Micah 2:10
It has been so from the beginning; it will be so to the very end.

I. SIN WAS THE DISTURBER OF THE EARLIEST EARTHLY PARADISE. It was not the serpent or the temptation, but Adam's sin, that destroyed our first parents' rest. They might have known of the presence of the tempter, have seen his trail, heard his hiss, and been conscious of his solicitations, and yet have continued in the rest of unbroken confidence in God. But when sin entered their hearts, rest fled, and guilt, shame, and fear took its place. If allowed to remain in the garden, it would no longer have been an Eden, a Paradise to them. The groans of creation begin to mingle with the reproaches of their own hearts. But the voice is heard, "Arise, and depart," etc. (Genesis 3:22-24).

II. SIN EJECTED THE FIRST INHABITANTS OF CANAAN. Even then it was "the glory of all lands," a splendid inheritance (Genesis 13:10; Numbers 14:7, 8; Deuteronomy 8:7-9). But sin of the foulest kind was there. Vice and crime rendered real rest impossible. The land is represented as stained, saturated with sin, no longer able to tolerate any further iniquity (cf Genesis 15:16); but ready to "spue out" its inhabitants (Leviticus 18:24-28; Leviticus 20:22, 23). The summons went forth - Arise, and depart, yet not to exile, but to utter destruction.

III. SIN CHANGED THE REST OF CANAAN INTO A LAND OF UNREST TO THE CHOSEN NATION. Canaan was promised as one of God's rests - not the highest, but none the less real (Deuteronomy 12:9; Psalm 95:11). What a rest it might have been, enriched with its natural resources, blessed with peace and brotherhood among the tribes, and crowned with the assurance of Divine protection (Exodus 34:24; Deuteronomy 12:10). A dim vision of the fulness of rest they might have enjoyed was seen in the reign of Solomon the peaceful (1 Kings 4:25). But throughout their whole history they allowed sin to mar their inheritance and break in upon their rest. There were periods of special demoralization, as in the days of the judges and of the later kings. They cast out the fatherless and the widow (ver. 9), they plundered the peaceable (ver. 8), they indulged in some of the abominations of the old Canaanites (1 Kings 22:46; 2 Kings 23:7). They could therefore have no rest themselves, but were doomed to exile (Revelation 13:10). The land is represented as once more taking sides with God and turning against those who abused his goodness. The false report of the spies (Numbers 13:32) received a fulfilment, as Moses foretold (Leviticus 26:18-35) and Ezekiel described (Ezekiel 36:13-19), as though an earthquake or a flood drove the sinners far away (Amos 8:8). Illust.: Pompeii. So has it been in the history of nations ever since (wars, slavery, despotism, revolutions, etc.). Illustrate from the Indian chief with his tribe fleeing from his foes. till, on the banks of a splendid river, he stuck his spear into the ground, exclaiming, "Alabama! Here we rest!" But in vain.

IV. SIN BREAKS THE REST OF THE HAPPIEST HOME. A young bride and bridegroom may think they have reached the goal of earthly happiness. But unless Christ occupies in their hearts the place which he claims, and which he alone can fill, they may soon learn that sin is a great disturber, even in a domestic Eden. Augustine's words are found to be true, "O God, thou hast made us for thyself, and our heart is restless till it rests in thee." Sickness, suffering, death, and other fruits of sin stir up their nest (Deuteronomy 32:11), and remind them that their rest is polluted and therefore insecure.

V. SIN INVADES AND DISTURBS EVEN THE ADOPTED FAMILY OF GOD. For "death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned," so that "ourselves also which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan within ourselves" (Romans 5:12; Romans 8:23). We rejoice to know that "here we have no continuing city," because it is polluted. But already we know of a rest in Christ (Matthew 11:28, 29; Hebrews 4:3), which will be perfected into a rest with Christ (Hebrews 4:9), when we shall have completely" escaped the corruption which is in the world by lust," and be made fully "partakers of the Divine nature" (2 Peter 1:4). To us the summons, "Arise, and depart," will be the signal of emancipation; the curse will be changed into a blessing, for we shall "depart to be with Christ, which is far better." - E.S.P.







Arise ye, and depart: for this is not your rest; because it is polluted
Above all lands the land of Canaan seemed most adapted for a place of rest. And the people whom God had so wondrously led into it, appeared most likely to find a place of rest. Yet to this people, and in respect of this very country, God says, "Arise ye, and depart; for this is not your rest."

