Men or Messiah? No Contest!

Posted: August 13, 2017 in Micah, Uncategorized

Micah 3-4, “Men or Messiah?  No Contest!”

Kids (and sometimes adults) play a game called “Would you rather.”  It’s a series of questions that gives challenging choices of what would be preferable.  Some of those (when kept clean!) are tough choices.  Other comparisons are no contest.  Given the choice between sickness or health, we choose health.  Between starving or eating, we eat.  It ought to be obvious. 

Likewise with government: on some choices it ought to be easy.  Would you rather be ruled over by God, or by man?  Surprisingly, many people today would choose “man.”  Perhaps they don’t trust God because they don’t know God.  Or perhaps they love sin, so they prefer a government that allows them to sin.

The people of the world might be confused, but for the people of God, the choice is easy.  The very best government is that of God!  When Jesus rules the world as King, it will be wonderful.  It will be government as God always intended it to be.  All of political bickering will be gone – all of the injustice will be answered – it will be absolutely perfect, because we will be ruled by the Perfect God.

This is a promise not only for us as New Testament Christians, but also for the nation of Israel.  This was a day that Micah looked forward to, especially in light of all of the injustice that he saw at the time in his land.  In Chapter 1, he already wrote about the judgment coming to Samaria & Jerusalem because the cities & nations as a whole had sinned.  In Chapter 2, he wrote of the judgment deserved by wicked individuals, and prophets – ending the chapter by giving just a glimpse of the future kingdom of the Messiah.

In Chapters 3-4, Micah writes again of judgment & the kingdom – this time in regards to the contrast of leaders.  The leadership of Israel & Judah had failed.  Princes, prophets, and priests were all unjust, and deserving of the judgment they would receive.  But there was a future kingdom coming – one which would be ruled by God Himself, and that kingdom would be wonderful.

The kingdom Micah longed for is the one we await.  When it comes to the kingdoms of the world vs. the kingdom of Jesus, there is no contest!

Micah 3

  • Woe to the wicked rulers (3:1-4)

1 And I said: “Hear now, O heads of Jacob, And you rulers of the house of Israel: Is it not for you to know justice?

  • First thing to notice: this wasn’t limited to either the northern or southern kingdoms.  This word was given to both.  Micah spoke to the “heads of Jacob.”  This wasn’t limited to clan or tribe; this was for all 12 tribes for all the descendants of Israel.  Micah spoke to the heads & rulers – the chief people, i.e. the princes.  All those in leadership positions were addressed by the prophet.
  • What was wrong with them?  Everything!  Their core responsibility was to maintain “justice” in the land, and they didn’t even “know” what justice was.  They should have known better – they had no excuse for themselves.  They had access to the Scriptures – and even if they didn’t use them, they had access to common sense!  The law of God is written upon our hearts. (Rom 2:15)  Deep down, all people know the basics of right & wrong, because God has imprinted that within us.  For the chieftains/princes to engage in wickedness was for them to act willfully against the Lord God.  It’s often said that “ignorance of the law is no excuse.”  If we aren’t aware of the speed limit, we can still be legally fined for breaking it.  Even so, the Israelite leaders didn’t even have that much.  They knew justice from injustice, but they acted as if they were totally ignorant of it.  God knew the difference, and He called them out on it through Micah.
    • What goes for princes, goes for people.  Again, deep down, we all know right from wrong.  In his opening to the book of Romans, Paul wrote extensively how God has revealed Himself to the world – even to cultures that are deprived of the Scriptures.  God’s attributes are clearly seen in creation, yet people still deny Him and choose to worship gods of their own making/imaginations. (Rom 1:20-23)  And again, even God’s basic law is written upon our hearts, with our conscience bearing witness against us when we sin. (Rom 2:15)  No one, when standing before God for judgment, will be able to claim ignorance.  No one will be able to say, “I didn’t know any better!”  Yes, we did.  We just chose to run to our sin, rather than to our Creator God.
    • Thankfully, God still sent Jesus as the all-sufficient sacrifice for us.  Even though we knew better – even though we willfully acted in wickedness – Jesus still loved us enough to die for our sins, and offer us forgiveness and life!  We did not act as if we knew justice, but God still satisfied His justice, and offered us grace!
  • Regarding the wickedness of the chieftains & princes, Micah goes on to describe them…

2 You who hate good and love evil; Who strip the skin from My people, And the flesh from their bones; 3 Who also eat the flesh of My people, Flay their skin from them, Break their bones, And chop them in pieces Like meat for the pot, Like flesh in the caldron.”

