May 17: Prophetic Clarity

Read Micah 4:1-13

Communication without adequate context to understand it can be a frustrating experience. If you have ever been talking with someone who changed subjects without adequate warning, you know what I mean. Or perhaps the person seemed to run the description of events together. You concluded that the events all happened chronologically when in fact the other person was actually jumping back and forth in time. Those kinds of descriptions can lead to confusion and miscommunication.

I suppose the original recipients of these words from Micah 4 written about 700 b.c. may have experienced that kind of confusion. After all, the chapter begins on the heels of a pronouncement of judgment for the sins of God’s people. Clearly, the opening lines of the chapter (vv. 1-9), speak of the “last days.” It will be a time of universal peace and international honor of the Lord God. But verse 10 speaks of the suffering of God’s people in Babylon followed by their rescue. And verses 11-13 describe nations gathered in antagonism against the people of God.

So, which is it? International peace and worship or international turmoil? If all of these describe the future, in what order will they take place?

Thankfully, we, today, have the benefit of using the completed canon of Scriptures in order to understand what Micah describes here. We now know that:

God’s people would be punished for their sins by going into exile in Babylon around 600 b.c. (v. 10; cf. Jer. 25, Dan. 1). They were later rescued from there as God prompted the Persian king Cyrus to allow His people to return to Jerusalem (Ezra 1:2-4).

There will come a day when godless people will gather against God’s people in the future battle of Armageddon (vv. 11-13; cf. Zech. 12). This great battle is yet future and will take place at the end of the tribulation period.

Jesus Christ will return and establish a kingdom on the earth for 1000 years. During His reign, the earth will be characterized by peace (vv. 1-9; cf. Rev. 19).

Aren’t you glad to know that, in spite of the terrorism and turmoil that defines life today, God will eventually bring peace through His Son?

sbk

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