I. OUR TERRITORIAL POSITION. "This is not your rest. The body is not the resting place of the spirit. It is a house of dust, a tenement of clay, and it is more like to a tent than to a substantial dwelling. While we are in the body, and while we are resident on the globe, there is very little permanent besides change. If it is true that this is not our rest, no man should try to rest in his temporal condition. And no man should suffer himself to rest. And no man should murmur when he is disturbed. No man should live unprepared for change and disturbance.

II. THE ECHO OF A VOICE WE OFTEN HEAR. Arise ye, and depart." In events that happen, in circumstances that arise, we hear this voice. Hourly do we listen to it. Do not neglect events. See that the voice calls you not only to submit to change, but to acquiesce in it.

III. A REASON FOR SUCH EXPOSURE TO CHARGE. "Because it is polluted." The body is born in sin, and is an instrument of unrighteousness, and this is the reason why the body is doomed to die. God could, if necessary, have changed the body without death. The earth has been the theatre of transgression, and it must be destroyed. Everything we touch we pollute. Nothing is really right here. Everything must be changed until everything becomes right. The removal of sin is essential to rest. We may, from Jesus Christ, find rest within. And there shall be rest in a glorious body, rest in a perfect paradise, rest in an incorruptible inheritance, and rest in the eternal God.

(Samuel Martin.)

This world is not and never was designed to be the place of our happiness or long abode; and it highly concerns us, whilst we are in it, to raise our hearts above it, and prepare to leave it.

I. AS THIS WORLD IS NOT OUR REST, OR THE SCENE OF OUR HAPPINESS, OUR SOULS SHOULD RISE ABOVE IT.

1. Prove the truth of this proposition. All men profess to believe this proposition, and yet look at their pursuits, views, and cares, and you would think they believed nothing less. The truth is that they do not attend to what they believe, or pursue it into its proper and practical consequences. The proposition is not the less certain for the inattention and disregard which some men pay to it, or for their practical contradiction of it. That this world is not and never was designed to be our state of rest or happiness, appears —(1) From the certain nature and properties of all our earthly enjoyments.(2) From the nature and circumstances of our condition in it; which is in every view a state of imperfection and trial.(3) Setting aside all the distasteful ingredients which the many moral and natural evils of life throw into its cup of pleasures, and suppose them ever so pure and constant, yet they are by no means suited to a soul, an immortal soul, conscious of capacities which such delights can never fill, and of cravings they can never gratify. Objects of sense are ill adapted to the wants of the mind.(4) Appeal to personal experience for a proof of the proposition before us. Did you ever taste a pleasure of earth that fully satisfied you? If this world is not our rest, we should take care not to be over fond of it. How are we to live above the world? The only way is to get our hearts fixed on heaven.

II. WE MUST BE CONTINUALLY ENDEAVOURING AFTER A HEAVENLY DISPOSITION. To have our minds habitually attempered to that blessed world. The true temper of the blessed consists of love and purity. Then let us seek that the love of God may have a prevailing influence on our hearts. The Divine image, or moral likeness to God, which consists in righteousness and true holiness, does in a degree enter into the character of all true Christians now. The more we are fit for a better world, the more we shall be out of love with this.

(J. Mason, A. M.)

Homilist.
This injunction does not mean either of the three following things.

1. It does not mean the termination of our mortal life. Life is a talent which we should guard.

2. It does not mean neglect of material interests and duties. We are commanded to be "diligent in business," etc.

3. It does not mean absolute retirement from the world.

1. There is no rest for the soul in a dominant materialism. "This is not your rest." There are four forms in which this dominant materialism exists amongst us, and in neither of which can the soul find rest.(1) There is the gross, sensual form. The sensualist and the voluptuary live in this, but they have no rest. Ask the epicurean and the debauchee.(2) There is the thoroughly secular form. The man who is absorbed in the work of "making money" lives here; but in it he finds no rest. Ask the man who has become the creature of business, etc.(3) There is the intellectual form. The region of mere "fleshy wisdom": — fleshy arts and fleshy literature; —poetry and novels that appeal to the flesh. There is no rest for the soul here. Ask Byron, Burns, Dryden, etc.(4) There is the religious form. There is a fleshly religion amongst men: — a religion of pictures, music, pompous rites and ceremonies; — all appealing to the senses. There is no rest for the soul here. Let it "arise then and depart." Another reason here suggested is —

2. There is pollution for the soul in it. To allow the material in any form to rule us is a sin.(1) Reason shows this. Mind was made to govern matter — the senses were made to be the servants, not the sovereign of the soul.(2) Conscience testifies this. Conscience is everlastingly protesting against the dominion of the flesh.(3) The Bible declares this. "The carnal mind is enmity against God."