  • They were haters of good & lovers of evil…not exactly what someone looks for in a leader!  Micah speaks of them as being downright brutal. They are described as hunters, almost like cannibals – skinning their prey, breaking the bones, chopping them up for stew.  No doubt this is figurative language.  For as evil as the kings of Israel and Judah are described as being in the accounts of 1-2 Kings & 1-2 Chronicles, they are nowhere spoken of doing these sorts of things.  Even so, symbolically speaking, this is exactly what they did.  They oppressed the people – they consumed the people – they abused their God-given position to abuse the God-given people.
  • These rulers were totally the opposite of what they should have been: shepherds.  Instead of caring for the sheep of God, they hunted them down & ate their flesh.  They were supposed to lead, to guide, to protect – they were supposed to represent the goodness & righteousness of God to their people, but they did exactly the opposite.
  • Beware of leaders who consume their own people!  Be it in politics, or among the church.  So-called “Christian” TV is filled with leaders of megachurches who fleece the flock of God, rather than feed it.  They consume other Christians in order to enrich themselves, building their wealth & their egos.  These people, like the ancient rulers of Israel, are spiritually abusive, and need to be avoided.
  • The leaders abused the people, but they would soon be judged.  What would happen when they did?  Vs. 4…

4 Then they will cry to the LORD, But He will not hear them; He will even hide His face from them at that time, Because they have been evil in their deeds.

  • The ones who acted as if they didn’t know what justice was, would end up crying out to the Lord.  When the Assyrians & Babylonians came laying siege to their city walls, at that time they would pray…but to no avail.  Judah’s judgment would be delayed for a time, but not for forever.  This was what they deserved, and this would be what they received.
  • Question: Does God actually shut His ears to prayer?  Does He hide His face from people who (at least formally) belong to Him?  Yes.  It’s a qualified “yes,” but it’s still a “yes.”  The first thing we need to remember is that Israel was in a different covenant with God than the church is with Jesus.  That God would shut His ears to His people was part of the covenant conditions He made with them back in the days of Moses.  The specific promise to them was that when God brought His judgment against them, no one would save them. (Dt 28:29)  In other words, even prayers for salvation/deliverance would go unanswered, because this was the just response of God to their repeated lawbreaking.  Even so, there was also the promise of a restoration, when genuine repentance took place.  If the people turned back to God with all their heart & soul, then God would restore Israel to their land & covenant position. (Dt 30:2-3)  That’s Israel; our covenant is different.  Their covenant was conditional; ours is unconditional, based solely upon the work of Christ.  Jesus specifically promised that He would be with us, even to the end of the age. (Mt 28:20)  The writer of Hebrews reiterates God’s promise that He will never leave us, nor forsake us. (Heb 13:5)  The Holy Spirit literally indwells us as believers, sealing us for salvation. (Eph 1:13)  As Christians, we most definitely have the promise of the presence of God! – Even so, we still might encounter times when it seems that God is silent to our prayers, or that He does not hear us.  Sin gets in the way of fellowship, and our intimate relationship with God can be broken, which is a signal to us to repent and fall again upon God’s grace.  Peter explicitly tells husbands that our prayers can be hindered because of the way we treat our wives (1 Pet 3:7), so we can expect this principle to be true in other areas.
    • The bottom line is this: God never leaves us, but that doesn’t guarantee He will always answer us.  If it seems that if God does not hear your prayers, one of the first things you ought to do is examine your life/heart to see if there is wickedness there.  God wants to first deal with your sin, before He deals with any other prayer request.
  • Woe to the false prophets (3:5-7)

