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There are grand things substituted for mean things, gracious for malignant, grand for stricken, peaceable for tyrannical often found in the Bible, especially where the work of the Messiah is concerned, and His own substitution for the believing sinner becomes the medium of pardon and the path of peace; and it can apply at the national level in its own measure.
Below are some of the contrasts commissioned by the Lord, and these tend to coalesce in the mind, to create a summary index to the transformations. Then come to light the swathes of sinners coming from their repositories to redemption, one way, with various strands of supplication as the full Gospel complement is made up.
BEAUTY FOR ASHES
OIL OF JOY FOR MOURNING
HEALING FOR THE BROKEN-HEARTED
LIBERTY FOR CAPTIVES
OPENING OF PRISON FOR THE BOUND
GARMENT OF PRAISE FOR THE SPIRIT OF HEAVINESS
GOOD TIDINGS FOR THE POOR
SALVATION FOR THE LAME
PRAISE FOR SHAME (v. 19)
HEARTFELT SINGING FOR INTERNATIONAL SCORN (vv. 19-20)
GATHERING FOR SCATTERING (vv. 19-20)
CASTING OUT FOR CAPTORS (vv. 15,18)
MEEKNESS FOR REJOICING IN PRIDE (vv. 11-12)
DIVINE REJOICING FOR DISASTER (vv. 15,17)
NO UNRIGHTEOUSNESS FOR A DECEITFUL TONGUE (v. 13)
RESTORATION OF POST-DISASTER ZION TO ITS FORMER STATE (vv. 14-15)
DIVINE RIGHTEOUSNESS FOR BRIARS AT BEST (vv.4,9)
WONDERS FOR WOES (vv. 13,15)
MASTERY FOR MOCKERY (v. 10)
DEFENCE FOR DESOLATION (vv. 13-15)
SALVATION FOR DESOLATION (vv. 18-20)
PEACE FOR ZION INSTEAD OF INVETERATE REBUKE (6, vv. 9-15, 7, v. 7)
TRIUMPH FOR TYRANNY (vv. 15-17)
REPOPULATION FOR DESOLATION (vv. 11-13)
DIVINE PLEADING FOR WRATHFUL CONDEMNATION (vv. 9-10).
CONTRIBUTIONS OF GRACE IN ITS PLACE
Inseparably linked in Micah is the restoration of a justly condemned Zion, the case for her prevailing by divine pleading and overthrow of mocking oppressors, to a reliance on the righteousness of God only (as in Psalm 71). Thus, a shambling shame of that name (Micah 6:9) becomes a site for fortitude and strength. This restored Lordship induces fear in the persecuting peoples because of the Lord.
As in Psalm 110:3, with Micah 7, this is both an exculpation by divine grace from richly deserved punishment, now concluded, and an extrication from the terrorising bonds of international oppression, that they MIGHT freely worship the Lord at last (Isaiah 49:14,24-26. 51:21-23). God, we read, will feed their oppressors with their own flesh! oppressors oppressed; for Zion, once opulent but now stricken in divine wrath (Isaiah 49:16-21), is not forgotten, and restoration will be divinely wrought, His hands engraved, the lost saved. First sin shattered Zion, then God shatters the sequences of sin (Isaiah 51:17-23,55), freely. Sin deceived; faith receives.
As their special case reaches its culmination, so the glorious case, totally in common spiritually for Jew and Gentile, reaches its consummation.
This glory is shared both by the one and the other (Revelation 7, Galatians 3:23, Jeremiah 16:19-21), for it is not enough that the Lord save the elect of Israel, there being a huge access to Gentiles, who with the same faith find the same Lord, the sins of their hearts and nations parallel to, but not nationally identical with those of the Jews. This is so because ONLY ONE nation had a place with its Zion, at the first, glorious in the beauty of holiness, then lost it, then suffered for it, then had it restored. Yet the restoration in its infinite solicitude has the same basis (Isaiah 53), namely the purity, passion, mercy and compassion of God issuing in the cross of Christ (Galatians 6:14); and when this world is finished (Isaiah 51:6, Matthew 24:35), there will be no more to fulfil, for all will be lost in the boundless beauty of a new heavens and a new earth.
Already, for Jew or Gentile individual, there is a new heart and spirit and a renewal of the mind (Romans 12:2); soon Israel will receive the gratuitous but promised restoration of a declarative Jerusalem. Thus, where God chose to pay the sacrifice will be focussed past all philosophy (cf. Micah 4); but the world will be covered with the knowledge of the glory of God as the waters cover the sea in a divine righteousness past all hypocrisy and every ruse. NONE but God will be exalted (Isaiah 2).