3. There is danger to the soul in materialism. "It shall destroy you." "For to be carnally minded is death." The work of soul destruction is going on every moment; the soul decays in this state. Force of intellect, discrimination of judgment, freedom of will, sensibility of conscience, elasticity of soul, are being destroyed. "Arise," then. The voice of philosophy, the voice of history, the voice of the Bible, and the voice of departed saints, all combine in the injunction, "Arise and depart."

(Homilist.)

Cardinal Newman says that liberalism in religion is an error, overspreading as a snare the whole earth; it is sweeping into its own ranks great numbers of able, earnest, virtuous men, elderly men of approved antecedents, young men with a career before them. The Cardinal calls this condition of things "a great apostasy." He thus defines "liberalism in religion." "It is the doctrine that there is no positive truth in religion, — that one creed is as good as another, — that all are to be tolerated, as all are matters of opinion; that revealed religion is not a truth, but a sentiment and a taste." But this condition of mind is not very widespread in England. Take each mark of this liberalism in religion, and ask, "Does it denote large numbers?"

1. The doctrine that there is no positive truth in religion. The Cardinal says, "Every dozen men you meet in the streets represent one or other of as many as seven religions." Then, on this statement, we must conclude that seven out of twelve profess a definite religion. These seven do not hold that there is no positive truth in religion. And what may we say of the other five? They may be indifferent to religion, but they do not disbelieve it. Positivists are a very small class indeed, and even positivism has developed a religion.

2. The doctrine that "one creed is as good as another." Are there many who hold this doctrine? Manifestly, if men choose one form of religion instead of another, it must be because they think one better than another. It is the deep feeling that a man has truer views of God to put before his fellows which gives him power to push his way through obstinate dulness or obstructive narrowness.

3. The doctrine that all creeds are to be tolerated because all are matters of opinion. That all are to be tolerated is certainly now a very widespread conviction. Yet for centuries coercion was the invariable custom, and not toleration. Why do the different Christian com munities now all approve of toleration? Is it because they think the faiths of the sects are all matters of opinion? They know that, in their own case, their faith is a matter of deep conviction; and if they do justice to their neighbours, they know that their faith is equally matter of deep conviction with them.

4. The doctrine that revealed religion is not a truth but a sentiment or taste. Who is it that professes this? It is almost confined to a single person, if indeed even he would admit it, — Mr. Matthew Arnold. If religion fundamentally is a sentiment, it is a sentiment towards something; that something is something we believe exists; we believe in that something, and that is the beginning of a creed; the sentiment postulates an object; the sentiment is love, and the great object is God. Religious liberalism does cling to positive truth, but she will away with positive lies. It does teach that though all creeds are not equally good, there is some good in all creeds, and this is a very different thing.

(W. Page Roberts, M. A.)

Canaan was given to Israel on condition of their faithful obedience. That obedience they had failed to render. It is allowed by commentators that these words may be properly applied to the state of men in the present world. Expand them thus —

1. This world would have been a rest had sin never entered it: but since it is polluted, there is neither contentment nor continuance here, neither solid happiness in the enjoyments it offers, nor an abiding city in any of its domains. It is no longer our permanent abode, but our passage to another country; our inn, not our home.

2. To attempt to rest in the creature after God has commanded us to give it up is sinful. To rest in a connection with unrighteous men — satisfied with a world corrupt through "divers lusts" — is still more polluted.

3. Through the selfish passions and oppressive conduct of men, through the numerous troubles which beset this vale of tears, — the pilgrim can find no rest on earth. It is a relief to think of departing to that world where "the wicked cease from troubling, and the weary are at rest."

I. THIS IS NOT OUR HOME. Our life is as a "handbreadth." Regular and rapid, like the waves of the sea, one generation sweeps off another into the gulf of oblivion. This is but the threshold of your being, and all before you is a boundless eternity.

