Micah 4:1–4; 5:1–4comment (0)
May 21, 2009
By Dale Younce
Related Scripture: Micah 4:1–4; 5:1–4
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Professor of Christian Studies, School of Christian Studies, University of Mobile
Hope: A Path to Fulfillment
Micah 4:1–4; 5:1–4
All of God’s people have to decide how to deal with severe and painful difficulties that inevitably come to them. Some take a stoic approach and simply try to tough out hard times. Some look high and low, but rarely within, to find someone to blame. Others just complain to whoever will listen, hoping for sympathy and help. Whether present difficulties are deserved, God has guaranteed a bright future to His people and expects them to live in hope of their promised future blessings.
In this lesson, Micah declares the glories of the future messianic kingdom. His prophetic message was only partly fulfilled by Judah’s return from Babylonian exile to the promised land. The complete fulfillment of his prophecy requires the first and second comings of the Lord Jesus Christ — His first obtained the means of our salvation and His second will establish the righteous kingdom of God on earth. Micah’s words, describing those future blessings, call for our godly living today.
Seeking God’s Paths (4:1–2)
After announcing the coming destruction of Jerusalem (chapter 3), Micah turned to speaking about “the last days,” a time in the future when believing Israel will be regathered to the promised land and there will be a New Jerusalem and rebuilt temple at the center of the kingdom of Messiah. (These words of Micah [vv. 1–3] mirror Isaiah 2:2–4.) The majestic kingdom of Messiah will excel all rule and authority the world over; Jerusalem will be the spiritual and governmental capital of the earth. This kingdom, however, will not be restricted to godly Israel; peoples and nations from all over the earth will be attracted to the center of Messiah’s kingdom. The reason for this attraction will be people’s desire for instruction in and obedience to God’s Word. At that time, the revelation of God’s Word will be universally received, understood and obeyed.
Enjoying Security (4:3–4)
The future kingdom, ruled by Messiah, will experience His beneficent rulership on a global scale. He will act as arbitrator between contending peoples. For this reason, nations will cease to wage war, resulting in weapons of warfare being fashioned into tools for peace, the fruit of the teaching of the Word of God and the rulership of Messiah. Every Jewish family desired a pleasant home with a productive garden in a peaceful world; they wanted peace and security. This is what Messiah’s kingdom will bring to earth. Although peace and security do not exist in our present sinful world, we can experience inner peace and know the joy of spiritual security as we trust and obey the Lord.
Accepting Sin’s Consequences (5:1)
In this verse, Micah abruptly turned from the distant-future messianic kingdom to focus attention on the soon-coming threat facing Israel and Judah. As numerous foreign troops besieged the two capitals of the divided nation, the two kings would not escape; both would be captured and humiliated. As with Israel and Judah, some of our desperate situations result from our selfish, sinful choices. However, the hope for God’s promised future blessings, especially the promise of eventual victory (4:9–13), helps us accept the consequences that come from our own, as well as others’, sinful behavior.
Holding to a Bright Promise (5:2–4)
Micah gave a ringing announcement of hope, the prediction of a King who will bring lasting security to faithful Israel and whose influence will be universal. The Messiah-Ruler would be born in an insignificant village, yet He would be exalted throughout the world. He is eternal God, the great Shepherd-King. The messianic fulfillment of these verses is found in both Jesus’ first coming as Savior and His Second Coming as Judge and Ruler.
Micah did not distinguish between Jesus’ first and second comings. He predicted the first coming with the Shepherd being born in Bethlehem; he also predicted Messiah’s yet future blessing of the world. Having Jesus as our Shepherd today gives us hope for participating in the future culmination of His kingdom.