5 Thus says the LORD concerning the prophets Who make my people stray; Who chant “Peace” While they chew with their teeth, But who prepare war against him Who puts nothing into their mouths:

  • Not only were the princes wicked, so were the prophets!  These were ungodly individuals who took advantage of the people, misleading them from the true word of God.  Although God was clearly giving prophecies of judgment through men like Micah, Isaiah, and Amos, these false prophets (though “professional” prophets) gave a message of “peace.”  They fed the people what the people wanted to hear, as long as the people fed them back with bribes and other gifts.
  • While they chew with their teeth,” is better translated “while they bite with their teeth.”  The word often refers to the bite of a serpent/snake.  The general idea is that while the prophets are being fed by people, they give good news – when the people hold back from them, the prophets proclaim war.  But feeding prophets like this is like putting your hand next to the mouth of a viper: you’re going to get bit either way.
    • Once again, it is a reminder for us as New Testament Christians to be Bereans!  Simply because someone has a platform for ministry does not mean he (or she) has been called & anointed by God for that ministry.  Simply because someone has a title doesn’t mean he/she deserves it.  We have to be careful what doctrine we receive, and the only way we can judge whether or not teaching is Biblical is by matching it up with the Bible.  This cannot be emphasized strongly enough!  We have to take responsibility for ourselves to look into the word of God & discern whether or not the things a teacher is saying is true.

6 “Therefore you shall have night without vision, And you shall have darkness without divination; The sun shall go down on the prophets, And the day shall be dark for them. 7 So the seers shall be ashamed, And the diviners abashed; Indeed they shall all cover their lips; For there is no answer from God.”

  • For those who make their living as “seers,” it’s a pretty sobering thing to be told no “vision” would be given!  Obviously, these false prophets had not received anything from the Lord in the past – otherwise, they wouldn’t have been making up messages of their own.  Even so, it is clear that they wouldn’t receive special revelation from God, but they would receive judgment.  They would have night & darkness & the going down of the sun.
  • The whole idea is that these men would be exposed for the farces they were, and made to be ashamed.  Instead of walking around in pride, they would “cover their lips,” as if they were leprous.  Their words had been unclean, so their mouths may as well have been, too.
    • It ought to be a sobering thing to stand before God’s people & say, “Thus sayeth the Lord!”  The Bible tells us explicitly that teachers will “receive a stricter judgment.” (Jas 3:1)  That is not a warning to take lightly.  Those who knowingly lie about the words of God rightly receive the judgment that comes to them.
  • God to judge wicked princes, prophets, priests (3:8-12)

8 But truly I am full of power by the Spirit of the LORD, And of justice and might, To declare to Jacob his transgression And to Israel his sin.

  • Notice that little word, “but.”  Quite often, the translation of conjunctions varies depending on the context, but in this particular instance, this is emphasized.  There’s no question whatsoever that Micah is drawing a contrast.  And rightfully so!  The previous people were wicked prophets, false prophets – prophets motivated by their fleshly lusts and who manipulated the people around them.  Not Micah!  Micah was a true prophet of the Living God, and he had been given a true prophecy from the Living God.
  • What made the difference?  Micah was empowered by the Holy Spirit.  The other prophets anointed themselves (so to speak).  They put themselves into office, and gave themselves the words/messages they spoke.  Not Micah.  Micah was a messenger of the Lord, empowered by none other than God the Holy Spirit.  The Spirit gave him power, justice, and might – all of the things that the princes & prophets lacked!  The Spirit equipped Micah for the ministry, and Micah went about it boldly.
    • What was available to Micah is available to us!  One of the glorious things about living in the Church Age is the fact that every single believer in Jesus Christ is automatically indwelt by God the Holy Spirit, and has the opportunity to be repeatedly filled and empowered by the Holy Spirit.  The blessing that was once available only to a select few prophets, is available to every single man, woman, and child in Christ.
    • We can be empowered by the Spirit; are you?  Again, every Christian has the Holy Spirit indwelling him/her, but not every Christian is walking as empowered by the Holy Spirit.  This is something we’re commanded to do (Eph 5:18), but it is something for which we must ask.  (So ask!)
  • What was Micah’s message?  It was one of judgment; not a false message of “peace.”  The word of God given to Micah concerned the transgression & sin of Israel.  Vs. 9…

