Yesterday, we learned that the Book of the Prophet Micah is divided into 3 sermons. We stopped in the middle of the 2nd one. If you missed it, click here to read or listen to that one first. The Book of Micah is short, but it’s packed with some of the best advice you could EVER get. In these next chapters, we’ll find some passages that are are familiar. Hopefully, you will recognize them. What’s important to note is that the prophets of the Old Testament heard God’s Words via the Holy Spirit, who didn’t necessarily pinpoint WHEN things would happen. From where we stand now in the 21st century, we see that some of these things were fulfilled in history and some are yet to be fulfilled.
This is one book where you really get to know God’s nature. If you truly want to get to get to know God, you’re in the right place. Let’s dig in…
Micah 4 – The Lord’s Future Reign
In the last days, the mountain of the Lord’s house
will be the highest of all—
the most important place on earth.
It will be raised above the other hills,
and people from all over the world will stream there to worship.
2 People from many nations will come and say,
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
to the house of Jacob’s God.
There he will teach us his ways,
and we will walk in his paths.”
For the Lord’s teaching will go out from Zion;
his word will go out from Jerusalem.
3 The Lord will mediate between peoples
and will settle disputes between strong nations far away.
They will hammer their swords into plowshares
and their spears into pruning hooks.
Nation will no longer fight against nation,
nor train for war anymore.
4 Everyone will live in peace and prosperity,
enjoying their own grapevines and fig trees,
for there will be nothing to fear.
The Lord of Heaven’s Armies
has made this promise!
5 Though the nations around us follow their idols,
we will follow the Lord our God forever and ever.
Israel’s Return from Exile
6 “In that coming day,” says the Lord,
“I will gather together those who are lame,
those who have been exiles,
and those whom I have filled with grief.
7 Those who are weak will survive as a remnant;
those who were exiles will become a strong nation.
Then I, the Lord, will rule from Jerusalem
as their king forever.”
8 As for you, Jerusalem,
the citadel of God’s people,
your royal might and power
will come back to you again.
The kingship will be restored
to my precious Jerusalem.
9 But why are you now screaming in terror?
Have you no king to lead you?
Have your wise people all died?
Pain has gripped you like a woman in childbirth.
10 Writhe and groan like a woman in labor,
you people of Jerusalem,
for now you must leave this city
to live in the open country.
You will soon be sent in exile
to distant Babylon.
But the Lord will rescue you there;
he will redeem you from the grip of your enemies.
11 Now many nations have gathered against you.Micah 4 NLT (bold emphasis mine)
“Let her be desecrated,” they say.
“Let us see the destruction of Jerusalem.”
12 But they do not know the Lord’s thoughts
or understand his plan.
These nations don’t know
that he is gathering them together
to be beaten and trampled
like sheaves of grain on a threshing floor.
13 “Rise up and crush the nations, O Jerusalem!”
says the Lord.
“For I will give you iron horns and bronze hooves,
so you can trample many nations to pieces.
You will present their stolen riches to the Lord,
their wealth to the Lord of all the earth.”
In the Last Days
Friend, we’re living in the last days. That’s why studying Bible Prophecy is crucial right now. One thing to remember is that to God, there is no such thing as time. He’s been to the future. He knows what’s going to happen. Eternity started long before Genesis 1 was written or even imagined.
Swords into Plowshares
You might be thinking — where have I heard that before? Yes, verse 3 is also found in the Book of Isaiah, chapter 2, verse 4. Who copied whom? Well, Isaiah and Micah both lived in Judah at the same time. The Holy Spirit needed this statement to be told twice. He does that a lot. When you see a phrase repeated in the Bible, pay attention, it’s IMPORTANT!
This verse is also carved into stone in a huge concrete monument at the U.N. in NYC. However, though they attribute it to Isaiah, they left out the first line, “The Lord will mediate between peoples and will settle disputes between strong nations far away.” (Not the U.N.)
It’s interesting also, that when we get to the Prophet Joel, he says the exact opposite. But, we’ll discuss that in a few weeks. We’ve got more of Isaiah to go through first.
The end of this chapter foretells of the coming Babylonian captivity which happens in 586 BC. Micah wrote this c. 735 BC. Still a ways to go. See, God was giving the Jews ample time to repent of their idolatry, greed and corruption. Hence this 60-year warning. You’d think they’d listen and obey. Since the Babylonian captivity, Israel has not had a ruling monarch. They’ve had a parliamentarian government. King Jesus will be their next and final King. That prophecy comes next…
Mobilize! Marshal your troops!
The enemy is laying siege to Jerusalem.
They will strike Israel’s leader
in the face with a rod.
A Ruler from Bethlehem
2 But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah,
are only a small village among all the people of Judah.
Yet a ruler of Israel,
whose origins are in the distant past,
will come from you on my behalf.
3 The people of Israel will be abandoned to their enemies
until the woman in labor gives birth.
