Micah is a prophet to Judah during the 8th century BC. During his ministry, he witnesses the fall of Israel and the near fall of Judah. Lack of religion is not the reason for the demise of Zion; for Israel and Judah are filled with high places and sacred liturgies. No, God sees the religiosity of the people, and especially the false preaching of the prophets, and it sickens him to his stomach. Therefore, because Israel and Judah mix pagan rites with Yahweh’s worship, and because Israel does not apply God’s ethic to their daily lives, devastation is imminent. Assyria and Babylon are being summoned from abroad. Deconstruction, deportation, and exile are on the horizon.
However, in the midst of Micah’s hard-to-swallow sermon, future grace, restoration, and victory are promised. Micah is given prophetic insight, and as he looks through the corridor of time, he sees the coming of the Messiah and the inauguratiare of the Kingdom of God (Church). Some of what Micah sees comes to pass in the first century AD. Other components of his prophecy are still being fulfilled today.
So, what does Micah see? How are the end times going to pan out according to this Old Testament prophet?
- The mountain, house, or kingdom of the LORD will be magnificently reestablished. (4:1)
- The mountain, house, or kingdom of the LORD will include Israel and the nations. (4:1-3)
- The mountain, house, or kingdom of the LORD will be characterized by greater knowledge, increased holiness, and internal peace. (4:2-5)
- The mountain, house, or kingdom of the LORD will be made up of disregarded peoples. (4:6-7)
- The mountain, house, or kingdom of the LORD will reign supreme over all. (4:8)
- These “Latter Days” will come following the deportation and exile of Israel. (4:9-13)
- These “Latter Days” will come with one who is to be the Messianic King of Israel. (5:2)
- These “Latter Days” will come with one who is actually very, very old — ancient. (5:2)
- These “Latter Days” will come with one who is born of woman in the city of Bethlehem. (5:2-3)
- These “Latter Days” will come with one who will be an international shepherd. (5:4)
- These “Latter Days” will come with one who is the “peace” of his people. (5:5)
- Though he reigns and shepherds victoriously, enemies will still abound. (5:5-6)
- Despite this “Assyrian” oppression, his people will thrive like young lions; they will cover the earth like morning dew. (5:7-9)
- Ultimately, the LORD will squelch all rebellion. “And in that day, declares the LORD, I will cut off your horses from among you and will destroy your chariots; and I will cut off the cities of your land and throw down your strongholds; and I will cut off sorceries from your hand, and you shall have no more tellers of fortunes; and I will cut off your carved images and your pillars from among you, and you shall bow down no more to the work of your hands … and in anger and wrath I will execute vengeance on the nations that did not obey.” (5:10-15)
Therefore friends, how does this apply to Christians today?
Consider the power of God. He brings about the destruction of Israel and Judah, and he does so using the kingdoms of Assyrian and Babylon. He rules over the nations and moves the hearts of kings in whatever manner he pleases. The United States, Israel, Palestine, Russia, Iran, North Korea and China are all pawns on God’s chessboard. Nothing is out of control; all is operating according to his divine and hidden plan.
Consider the truth of God. He prophesied regarding Assyria, Babylon, Bethlehem, and the international consistency of his church. He, who knows the end from the beginning, does not lie. He is never mistaken, and he never operates on “Plan B.” Therefore, the wise man will daily reacquaint himself with the sacred scriptures in order to learn wisdom from the Divine Instructor who knows best.
Consider the long-suffering nature of God. He who could vanquish his opponents now gives them time to repent and bow the knee. All who are wise will “kiss the Son” and swear their allegiance to him.
Consider the blessings of God. Yes, “Assyrians” still remain, and they hate the King and his people. However, as we worship in the “Latter Days” between Christ’s first and second comings, we are granted wisdom, faith, courage and peace. Instead of being fearful of modern culture and world affairs, let us be like “young lions among the flocks of sheep.” Persecution is coming our way, but God’s truth and his kingdom marches on. Today is the day when God’s people and his influence are spreading out from east to west. Ultimately, all is OK because the King has come, is ruling, and is coming again. Let us not be cowardly. Let us not be depressed. Let us not be impotent. Let us lift high the cross and claim more territory for Jesus Christ.