9 Now hear this, You heads of the house of Jacob And rulers of the house of Israel, Who abhor justice And pervert all equity, 10 Who build up Zion with bloodshed And Jerusalem with iniquity:

  • The rulers were unjust.  It wasn’t only that they acted ignorant of what true justice was; they “abhorred justice,” treating it as something defiled – as if was an abomination to them.  It came out in their actions.  They were violent – they were greedy.  Vs. 11…

11 Her heads judge for a bribe, Her priests teach for pay, And her prophets divine for money. Yet they lean on the LORD, and say, “Is not the LORD among us? No harm can come upon us.”

  • Be it the princes, the priests, or the prophets, all of the leadership in the land was corrupt.  They didn’t serve the Lord out of a sense of calling.  They didn’t minister to the people in order to help their nations.  They did it out of sheer selfishness – they did it out of greed and a love of money.  Whoever had the cash could receive the services – whoever paid enough got the message they wanted.
    • Ministry for hire has another name: simony.  When Simon the former sorcerer saw Peter giving the gift of the Holy Spirit to believers, he tried to purchase it for himself. (Acts 8:18-23)  He wanted to buy his way into the ministry, in order that he could make money off of the ministry.  Sadly, people still do this today.  Men & women see the church as a way to get wealthy, and they do great damage to people in the process.  Paul specifically instructed Timothy that bishops/overseers should not be “greedy for money,” precisely to avoid this sort of problem. (1 Tim 3:3)
    • The ministry is not a career path; it’s a calling.  And it’s one that should not be taken lightly.
  • Incredibly, in the midst of all their sin, they still believed themselves immune from judgment. … They were wrong!  Vs. 12…

12 Therefore because of you Zion shall be plowed like a field, Jerusalem shall become heaps of ruins, And the mountain of the temple Like the bare hills of the forest.

  • Notice the specific reference to “Zion,” i.e., Jerusalem.  At the time, it was the northern kingdom that was on the edge of Assyrian conquest, not the southern kingdom of Judah.  The southern Jews might have thought themselves safely immune once they escaped the hand of the Assyrian empire, but Micah is already telling them that they shouldn’t get too comfortable.  The city of Jerusalem would eventually “become heaps of ruins,” and the temple of Solomon, so admired by many in the city, would eventually be laid waste & the mountaintop made “bare.
  • Historically, that’s exactly what happened!  The Babylonians so destroyed the city & the temple, that even the foundation of the temple had to be re-laid once the Jews finally came back to the city with the permission of the Persians.  What would have been unthinkable to the Jews of the day eventually came true to the letter…just like God’s word always does.

Micah 4

  • Messiah’s millennial reign (4:1-8)

1 Now it shall come to pass in the latter days That the mountain of the LORD’s house Shall be established on the top of the mountains, And shall be exalted above the hills; And peoples shall flow to it.

  • Chapter 3 left off with the temple destroyed & Mt. Zion laid bare.  Chapter 4 begins with the temple restored on the mountain, raised to new heights.  It’s a complete reversal of the judgment – something equally as amazing.  As unthinkable as it was that the temple would be destroyed, it was also beyond imagination that the temple could be rebuilt, bigger & better than before.  Being “exalted above the hills” is more than Solomon’s temple had ever been, as impressive as it was.
  • When will it all take place? “In the latter days.”  There’s a lot of controversy on this, depending on your point of view.  Some think that the latter days could simply refer to the restoration after the Babylonian Captivity.  But that doesn’t fit the description.  Yes, there was a temple rebuilt, but (1) it wasn’t as impressive as Solomon’s, and (2) it wasn’t an attraction for the nations of the world.  Considering how the term “latter days” is used through the majority of the prophetic writings, it seems best to take it as eschatological.  This is the time after the Great Tribulation, when Jesus returns, setting up the Millennial Kingdom, per the promises made about Jesus as the Hebrew Messianic King (Son of David).
  • Although we typically (and not incorrectly) think of the Millennial Kingdom as being the restored/fulfilled Kingdom of Israel, please note that the reign of the Messiah covers far more than Israel’s national boundaries.  This Kingdom affects all the earth, as Micah notes, “and peoples shall flow to it.”  From all around the world, people will come to Jerusalem to learn from God.  Vs. 2…

2 Many nations shall come and say, “Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, To the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, And we shall walk in His paths.” For out of Zion the law shall go forth, And the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.