II. THE WORLD CANNOT SATISFY. Never were the things of the world intended to fill the human mind. In the original formation of man he received a capacity which nothing but God could fill: and though by the fall he lost his relish for God, the same capacity still remains, and all creation cannot fill it now. Many minds, broken loose from their centre, have wandered in search of rest in the creatures; but none have ever found it.

III. AN ATTEMPT TO REST IN THE CREATURE IS SINFUL. The first command is, "Thou shalt have no other Gods before Me." To make a God of anything, is to set the heart supremely upon it, and to attempt to rest in it as a chief source of happiness. To love "the creature more than the Creator." and to look to that for our chief comfort, is to idolise the creature. We may value the creature for the purposes for which it is given to us. To attempt to rest in the creature is to seek a guilty rest.

IV. NO ALLIANCE CAN BE FORMED WITH MEN OF THE WORLD WITHOUT HAZARD OF POLLUTION. "Evil communications corrupt good manners." A great part of the feelings, opinions, conversation, and customs of the world are opposed to the genuine spirit of the Gospel.

V. NO REST CAN BE FOUND IN A WORLD FULL OF INJUSTICE AND OPPRESSION. The collisions of selfish passions keep the world in a flame, and drench it in blood.

VI. NO REST CAN BE FOUND IN A WORLD INUNDATED WITH THE FLOODS OF AFFLICTION. Ever since sin entered, this world has been a vale of tears, a house of correction, to break stubborn spirits to submission, to drive wayward children to obedience by the rod, to humble the proud, and to discover God's severity against sin. Why then should we wish to continue here?

(E. D. Griffin, D. D.)

Homiletic magazine.
The prophecy of Micah stands conspicuous for the bright anticipations it gives of Messiah's days. It is to the desolation of the ten tribes add their scattering among the nations that the text refers.

I. A TRUTH WHICH WE ARE ALL VERY RELUCTANT TO ADMIT. "This is not your rest." A just estimate of human life is a very rare thing, and seldom attained but at the price of painful experience.

1. It was never designed to be our rest. We are not forbidden to seek happiness; we are only forbidden seeking it in the wrong direction. The grand mistake of human nature is to suppose that there is some other good, some higher path to happiness than that which God has made coincident with human duty. God has given us on earth every requisite for our pilgrimage, but nothing adequate to our home. Things on earth are too poor to make us rich; too low to raise us to happiness; too limited and shortlived to fill the capacities of our nobler nature. Life, there fore, is a scene of progress towards something better.

2. It is never found to be our rest in actual experience. At our very best estate the world is altogether vanity. All experience tells us, "This is not your rest." Every broken hope, every unsatisfied desire, every withered rose, every opened grave, says, "This is not your rest."

3. Our religion tells us that this is not our rest, for it is polluted.

II. A CHANGE FOR WHICH WE ARE MOST RELUCTANT TO PREPARE.

1. Our love of life induces us to linger. Like Lot's wife in Sodom. Trials, disappointments, bereavements, and the heaviest personal afflictions, instead of teaching us to take wing, by a perverse alternative seem to root us faster to the soil.

2. Our fears of death induce us to linger. We aim to put the subject far from us. Because the future is dreadful, and the realm unknown.

3. Our neglect of the great salvation heightens our reluctance.

III. IT IS A COMMAND WHICH IT IS OUR INTEREST TO OBEY. Because the command comes from One who is the Lord of both worlds, and who has the highest interest in our welfare. He knows us better than we know ourselves, as He loves us better too. He knows how poor is this world, and how rich is the next.

(Homiletic magazine.)

The land of Canaan is here spoken of as a land not designed for the rest of the people that dwelt in it. Apparently, if any land was properly designated a "land of rest" Canaan was. It is evident that the land had been defiled, polluted by the people, by their idolatries, and by their rebellion against the Most High; and therefore it could no longer be their rest. We may apply the text to ourselves in regard to our own land. Life upon this earth cannot be regarded as man's rest or resting place.

1. Because man's life on it is brief and short. Scripture images are — fleeting as a shadow; vanishing as the vapour; unsettled and shifting as a pilgrimage; swifter than the transit of a weaver's shuttle, or the arrow that is directed to its mark; transient as a tale that is told, as a dream when one awaketh. To the young, entering upon life, it presents an interminable vista — something in their eye like a little eternity that will hardly ever be passed; and before they have time to realise it, the frost of age is upon their heads, and they count the graves of the companions of their youth.

