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Book of Micah: Chapter 4

Micah’s message moved from the destruction of Jerusalem (606-586 BC) to “the last days”, when God will establish His throne upon the earth (v.1). The period known as the “last days” climaxes with the return of the Messiah to establish His Kingdom on earth. Micah begins by promising that God would someday gather His people and they would return to the land. “And many nations will come, and say, Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths. For the law will go out from Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem” (v.2). God promises that Jerusalem will become the world’s most important city, the temple would be rebuilt, and true worship of God would be restored (Ezek 40-48). Micah also foretold that the Lord would someday return to judge the whole earth and as a result, “they (the nations) would beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks” (vv. 3,4).

When Micah delivered his message, the situation for Israel and Judah seemed hopeless. In 734-732 BC, the King of Assyria led a military campaign against Aram (Syria), Philistia, and part of Israel and Judah. Judah, Ammon, Edom, and Moab were paying tribute to the Assyrian king in order to live peacefully in the land. While the Northern Kingdom of Israel lost most of its territory and its inhabitants were exiled or captured. Despite this tragic situation, Micah encouraged the remnant of the Lord to look ahead to what God had promised for His chosen people. Micah’s message was not just about the promise of peace and economic stability for Israel; it was a call to obey God. Micah declared that while other nations may serve their gods that we will walk in the name of Jehovah, the true God, and obey Him alone (v.5).

God promised that the Messiah will one day rule over Israel and Jerusalem will become the capital city of the new Kingdom of God. Jerusalem had once been the capital of the city of David, the shepherd-king who cared for the flock (Ps. 78: 67-72); but, after the death of Josiah, none of his four successors were godly men. The Messiah, the Son of David, will one day reign from Jerusalem and care for His flock as the faithful Shepherd-King (vv.6-8). The name “Jerusalem” means “foundation of peace”, and yet the city has been the center of conflict over the centuries. Today, travelers to Jerusalem will not find the temple; because the Mosque of Omar is there. This fulfills biblical prophecy when Israel will not have a king or a temple in Jerusalem to worship God [Hosea 3:4-5]. Someday a new Jerusalem will descend from heaven [Zech 8:2-3, 21-23; Rev 3:12]. Scripture tells us that Jerusalem will become a place of peace and safety for everyone, where the nations will flock to Jerusalem seeking God and asking for His blessing.

Israel was in travail, like a woman with child, besieged by an enemy who would take them to Babylon (vv.9-10); but, exile wasn’t the end for the nation. God promised that no matter what may happen that He would care for them (v.11). Had they listened to the Prophet Jeremiah and peacefully surrendered to the Babylonians, their cities and the temple would have been saved. As foretold by Jeremiah, the exile ended after 70 years, when a remnant returned to rebuild Jerusalem. Again, Micah turned his focus on the “last days” where Israel is being attacked by many nations. Israel will look defenseless; but, the Lord will give them ”horns and hoofs” (symbols of military power) as they attack their enemies. This battle is called the “Battle of Armageddon”, although the phrase is not found in scripture (Rev. 19:17-21). When the battle is over, Israel will give all the “spoils of war” (vv. 12,13) to the service of the Lord, ruler of the whole earth.

Key Verse:
“In the last days 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 stream to it.” ~ Micah 4:1

Questions to ponder:

  • When your circumstances look grim and you feel overwhelmed, how do you respond? Do you look to God for help?
  • One day, the Messiah will reign from Jerusalem and care for His flock as a faithful Shepherd-King. How does this fact encourage us? How should it motivate us to conduct our lives?
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