  • Nations that never worshipped the Lord will then learn the ways of God.  Peoples that never desired God’s word will want to know it, in order that they might walk in His paths.  And from whom will they learn it?  From Jesus!  The nations “go up to the mountain of the LORD,” to the temple of God (“the house of the God of Jacob”), and there they find personal instruction from the God of Jacob.  How can God (who is spirit) teach man (who is flesh)?  Via His incarnation, the Lord Jesus Christ.  The Risen Jesus remains incarnate God to this day, and He will literally physically reside on planet earth during the Millennial Kingdom, and He will personally teach the nations.
    • Prefaced during the reign of Solomon, when nations flocked to hear his wisdom, and see his wealth (1 Kings 4:34).  That was merely a preview of what is yet to come.
    • What the world waits to receive is what we currently experience!  We know the wisdom of God by being taught the Scriptures with the anointing of the Holy Spirit.  We know the riches of His glory, being blessed with every spiritual blessing in Christ.  Do we walk around today as kings?  Not in terms of earthly wealth, but definitely in spiritual reality!  We are a royal priesthood – a kingdom of priests.  We have today, the relationship with Jesus that all rest of the nations will have to wait until the Millennium to experience.  (So enjoy it!  Relish in it!)
  • What will the reign of Jesus look like?  Like righteousness & peace, vs. 3…

3 He shall judge between many peoples, And rebuke strong nations afar off; They shall beat their swords into plowshares, And their spears into pruning hooks; Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, Neither shall they learn war anymore. 4 But everyone shall sit under his vine and under his fig tree, And no one shall make them afraid; For the mouth of the LORD of hosts has spoken.

  • Unlike the then-current leaders of Israel who were evil & unjust, the reign of Jesus will be (1) known for His justice.  Jesus doesn’t merely know what justice is; He is the source of all justice and righteousness.  He is the foundation for very statute, because He is the truth and the living Word of God.
  • It will also (2) be known for His peace.  He is the Prince of Peace, and He will enforce His peace all over the world.  Jesus not only makes peace between nations, He makes peace between God & man!
  • Finally, it will be (3) known for prosperity & safety.  The people in Jesus’ kingdom will have their own vine & fig tree – both being pictures of the Hebrew nation.  The Israelites will finally dwell in safety (something which they do not even yet know).
  • This promise is sure!  “The mouth of the LORD of hosts has spoken.

5 For all people walk each in the name of his god, But we will walk in the name of the LORD our God Forever and ever.

  • It’s a bit of a summary of the current condition & future promise.  For now, people walk in their paganism.  They walk following the gods of their own minds & imaginations.  At the time, not even the children of Israel were walking rightly with their God, even though they had access to the true God.  But it wouldn’t always be that way.  Micah looked forward to a day that they would walk with their covenant God forever.  This was a promise for Israel, and it was one to which he clung!  “But we ourselves [emphatic] will walk in the name of YHWH our God forever and ever.”
  • Micah’s certain hope is our current promise!  We already walk with our Lord – and we will forever walk with Him.  We already know Him as King, as Teacher, as Provider, as Friend.  And what we know of Him today is only the beginning!  We will know Him better & better & better, into the Millennial Kingdom & beyond.
  • Being a Jew, Micah is naturally focused on the promises to the Jews.  One such promise is that of restoration.  Vs. 6…

6 “In that day,” says the LORD, “I will assemble the lame, I will gather the outcast And those whom I have afflicted; 7 I will make the lame a remnant, And the outcast a strong nation; So the LORD will reign over them in Mount Zion From now on, even forever.