2. Because even that short life is so changing. External circumstances and relationships are ever changing.

3. Look at the images by which life is repre sented, and we come to the same conclusion. A pilgrimage, a journey, a warfare, a voyage.

4. Look at man's pursuits, what do they bring? Do they satisfy the wants and cravings of man's immortal soul? One man's pursuit is wealth; another man is bent on enjoying life. Another man's desire is fame. Where then shall rest be found? There can be no consistency between sin and real rest or happiness. The text says the land was polluted, therefore it was not a place of rest. There can be no rest — true, real, abiding rest — except that which is found in God, its only source.

(Joseph Bardsley, M. A.)

In deep anger Amos intimated that the Lord would command Israel to arise and go forth into a land of captivity; their own land should no longer be their rest and quiet habitation, for they had polluted it by their idolatry, excess, and iniquity. He would bring upon them enemies who should be His instruments for removing them from their then quiet habitation. Canaan is, when spiritually applied to the condition of the children of God, a very apt type of the heavenly country; and the rest which the children of Israel therein enjoyed, is a type of that "rest which remaineth for the people of God." Regard then the text as addressed to every one of us in reference to our present condition in this fallen world, and our future condition in the kingdom of glory.

I. THE MEANING OF REST. By rest we understand cessation from labour, accompanied with peace, quiet, ease, and everything that can mark and constitute comfort, happiness, security. When in a state of rest we do not expect to be troubled with the ordinary perplexities of life. To enjoy rest is to enjoy quietness, security, ease, and peace.

II. THE CERTAINTY OF NOT FINDING REST HERE. How stands the case with us in this world, fallen, and shattered, and disorganised as it is, beautiful though it be in its very ruins? Can we be said to find substantial, solid rest in this world? Has the world no disappointments to meet our best laid schemes? Nothing here is certain. And should worldly possessions and worldly enjoyments remain undisturbed, yet to the man who sets his heart on them, and wishes to be satisfied with them, there is one evil ever near and calculated to mar his enjoyment, and that is the fear of death, which is to such an one a monster evil, which he can find no means of averting.

III. THE PROMISE OF REST TO THE PEOPLE OF GOD. The rest is complete and substantial; it is rest from sin. The departed saint is at once removed from the influence of sin and the power of Satan; nothing can then disturb his tranquillity; no counteracting agency can then affect him; he is in God's keeping, he is safe and safe forever. This rest the redeemed soul is capable of enjoying.

IV. THE WAY IN WHICH THIS REST IS TO BE OBTAINED. The Israelites had one leader given to them to lead them into the land of Canaan. A Joshua has been given to us. He leads those who will submit to His guidance into the heavenly rest prepared for the people of God. To effect this He condescended to take our nature upon Him, and to become man. As such He went in and out among His creatures; and after a life of self-denial and active benevolence, died upon the Cross to make atonement for man's sin. The door to this rest has been thrown wide open by Him.

(T. R. Redwar, M. A.)

Human beings seem universally characterised by a spirit of restlessness. This spirit, existing either as an obvious passion or as a smothered feeling, is inseparably connected with our fallen state, and though very liable to abuse, is yet very capable of producing excellent effects. It excites a propensity to look forward, and to go forward. Hence, the soul refuses to settle into inactivity, and is ever pressing on to the attainment of some future good, real or imaginary. It is very desirable, then, that this restlessness should always be excited by a right cause, and always urge us forward to a right end.

I. WHY WE NEVER CAN HAVE OUR REST IN THIS WORLD.

1. Because our continuance on earth is short and uncertain. "What is our life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away."

2. Even while life lasts it is full of trouble — it has many changes, labours, disappointments, and sorrows. To what changes are we exposed here below! This is not a place of rest but of labour. Think, too, of the disappointments and reverses of life. In view of these various forms of bodily distress, how foolish it appears to look on this state as a state of rest! Can it be said that though we are exposed to trouble ourselves, we may find rest in our friends? But though it is our duty to love them, and to be grateful to them, we shall suffer for it severely if we idolise them as the authors of our happiness, or look to them as our ultimate resource. Instead of finding rest in them, we may suffer doubly in sympathising with them, and the time is coming when we must part.

