Reading: Micah 4, Revelation 21.
Verse 3 and 4 speak about that beautiful prospect, when the Word of God reigns. Those well known words ‘They shall beat their swords into plowshares’. Many people misuse these words for their doctrine of pacifism.
This is a promise that comes to fulfillment, if we listen to the Word of God and if the Word of God reigns on this earth. It starts with listening to the Word of God. Only the Word of God brings real peace. The Word of God changes lives. Through Christ’s resurrection we receive new life. The work of the Holy Spirit in us.
The Word of the Lord will go out from Jerusalem. Christ sent His apostles into the world, and now the church continues to preach the Word of God in this world and to this world. That brings change. That works eternal peace. Everyone shall sit under his vine and under his fig tree, and no one shall make them afraid; for the mouth of the LORD of hosts has spoken. Where God speaks, there is peace. Peace with God.
About Jerusalem it is said in verse 1 that the mountain of the LORD’s temple will be established as chief among the mountains, it will be raised above the hills, and peoples will flow to it. We see a Jerusalem in Israel, that is divided and a source of much unrest and even war. A temple hill, that is now occupied by the synagogue of Satan, a Mosque. God is not speaking and Micah is not prophesying about political power and an earthly, military victory. It is about Jerusalem as the place where God dwells and from where He speaks His Word.
Satan does his best to hinder the fulfillment of these prophesies. He occupies mount Zion, the hill of the temple. In the year 70, the temple was destroyed and that seemed to be the end. No temple, the holy city occupied by the enemies. How can God’s promise come true now? As long as the temple mountain is occupied by enemies?
In later centuries, many people, even Christians, have tried to rebuild the temple. Especially in the time of the crusades. But they never succeeded. On the contrary. It may seem as if Satan won the battle. He erected there, at the temple mountain, a temple for himself, the temple of the false worship, the idolatry of another God, the great Mosque which we can see now dominating Jerusalem.
Where is God? Does He not fulfill His promise? God will certainly fulfill His promise. One part of the promise is being fulfilled here on this earth, in the world in which we live. The Word of God went out from Jerusalem, into the world. God’s Word is being preached all over the earth.
At the same time, we also know from the Bible that God is preparing a new Jerusalem, a holy city and a temple, which does not have its equal on this earth. Jerusalem in the prophecy of Micah stands for the worship of God, where all peoples will be gathered to listen to God and receive His blessing. That will finally be fulfilled in the New Jerusalem, which glory and splendor will surpass every glory and splendor that can ever be achieved on this earth.
The people of God on this earth are on their way to that Jerusalem, preaching God’s Word. We are in the desert on our way to the new, heavenly Canaan, with the heavenly, new Jerusalem as the capital. There is our citizenship.
If we want to see Jerusalem, then we must look at the church now, the spiritual house that God builds for Himself on this earth. And we must look on high, in heaven, where Christ works, to prepare His bride. In Revelation 21 we read that John saw the new heaven and the new earth. And he saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.
Christ is gathering His church from all peoples and nations on this earth. With that, He is building Jerusalem. The law will go out from Zion, the Word of the LORD from Jerusalem. That is, from His people. We are the temple of God. We are the pillar and foundation of the truth, that is God’s Word. We are the New Jerusalem. Together with the church of all times and all places. We are the house of God.
As Micah prophesies in verse 5: For all people walk each in the name of his god, but we will walk in the name of the Lord our God Forever and ever.
There will be no sinful and weak people anymore, but we all will be renewed, all delivered from the curse of sin and death. No longer we go in the way of the heathen people, who all go in their own ways. We will walk in the name of the LORD our God, forever and ever. His Word will rule our lives, and where God speaks, there will be peace. Forever. There God’s promises will be fulfilled.
God promised His people when He led them through the desert, that they all would sit, each man under his vine and his fig tree. And we read in 1 Kings 4:25, that in the time of Solomon:
Judah and Israel dwelt safely, each man under his vine and his fig tree, from Dan as far as Beersheba, all the days of Solomon.
It was not the definitive peace. Therefore, God now repeats through Micah, that this promise will completely come true. The eternal peace will come, from God. As Revelation 21 describes, that the gates of the New Jerusalem shall not be shut because it will be eternal peace.
Key Text: Micah 4:5: For all people walk each in the name of his god, but we will walk in the name of the Lord our God forever and ever.
Meditation: We will walk in the name of the Lord our God forever and ever. We expect a new heaven and a new earth. We expect the New Jerusalem. Our entire life is a looking forward to that, as pilgrims on our way to the city where our citizenship is. Consider how much this expectation determines our life. Or are there other things that have a greater influence on our way of life than this hope?