Reading: Micah 4
Micah prophesies about a beautiful future for the mountain of the LORD’s temple and for Jerusalem. It may come as a surprise, right away after what he prophesied at the end of chapter 3, where he spoke about the destruction of Jerusalem. The situation in those days was not very positive: the Chaldeans were conquering many nations all around them. Many would have asked in concern: What about Judah?
There were times before that Jerusalem was in difficult situations, but time and again God rescued them from their enemies and the enemies were not able to conquer and destroy Jerusalem. And that was because of God’s promise to David. As we can read in 2 Kings 8:19 Yet the Lord would not destroy Judah, for the sake of His servant David, as He promised him to give a lamp to him and his sons forever.
They trusted in that, but not in the right way. It made them complacent.
God told His people when they were entering the promised land, that there was not only a blessing in case of obedience, but also a curse in case of disobedience. In Deuteronomy 28 those curses are spelled out.
In Deuteronomy 28 we read:
25 “The Lord will cause you to be defeated before your enemies; you shall go out one way against them and flee seven ways before them; and you shall become troublesome to all the kingdoms of the earth.
33 A nation whom you have not known shall eat the fruit of your land and the produce of your labor, and you shall be only oppressed and crushed continually.
36 “The Lord will bring you and the king whom you set over you to a nation which neither you nor your fathers have known, and there you shall serve other gods—wood and stone.
41 You shall beget sons and daughters, but they shall not be yours; for they shall go into captivity. 42 Locusts shall consume all your trees and the produce of your land.
43 The alien who is among you shall rise higher and higher above you, and you shall come down lower and lower. 44 He shall lend to you, but you shall not lend to him; he shall be the head, and you shall be the tail.
45 Moreover all these curses shall come upon you and pursue and overtake you, until you are destroyed, because you [m]did not obey the voice of the Lord your God, to keep His commandments and His statutes which He commanded you.
49 The Lord will bring a nation against you from afar, from the end of the earth, as swift as the eagle flies, a nation whose language you will not understand,
64 Then the Lord will scatter you among all peoples, from one end of the earth to the other, and there you shall serve other gods, which neither you nor your fathers have known—wood and stone.
But the problem was that they only listened and read the Word of God with coloured glasses. They refused to listen to the words about punishment, the words of warning.
Then Micah had to prophesy that although God does remember His promise, He is also going to punish. This punishment will serve to purify the people, so that the remnant about which Micah spoke at the end of chapter 2 may return and be purified, to be God’s chosen people. They will live again in Jerusalem. This remnant will grow out to a huge people, because from all over the world, peoples and nations will come to Zion and to Jerusalem, because they will seek the LORD.
Now it shall come to pass in the latter days
That the mountain of the Lord’s house
Shall be established on the top of the mountains,
And shall be exalted above the hills;
And peoples shall flow to it.
2 Many nations shall come and say,
“Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
To the house of the God of Jacob;
He will teach us His ways,
And we shall walk in His paths.”
For out of Zion the law shall go forth,
And the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
That will all happen in the last days. Not immediately, but only after the previous prophecies about punishment and exile will be fulfilled. God’s people should know that not everyone will be part of it. Only those who remain faithful to Him. Only a remnant will return. But they must also know that God is able to do wonderful things through that remnant. He will not give up Jerusalem, the place of His dwelling.
The beginning of the fulfillment of this promise we may see in the coming of Christ. In Acts 1:8 we read: But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.
That is the theme throughout the entire book of Acts. Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and to the end of the earth. There we see this prophecy being fulfilled, literally: the Word of the LORD goes out from Jerusalem!
That is continuing. We are part of that process. That started on Pentecost in Jerusalem. The Word goes all over the earth. It will end again in Jerusalem, on the day that Christ returns. Then the New Jerusalem will come down from heaven and that is the last part of the promise, the prophecy of Micah that will be fulfilled: verse 1.
We live in the time of the fulfillment of the prophecies. In the last days. God is working to fulfill all His promises. We can see it around us. Isn’t that wonderful? Oh, how the people in the Old Testament had longed to see these days. Now we see it, and let us therefore rejoice!
Constantly the Word of God goes to the nations. Constantly nations are coming and say: ‘God will teach us His ways And we shall walk in His paths.’
Key Text: Micah 4:3 : They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into [a]pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.
Meditation: Micah 4:3 is the same as Isaiah 2:2-4. The text from Isaiah can be found on a wall at the building of the United Nations in New York. However, Joel 3:10 uses the same words to say the opposite. Wh did the UN choose the first text (from Isaiah) and not the second (from Joel)? And what does that teach us about how we should use Bible texts?