3. Though our whole life were steady, prosperous, honourable, and pious in the highest degree, still it would not be a satisfying portion to the soul. Some seem to be, almost through life, free from trouble. But we cannot be sure of this. "Each heart knoweth its own bitterness." And when there are no real troubles men are sure to find imaginary ones. And he who lives many days, and rejoices in them all, yet fears at times that the days of darkness will be many. To be altogether at rest we must be sure that our rest will never be disturbed. Nor can the continuance of positive prosperity and ever-increasing wealth satisfy the mind. Equally unsuccessful is the pursuit of mental tranquillity in scenes of frivolity and mirth. Nor is the more rational pursuit of human knowledge found to secure rest to the soul. As speculation and theory cannot satisfy the mind, so neither can great works, in their undertaking, progress, or accomplishment. It is necessary to add that even the people of God, however spiritually-minded and however advanced in the Divine life, cannot find rest here. However happy they may be, they are still subject to some uneasiness; however calm they may feel, their quiet is sometimes disturbed.

4. We never can have our rest in this world because of the prevalence of sin, because "it is polluted." By an unalterable decree of heaven, sin is inconsistent with happiness. As this is a world of rebellion, it cannot be a world of peace. How can they whose minds have been enlightened to see the evil of sin, and in whom its power is in a great measure broken, be at rest while living in such a world as this?

II. ADDRESS TO YOU THE EXHORTATION, "ARISE YE, AND DEPART."

1. Arise and depart in the spirit of your minds. Depart from the idea that the world can give you rest. From all trust in others. But the mind must have something whereon to rest. Without some prop it would sink down into utter despondency. Arise and depart and seek rest directly from God in Christ. Set your hearts on heaven. So depart in the spirit of your minds as to be willing to depart literally from this life, whenever God shall call you. Cultivate that spirit of faith and hope which, when death is comparatively at a distance, will sometimes fill you with a desire to depart and to be with Christ, which is far better.

2. Arise and depart in the tenor of your conduct. Depart from all such pursuits as interfere with the concerns of eternity. Cease from excessive eagerness in the pursuit of worldly gain. Be found at last actively engaged as becomes those who profess that this is not their rest.

III. ADDRESS THREE DIFFERENT CLASSES OF PERSONS.

1. Congratulate those who have ceased to seek their rest in the world — who have arisen and gone to God through Jesus Christ for rest. Recollect that you are only on the way to perfect happiness. Endure, without murmuring, the hardships of the way.

2. Speak to those who are still seeking rest on earth. Boast not of your happiness. The outward appearance is not always the genuine index of the heart.

3. Address those who have lost their former rest and have not found another. We would not have you look again to the world for rest. We would not have you remain where you are. Why not proceed another step and lay hold of those consolations that never fail? In order to this, it is necessary that you do indeed receive the Gospel, and positively join the company of pilgrims. If you would be happy, be decided. Yield yourself up, without reserve, to the Lord Jesus Christ, and He has pledged His Word that He will give you rest.

(James Foote, A. M.)

This was the drum beat of a prophet who wanted to arouse his people from their oppressed and sinful condition; but it may just as properly be uttered now as then. Our great want is rest. God did not make this world to rest in. This world would be a very different world if it were intended for us to lounge in. It does right well for a few hours. You and I have seen men who tried to rest here. In trade. In seeking fame. If there is no rest on earth there is rest in heaven — perfect rest, unending rest.

(T. De Witt Talmage, D. D.)

The arising and the departure, as the passage stands, referred to a visible residence; there was to be a literal change of place. But even there the act was required as part of a religious discipline and for a Divine purpose. The national condition that made such a migration necessary was one incident in a peculiar providential history. The outward removal was the result of an inward state, — a state of moral deterioration and danger. Domestic comfort must be abandoned for the sake of the spiritual safety, purity, and progress of a corrupt, imperilled people. The call is made in the name and by the Spirit of the Lord God. There is no violence in transferring it from a Hebrew to a Christian age. The need that a self-absorbed heart should bestir itself and arise — should go forth and follow God's call, should be moulded into a new form and born into a new life, through separation, travail, and sacrifice, is as independent of the differences of time and country as any attribute of humanity. Indeed, this permanence of the essential realities of life through all social changes, wherever a human soul lives, sins and suffers, furnishes the starting point in this subject.

