O you that are named the house of Jacob, is the spirit of the LORD straitened? are these his doings?…
The prophet is reproving the people for their opposition to the servants of God, and their attachment to false prophets. Their rulers would silence the prophets of the Lord, because they wished to hear no more of their alarming predictions, but to be told only smooth and flattering things. Micah is therefore commissioned to declare that they should be deprived of this privilege.
I. THE WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IN OUR SALVATION. The recovery of fallen men to the love and likeness of God is usually expressed by the word "salvation." Salvation is ascribed in Scripture to the love of God the Father, in whose infinite benevolence it originated. It was, however, necessary that an adequate atonement should be made for human transgressions. This work, assigned to Christ in the economy of redemption, He voluntarily undertook, and He alone could execute it. All the blessings of salvation are ascribed to Him. But the death of Christ would have been fruitless without the work of the Holy Ghost. Without this there could be no conviction of our need of salvation, no discernment of the way in which alone it can be obtained, no desire to possess it, no faith, no hope, no love, nothing of that purity of heart, destitute of which no man can see the Lord. The Spirit proceedeth from the Father. He gave His Son that He might send His pure and Holy Spirit into our depraved hearts to form us for communion with, and the everlasting enjoyment of Himself. We are equally indebted for the Spirit to the love of God and the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.
II. THE WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IN THE PLENITUDE OF HIS INFLUENCE. It is perfectly consistent with the practical design of Scripture to apply a truth spoken on a particular occasion to the general purposes of the Christian life. Is the Spirit of the Lord straitened? No; we are to set no bounds to His power; we are not to circumscribe the measure of His influence; our expectations and our endeavours should correspond to the fulness of His grace. We may infer that the influences of the Holy Spirit are not straitened from the extent and merit of the Saviour's sufferings, and the greatness and design of His exaltation; from the abundant measure in which the gifts of the Spirit were communicated on the day of Pentecost; from the predictions of Scripture concerning the future prosperity of the Christian Church, and from the eminence in piety and usefulness to which many have attained. The truth we press on attention is, that every one may, through faith in the Saviour, and in answer to prayer, certainly obtain all the assistance from the Holy Spirit which he needs. This is evident from a multitude of promises. The subject calls for an admonitory application.
1. It condemns an undue dependence on instruments.
2. It forbids an exclusive attachment to particular subjects.
3. It censures those who despair of the conversion of others.
4. It remonstrates with such as are ready to abandon their efforts to do good from a feeling of their own insufficiency.
5. It should urge us to unite in all scriptural plans of usefulness, instead of confining ourselves to particular methods.
6. It frowns on a bigoted party spirit.
7. Beware of resisting and grieving the Spirit.
Parallel VersesKJV: O thou that art named the house of Jacob, is the spirit of the LORD straitened? are these his doings? do not my words do good to him that walketh uprightly?