Then at last his fellow countrymen
will return from exile to their own land.
4 And he will stand to lead his flock with the Lord’s strength,
in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God.
Then his people will live there undisturbed,
for he will be highly honored around the world.
5 And he will be the source of peace.
When the Assyrians invade our land
and break through our defenses,
we will appoint seven rulers to watch over us,
eight princes to lead us.
6 They will rule Assyria with drawn swords
and enter the gates of the land of Nimrod.
He will rescue us from the Assyrians
when they pour over the borders to invade our land.
The Remnant Purified
7 Then the remnant left in Israel
will take their place among the nations.
They will be like dew sent by the Lord
or like rain falling on the grass,
which no one can hold back
and no one can restrain.
8 The remnant left in Israel
will take their place among the nations.
They will be like a lion among the animals of the forest,
like a strong young lion among flocks of sheep and goats,
pouncing and tearing as they go
with no rescuer in sight.
9 The people of Israel will stand up to their foes,
and all their enemies will be wiped out.
10 “In that day,” says the Lord,Micah 5 NLT
“I will slaughter your horses
and destroy your chariots.
11 I will tear down your walls
and demolish your defenses.
12 I will put an end to all witchcraft,
and there will be no more fortune-tellers.
13 I will destroy all your idols and sacred pillars,
so you will never again worship the work of your own hands.
14 I will abolish your idol shrines with their Asherah poles
and destroy your pagan cities.
15 I will pour out my vengeance
on all the nations that refuse to obey me.”
Here’s where the prophecies might get fuzzy. I once heard a Bible prophecy preacher explain that when the Old Testament prophets got the word, they wrote it down as God gave it to them. It was like looking at mountain ranges. You see the peaks, but you don’t see the valleys in between. The peak may seem close, but it’s really miles away. I thought about this as I took the picture below. Right behind the wildflowers was a cliff, then a valley, then another mountain. That peak you see in the middle is really 2 or 3 valleys away. Now, keep that in mind as we go through these verses.
Verse 2 foretells that the Messiah will be born in Bethlehem near Jerusalem. For us, that happened already and we learn from Luke how God orchestrated the census and everything else so that Mary and Joseph would have to travel to Bethlehem even though she was with child.
Verse 3-5 then jump to Jesus’ 2nd coming which is foretold in the Book of Revelation. That still hasn’t happened. The Assyrians today is Iran. Check out the Bible Prophecy Preachers that I follow to keep up with what’s happening in the Middle East. I also embedded a video below by Amir Tsarfati of Behold Israel on the prophecies of Ezekeil (we’ll get to him soon enough.)
Verse 12 through the end tells of the end of witchcraft, seers, diviners, idolatry, paganism — including everything New Age. Check out the video below of Doreen Virtue who discovered the truth was not in anything New Age.
Micah 6 – The Lord’s Case against Israel
Listen to what the Lord is saying:
“Stand up and state your case against me.
Let the mountains and hills be called to witness your complaints.
2 And now, O mountains,
listen to the Lord’s complaint!
He has a case against his people.
He will bring charges against Israel.
3 “O my people, what have I done to you?
What have I done to make you tired of me?
4 For I brought you out of Egypt
and redeemed you from slavery.
I sent Moses, Aaron, and Miriam to help you.
5 Don’t you remember, my people,
how King Balak of Moab tried to have you cursed
and how Balaam son of Beor blessed you instead?
And remember your journey from Acacia Grove to Gilgal,
when I, the Lord, did everything I could
to teach you about my faithfulness.”
6 What can we bring to the Lord?
Should we bring him burnt offerings?
Should we bow before God Most High
with offerings of yearling calves?
7 Should we offer him thousands of rams
and ten thousand rivers of olive oil?
Should we sacrifice our firstborn children
to pay for our sins?
8 No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good,
and this is what he requires of you:
to do what is right, to love mercy,
and to walk humbly with your God.
Israel’s Guilt and Punishment
9 Fear the Lord if you are wise!
His voice calls to everyone in Jerusalem:
“The armies of destruction are coming;
the Lord is sending them
10 What shall I say about the homes of the wicked
filled with treasures gained by cheating?
What about the disgusting practice
of measuring out grain with dishonest measures?
11 How can I tolerate your merchants
who use dishonest scales and weights?
12 The rich among you have become wealthy
through extortion and violence.
Your citizens are so used to lying
that their tongues can no longer tell the truth.
13 “Therefore, I will wound you!Micah 6 NLT (bold emphasis mine)
I will bring you to ruin for all your sins.
14 You will eat but never have enough.
Your hunger pangs and emptiness will remain.
And though you try to save your money,
it will come to nothing in the end.
You will save a little,
but I will give it to those who conquer you.
15 You will plant crops
but not harvest them.
You will press your olives
but not get enough oil to anoint yourselves.
You will trample the grapes
but get no juice to make your wine.