1. The true growth of every really progressive character is made through a succession of decided departures out of positions, habits, estates of thought and feeling, which have once been familiar, into untried territories. There is the passage from the com paratively irresponsible, and dependent period of early childhood, into the greater self-determination of youth. Within the safe enclosures of a guarded external innocence the moral purposes will not stay any longer. They would not be fulfilling the Creator s design if they did. That is not their rest; they must arise and depart. Youth must see its visions, dream its dreams, and taste its awful liberty. Again, later, there is a transition from youth into maturity. The dream is broken. That graceful, airy tent which the uncommitted thought reared for itself at will is dissolved. A more real habitation, of severer shape, supplants it. Or rather, it is now a field of outdoor service. Chilly as the future looks, the least enterprising must go to meet it. In some vague, indefinite way this decree of departure makes itself felt in all thoughtful souls. Beyond these early and successive departures, from one period of our age to another, there are a great variety of other changes, having the same general purpose and illustrating the same plan of God. Sometimes the dissolution of our former order of life is made unavoidable by conditions beyond our control. A particular line of employment is found to have furnished all of opportunity, or stimulus, or trial, that the great former of our characters intended, and it is broken off. A particular place of residence has exhausted all its helps and ministries upon us: and we must take up the little parcels that we call our goods, and go to be schooled in some new neighbourhood, etc. In other cases, with less visible signals, but not less effectually, we are moved out of our moral and mental habitations. So long as we are in them nothing seems more fixed than our opinions, tastes, and estimates. But they may become too fixed. Estimates of men and things stiffen into prejudices. And hence by one process and another we are led to give many of them up, or to modify them. Events are ordered to that end.

2. These turns of the inner life will often be painful, demanding something more than a natural, or Stoic courage. Religious indifference wishes only to be let alone. But no. Pain comes. The insensible heart must be startled. The earthly and the Divine fight together within us, and we suffer under the conflict. Sometimes this separation from familiar evil is a struggle as between life and death, shaking the whole soul, and tearing its shrinking quick in torture. And yet, such is the power of the conviction of the spirit of truth when humility has once begun its holy and honest work within us, how many even go out to meet that saving sorrow! Blessed is the mind that springs with alacrity and thanksgiving to its better ministry!

3. All true souls, really touched with the Spirit and consecrated to the fellowship of Christian obedience, will be ready for this sacrifice. Not all equally. This, in fact, is the test of the sincerity of faith: the willingness to give up all that has been precious, but not holy, and launch out upon the future, trusting only to an unseen hand. So, through familiar analogies, we are led to see how the sacred provision is made, in our fallen but still aspiring nature, for that one only radical and complete transformation which changes the governing motive of life, — the "regeneration" of the Gospel. It has been said that no period of our life becomes quite intelligible to us till we quit it for the next. And there is certainly truth here. But retrospect is not all our outlook: Our best wisdom is not gained from what is behind us, but from what is above. When the heart is really made new, and is filled with all the holy life of its Lord, it matters nothing what the outward place or scenery may be. To this, then, we are brought, that there is one migration of the soul more complete and adventurous than all besides: that which takes it over from every kind of self-direction into a pure self-renunciation to the Spirit of God; one "going forth" more decisive and sublime than all journeys and discoveries — from the miserable effort to satisfy ourselves into the liberty of the sons of God; one central and all transforming change — that which refashions us, by a new principle of life, from the likeness of sinful men into the likeness of God's Son. All other transitions touch us at certain points or parts of our nature: this transfuses another spirit through the whole; old things pass away, because the old evil is gone, and all things are new.

(F. D. Huntington, D. D.)

Years ago there came to the late Canon Hoare, of Tunbridge Wells, a rich man, then in his old age, to arrange with him about his burial place, and after they had gone carefully over the churchyard, and had chosen the spot where he was to lie, Canon Hoare turned to him and said: "You have chosen a resting place for your body, but have you yet found a resting place for your soul?" Turning round, and looking him full in the face, the old man answered: "You are the first clergyman who ever asked me that question." He went with Canon Hoare into his study, and, to make a long story short, he gave his heart to Christ, and found his resting place, and in Canon Hoare's study to the day of his death a well-known picture representing the saving of a life from a wreck hung. It was the gift of the grateful man, who had found a resting place not only for his body but for his soul. Ask yourself the question now, before you turn to another page: "Have I found a resting place for my soul?"

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