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Monday, July 12, 2010

MICAH AND ISRAEL'S FUTURE

MICAH AND ISRAEL’S FUTURE

Micah was addressed to both Israel (Samaria) and Judah (1:1; 3:9). God is speaking from his temple in heaven (1:2). He is coming to punish Israel and Judah (1:5). He will desolate Israel’s idols (1:7). Their “wound is incurable” (1:9). As is typical of all the prophets, the majority of the test is God’s rebuke of the sins of His people (all).

4:1 But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it.

The prophet moves back and forth from here to the end of the book from describing the (Millennial) Kingdom rule on earth of the Messiah and events which preceded it (4:1+). These events all take place on earth and not in heaven.

4:2 And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and 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 shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.

This seems to parallel Zechariah 14:16-21 following the horrible events of its preceding verses (4:2).

4:3 And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.

4:4 But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the LORD of hosts hath spoken it.

4:5 For all people will walk every one in the name of his god, and we will walk in the name of the LORD our God for ever and ever.

Messiah’s reign on earth will be universal during the Millennium Rev 20). While other nations may refer to God in a name which has significant meaning to themselves (such as Most High), Israel will continue to call God by His covenant name of Yahweh (4:5).

4:6 In that day, saith the LORD, will I assemble her that halteth, and I will gather her that is driven out, and her that I have afflicted.

4:7 And I will make her that halted a remnant, and her that was cast far off a strong nation: and the LORD shall reign over them in mount Zion from henceforth, even for ever.

“Henceforth” means “from this time forward.” Our God is a healing and comforting God (4:6).

4:8 And thou, O tower of the flock, the strong hold of the daughter of Zion, unto thee shall it come, even the first dominion; the kingdom shall come to the daughter of Jerusalem.

This is speaking of a literal kingdom rule on earth from Jerusalem. Oddly, there are no conditional discussions in Micah. At the very least, beginning in 4:1 the text is unconditional.

4:10 Be in pain, and labour to bring forth, O daughter of Zion, like a woman in travail: for now shalt thou go forth out of the city, and thou shalt dwell in the field, and thou shalt go even to Babylon; there shalt thou be delivered; there the LORD shall redeem thee from the hand of thine enemies.

The Babylonian captivity here may be a type of a future captivity immediately before God establishes Zion. This is because Assyria is mentioned afterwards and Assyria had disappeared before the Babylonian Captivity in 586 B.C.

4:11 Now also many nations are gathered against thee, that say, Let her be defiled, and let our eye look upon Zion.

After a return from captivity many nations will assemble against Israel. This could parallel Ezekiel 38 and 39. It could occur before the Great Tribulation period of Daniel’s seventieth week or it could be a reference to Revelation 16 or 20.

5:2 But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.

By Divine inspiration Micah’s prophecy reaches forward to the final unconditional fulfillment when Messiah will settle Israel in its land during the His Kingdom reign on earth (5:2). Messiah is to be a “ruler in Israel.” The focus is the land of Israel and not heaven.

5:3 Therefore will he give them up, until the time that she which travaileth hath brought forth: then the remnant of his brethren shall return unto the children of Israel.

Micah 5:2-3 combine the first and second advent of Christ as does Isaiah 9:6-7 and 61:1-2. During the Church Age between AD70 of Daniel 9:26 and the 70th week of Daniel 9:27 Christ will temporarily “give up” Israel until the full remnant returns at the beginning of the Millennium (Rev 20).

5:4 And he shall stand and feed in the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God; and they shall abide: for now shall he be great unto the ends of the earth.

Verses 3 and 4 describe the final status of Messiah’s kingdom reign which is “great unto the ends of the earth.” This reign is on earth, not in heaven (5:4). Verses 5 to 15 describe how this was accomplished.

5:5 And this man shall be the peace, when the Assyrian shall come into our land: and when he shall tread in our palaces, then shall we raise against him seven shepherds, and eight principal men.

5:6 And they shall waste the land of Assyria with the sword, and the land of Nimrod in the entrances thereof: thus shall he deliver us from the Assyrian, when he cometh into our land, and when he treadeth within our borders. Also include 5:9-15.

The “Assyrian” here must be symbolic since 4:10 mentions the Babylonian Captivity and literal Assyria had long ago disappeared. This invasion of Israel’s last day enemies could coincide either with Ezekiel 38 and 39 or Revelation 16 and 17.

5:7 And the remnant of Jacob shall be in the midst of many people as a dew from the LORD, as the showers upon the grass, that tarrieth not for man, nor waiteth for the sons of men.

5:8 And the remnant of Jacob shall be among the Gentiles in the midst of many people as a lion among the beasts of the forest, as a young lion among the flocks of sheep: who, if he go through, both treadeth down, and teareth in pieces, and none can deliver.
While Micah 5:5-6 appears to be the same as Ezekiel 38 and 39,
Micah 5:7-8 appears to be a description of the (Millennial) Kingdom reign of Christ on earth with a rod of iron. Righteous believers within Gentile nations will be soul-winners.

7:18 Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy.

Micah 7:18 is an incredible text. The very character of God is in view. God’s most important characteristic is His mercy – “He delights in mercy.” God cannot (and will not) remain angry with “the remnant of his heritage (of national Israel) for ever.” This is consistent with Dispensational theology.

7:19 He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.

This is unconditional wording just as the “and I will” statements of the Abrahamic Covenant from Genesis 12:2-3.

7:20 Thou wilt perform the truth to Jacob, and the mercy to Abraham, which thou hast sworn unto our fathers from the days of old.

God promises to perform his unconditional covenant made with Abraham and Jacob. This is not a discussion of the Church.

1 comment:

溫緯李娟王季 said...

[做人難,人難做,難做人] 人.事的艱困與磨難,是一種考驗!要以樂觀歡喜之心,很珍惜地過每一天!^^............................................................