me aid, I yet feel assured of his favor, and I know that my salvation is secured by it.”

He then adds, Hear me will my God He here confirms what we have already said, — that, being supported by the promises of God, he thus composes his mind to patience; for patience would often vanish or would be shaken off by temptations, unless we were surely persuaded that God provides for our salvation, and that we shall not hope in him in vain. Nor is it to no purpose that he says, that God was his God. He was one of his people; and this seems to have been the common privilege of all the Jews: yet the Prophet no doubt connects God with himself here in a peculiar manner; for men in general had fallen away into ungodliness. They all indeed gloried in the name of God, but absurdly and falsely. Hence the Prophet intimates, that he was under his protection in a manner different from the rest: for when any one allows himself the liberty of doing evil, he, at the same time, renounces God and his protection. Therefore, the Prophet no doubt alludes indirectly to the irreligion of the people. For though the vain boasting, that they had been adopted by God, that they were the holy race of Abraham, was everywhere in the mouth of all, yet hardly one in a hundred had any regard for God. But it is also of importance to notice, that the Prophet, by saying, Hear me will God, gives a testimony, at the same time, respecting his own faith, — that he would always apply to God for help, and exercise himself in prayer whenever necessity urged him; for God hears not except when he is called upon. The Prophet then recommends here, by his example, an attention to prayer.

Now this verse shows to us in general that there is no excuse for us if we suffer ourselves to be led away, as it is daily the case, by bad examples. And then to look to God is especially needful, when all excesses of wickedness prevail in the world: when the lusts of men become the rule and the law, we ought then to renounce in a manner the society of men, that they may not implicate us in their wickedness. They, therefore, who allege for themselves the examples of others, employ a frivolous excuse, as many do in the present day, who set up the shield of custom: though they are clearly condemned by the word of God, yet they think it a sufficient defense, that they follow others. But we see how frivolous is this confidence; for the Prophet no doubt prescribes here a law for all the children of God as to what they ought to do, when the devil tempts them to sin by the bad examples and shameful deeds of the majority. Let us go on —

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