16 You keep only the laws of evil King Omri;
you follow only the example of wicked King Ahab!
Therefore, I will make an example of you,
bringing you to complete ruin.
You will be treated with contempt,
mocked by all who see you.”
The scene turns into a courtroom. God has a case and He’s right. There’s no innocent until proven guilty here. We ALL are guilty!
Micah 6:8 is quoted a lot. It’s the basic instructions on how to PLEASE GOD! You’d think people would get it. Here it is broken down…
- Do the right thing. Live with integrity.
- Love one another with no strings attached.
- Humble yourself. Never think you’re bigger or better than anyone else. Or that you can do it all yourself and that you don’t need God. That’s PRIDE.
Micah 7 – Misery Turned to Hope
How miserable I am!
I feel like the fruit picker after the harvest
who can find nothing to eat.
Not a cluster of grapes or a single early fig
can be found to satisfy my hunger.
2 The godly people have all disappeared;
not one honest person is left on the earth.
They are all murderers,
setting traps even for their own brothers.
3 Both their hands are equally skilled at doing evil!
Officials and judges alike demand bribes.
The people with influence get what they want,
and together they scheme to twist justice.
4 Even the best of them is like a brier;
the most honest is as dangerous as a hedge of thorns.
But your judgment day is coming swiftly now.
Your time of punishment is here, a time of confusion.
5 Don’t trust anyone—
not your best friend or even your wife!
6 For the son despises his father.
The daughter defies her mother.
The daughter-in-law defies her mother-in-law.
Your enemies are right in your own household!
7 As for me, I look to the Lord for help.
I wait confidently for God to save me,
and my God will certainly hear me.
8 Do not gloat over me, my enemies!
For though I fall, I will rise again.
Though I sit in darkness,
the Lord will be my light.
9 I will be patient as the Lord punishes me,
for I have sinned against him.
But after that, he will take up my case
and give me justice for all I have suffered from my enemies.
The Lord will bring me into the light,
and I will see his righteousness.
10 Then my enemies will see that the Lord is on my side.
They will be ashamed that they taunted me, saying,
“So where is the Lord—
that God of yours?”
With my own eyes I will see their downfall;
they will be trampled like mud in the streets.
11 In that day, Israel, your cities will be rebuilt,
and your borders will be extended.
12 People from many lands will come and honor you—
from Assyria all the way to the towns of Egypt,
from Egypt all the way to the Euphrates River,
and from distant seas and mountains.
13 But the land will become empty and desolate
because of the wickedness of those who live there.
The Lord’s Compassion on Israel
14 O Lord, protect your people with your shepherd’s staff;
lead your flock, your special possession.
Though they live alone in a thicket
on the heights of Mount Carmel,
let them graze in the fertile pastures of Bashan and Gilead
as they did long ago.
15 “Yes,” says the Lord,
“I will do mighty miracles for you,
like those I did when I rescued you
from slavery in Egypt.”
16 All the nations of the world will stand amazed
at what the Lord will do for you.
They will be embarrassed
at their feeble power.
They will cover their mouths in silent awe,
deaf to everything around them.
17 Like snakes crawling from their holes,
they will come out to meet the Lord our God.
They will fear him greatly,
trembling in terror at his presence.
18 Where is another God like you,Micah 7 NLT
who pardons the guilt of the remnant,
overlooking the sins of his special people?
You will not stay angry with your people forever,
because you delight in showing unfailing love.
19 Once again you will have compassion on us.
You will trample our sins under your feet
and throw them into the depths of the ocean!
20 You will show us your faithfulness and unfailing love
as you promised to our ancestors Abraham and Jacob long ago.
Once Forgiven, Your Sins are Forgotten!
Corrie Ten Boom once said…
When the Lord takes your sins, you never see them again. He casts them into the depths of the sea, forgiven and forgotten. I even believe that He places a sign over them that reads: “No fishing allowed.”Corrie Ten Boom
That means when you humble yourself, repent of your sins and sincerely and wholeheartedly ask Jesus to forgive you, He cleanses you of ALL your sins, past, present AND future. God knows everything and remembers everything, however, there are certain things that God chooses to forget and that’s the sins of repentant and forgiven believers.
Unfortunately, Satan absolutely loves to bring your past sins to your thoughts and encourages you to return to your sinful ways. That’s when you call on the Holy Spirit in your heart to knock those thoughts out. That’s also where the Armor of God comes in.
If you want God to forget ALL your sins so you NEVER have to go and confess to a priest again simply…
Believe. Repent. Be Baptized. Receive the Holy Spirit.
- Believe — have Faith — that Jesus is the Christ and He died taking your sins away forever and that He rose from the dead 3 days later.
- Repent of your sins — stop sinning! Do a complete 180 in your life and surrender your life to Him.
- Be Baptized — show the world and yourself that you have died to your old life and are born again in Christ.
- Receive the Holy Spirit in your heart.