But truly I am full of power by the spirit of the LORD, and of judgment, and of might, to declare to Jacob his transgression…
The expression, "But truly (אוּלָם)," implies a contrast to what precedes. The false prophets were in alliance with the tyrannical princes, and were destined to humiliation and to the utter loss of whatever power they once possessed. But Micah, conscious of a Divine calling and of fidelity to it, can point to himself as an illustration of God's precious gift of a faithful ministry. Note -
I. ITS QUALIFICATIONS. The fundamental one is:
1. The indwelling of the Spirit of God. The true prophet or minister magnifies his office, but does not exalt himself. He traces all he has to God, as does St. Paul (1 Corinthians 15:10; 1 Timothy 1:12-16). Pretenders to the prophetic or pastoral office were "sensual (ψυχικοί), not having the Spirit," inspired only by the spirit of t h e world, or of self; but true ministers can use St. Paul's words (1 Corinthians 2:12), for they are relying on their Divine Master's promise of the Holy Spirit.
2. Hence spiritual power. It may be special and superhuman, such as prophets and apostles enjoyed. But the more valuable power is that which enables us to witness for Christ (Acts 1:8), to exert a holy influence (2 Corinthians 3:2, 3), and to preach "in demonstration of the Spirit and of power." Power is a general term; the Divine Spirit manifests his presence by a diversity of gifts appropriate to special necessities. Two of these are mentioned here as needed by the prophet and, in truth, by every faithful minister.
3. Judgment, including such thoughts as these - a clear sense of God's equity in his dealings (Ezekiel 18.), an impartial utterance of God's sentences (Jeremiah 1:16-19), and therefore discrimination in all his messages and in his treatment of his hearers, "doing nothing by partiality," "rightly dividing the Word of truth," "warning every man and teaching every man." Such a ministry will emit light as well as heat, will show discretion as well as zeal.
4. Moral courage. "Might," such as the apostles sought and received (Acts 4:29-31; cf. Ephesians 6:19, 20; Colossians 4:4; 2 Timothy 1:7). All these gifts are needed in a high degree - "full," etc. "However the Lord may bless the meanest gifts of such as be honest, yet neither are ministers to be empty vessels nor swelled with ostentation, but a large measure of real furniture is to be sought after." All these qualifications were more or less fully manifested in the true prophets of God; e.g. Elijah (Ecclus. 48:1), Isaiah (Isaiah 58:1), Jeremiah (Jeremiah 6:11, 27), Ezekiel (Ezekiel 3:8-11), and many others.
II. ITS DIFFICULTIES. The main difficulty here suggested arises from its relation to the sins of men.
1. The burden of the Lord laid on ministers requires them to be willing to be used in the disagreeable task of convicting communities and individuals of sin. This may be traced in the long prophetical and apostolical succession of God's true ministers, including such illustrious names as Moses, Samuel, Nathan, Elijah, Daniel, John the Baptist, Peter, and Paul. We too must be prepared to show to the Church and to individuals their sins in trade, their transgressions of the royal law in their conduct, whether towards servants or masters. Thus we may seem to many "men of strife," or even enemies (Galatians 4:16).
2. But we do not successfully "show" to men their transgressions unless they are induced to abandon their sin and accept God's method of deliverance. We seek to take men alive out of the snare of the devil (see 2 Timothy 2:24 26, Revised Version). It is a terrible thing to convict a man of sin, and yet fail to save him, thus increasing his condemnation.
III. ITS ENCOURAGEMENTS.
1. Frequent successes. We learn from Jeremiah 26:17-19 that Micah's message on this occasion led to the conversion of Hezekiah, or to the reawakening of his zeal as a reformer. The Christian minister's song of victory is often heard (2 Corinthians 2:14).
2. Constant Divine approval. Sometimes a sense of failure causes a feeling of isolation and of heart sickness, such as Jeremiah often felt. But even then we can fall back on the sense of the abiding presence of God (John 16:32), and of his approving smile (Isaiah 49:4, 5). - E.S.P.
Parallel VersesKJV: But truly I am full of power by the spirit of the LORD, and of judgment, and of might, to declare unto Jacob his transgression, and to Israel his sin.
WEB: But as for me, I am full of power by the Spirit of Yahweh, and of judgment, and of might, to declare to Jacob his disobedience, and to Israel his sin.