Synopsis of the Books of the Bible, by John Nelson Darby, [1857-62], at sacred-texts.com
In chapter 7 the prophet takes the place of intercessor before God, in the name of the people-presenting to Him at once their deep misery and their iniquities [See Note #1] -speaking in their name, and identifying himself with them; or, more exactly, he takes up the reproach of the city (Mic 6:9), beginning with her grief at the state she is in, but passing on, as we see often in Jeremiah, to his own distinct prophetic office, and so marking out the position of the remnant; speaking, but with the divine mind, as in the midst of the people-having their place, but judging their conduct in it-yet with all the interest attached to the love God bore them. He seeks anxiously among the people for something suitable to their title of the people of God; he finds nothing but fraud and deceit, and lying in wait for blood, that they might do evil with both hands earnestly. Still all is said in the way of the city's confession; so that out of this she can look, as bowing to God's hand-to one who will Himself plead her cause and execute judgment for her.
We find here a striking circumstance. The Lord Jesus declares in the Gospel, that that which the prophet describes, as the height of iniquity, should be produced by the preaching of the gospel. Such is the iniquity of the heart which the light brings into activity, stirring up a hatred which is only the more exasperated by the nearness of its object.
The effect on the prophet of that which he sees around him (that which the Spirit of Christ produces, where he acts in view of the all-pervading evil) was that he looked to Jehovah and waited for the God of his salvation. He takes the position pointed out as that which Jehovah could recognise. He accepts the indignation of Jehovah, until He Himself should plead the cause of His servant. In fact Jehovah would bring him forth to the light-would shew him His righteousness. The deliverance should then be complete; and she who said to Jerusalem, "Where is thy God?" (the constant cry of the unbeliever, who rejoices in the chastisement of the people of Christ, as in the sufferings of Christ Himself, mistaking these righteous dealings of a God whom he knows not)-she who rejoiced in the abasement of those whom Jehovah loved, should be trodden down as the mire of the streets (Mic 7:7-10).
From that time they should come from Egypt, from Assyria, from the seas and the mountains, to the rebuilded city; but before this the land should be desolate. Nevertheless Jehovah would lead His people as a shepherd and plant them again in their land as at first; and God would shew forth His marvellous works, as when He brought them up from Egypt; and the nations should be confounded at all the might of Israel and should be afraid before Jehovah their God.
The last three Verses of the prophecy express the faith and the sentiments of adoration that fill the prophet's heart at the thought of the goodness of God, who pardoned the iniquities of the people and cast their sins into the depths of the sea; who delighted in mercy, and who would perform His promises to Abraham and that which He had sworn unto the fathers in days of old. Who was a God like unto Him, who manifested Himself in His ways of grace towards His beloved people, towards the feeble remnant despised of all, but whom Jehovah in His love never forgot, in His faithfulness never forsook, in spite of all their rebellion?
This character is one of the most touching features of the prophetic office. "If," said Jeremiah, "he be a prophet, let him make intercession to Jehovah, that that which is left may not go to Babylon." "He is a prophet," said God to Abimelech, in speaking of Abraham, "and he will pray for thee." In the Psalms also it is written," There is no prophet left-none to say, How long?"-that is to say, none who knew how to reckon upon the faithfulness of Jehovah their God, and, knowing that it was only a chastisement, plead with Him for His people (compare Isaiah 6). The Spirit of God declares judgment indeed on God's part, but, because God loved the people, becomes a Spirit of intercession in the prophet for the people. With us the same thing is developed in a rather different, but more blessed and perfect manner. Intelligence of the will of God enters more into it: "If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you." And all are prophets in this (Jo1 5:16).