  • The lame & outcast are the people of Israel.  They will be gathered from the corners of the world, revived into a flourishing nation.  We have seen glimpses of this through history.  There was the regathering after the Babylonian Captivity – there was a brief period of independence under the Maccabees.  There was the miraculous reestablishment of the nation in 1948, with Jerusalem being regained in 1967.  Yet all of this is merely a foretaste of the future.
  • What will happen at that time?  Israel won’t only be an actualized nation, but they will be a Messianic Kingdom.  “The LORD will reign over them in Mount Zion.”  In many ways, we can see the outcast of Israel having been regathered in preparation for the future, but in no way can we say that the fullness of this prophecy has been accomplished.  Not until the LORD God is received by Israel as their King, literally ruling over them from Jerusalem will this be fulfilled.  (Which means the people of Israel will have to come to faith!  Rom 11:26 – all Israel will be saved!)

8 And you, O tower of the flock, The stronghold of the daughter of Zion, To you shall it come, Even the former dominion shall come, The kingdom of the daughter of Jerusalem.”

  • At one point, Israel had power & dominion over the region.  They were feared by other nations, as Gentiles heard & saw the power of Almighty God among them.  Eventually, that fear faded because faith in Israel dwindled.  In their disobedience to God, they lost dominion & influence – to the point where other nations freely came in to battle against them, soundly defeating them.  Not so, in the future!  During the Millennium, those days of glory will once again be known.  Israel will not be despised by the nations; they will be admired as the people of God.

Amen!  Of course, that’s the future.  What was there for now?  There was still the reality of an impending judgment, due to all of the wickedness that had been earlier described.  Micah reminds them of this, giving some very specific prophecies to the southern kingdom, all while keeping the glorious promises of God in view.

  • Present judgment; future restoration (4:9-13)

9 Now why do you cry aloud? Is there no king in your midst? Has your counselor perished? For pangs have seized you like a woman in labor. 10 Be in pain, and labor to bring forth, O daughter of Zion, Like a woman in birth pangs. For now you shall go forth from the city, You shall dwell in the field, And to Babylon you shall go. There you shall be delivered; There the LORD will redeem you From the hand of your enemies.

  • Soon, there would be no king/counselor in the land.  They would be conquered, and the kingdom dissolved.  Judgment would be birthed among them, and the Jews would suffer all the pains of a mother in childbirth.  Like a child pushed out of the womb, so would the people be pushed out of the Promised Land.
  • Where would they go?  “Babylon.” What makes this such an amazing prophecy is that it was given roughly 130-140 years before it took place.  Remember that Micah wrote during the reigns of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah (1:1), putting it sometime in the years of 750-725BC.  This was during the heyday of the Assyrian empire, shortly before the northern kingdom fell to the Assyrians.  Babylon was not yet on the scene, from a world-power perspective.  It would take time for Babylon to rise & Assyria to fall, and yet Micah already names Babylon specifically as the nation to which Judah would fall.  That would be the place of their captivity, no matter what happened to the northern kingdom of Israel/Samaria.
  • What makes this prophecy even better is that not only was Babylon mentioned as a place of captivity, but it’s also mentioned as a place from which the Jews would be redeemed.
    • God redeems His people from their enemies!
    • God redeemed us through the cross!
  • It’s from this position of redemption that Micah sees a day of future strength for the Jews.  Vs. 11…

11 Now also many nations have gathered against you, Who say, “Let her be defiled, And let our eye look upon Zion.” 12 But they do not know the thoughts of the LORD, Nor do they understand His counsel; For He will gather them like sheaves to the threshing floor. 13 “Arise and thresh, O daughter of Zion; For I will make your horn iron, And I will make your hooves bronze; You shall beat in pieces many peoples; I will consecrate their gain to the LORD, And their substance to the Lord of the whole earth.”

  • For now, Israel & Judah were despised.  The other “nations” of the world thought themselves stronger than the Hebrews – and in many respects, they were!  They wanted the Israelites to be defeated & “defiled,” in order that they could take the land for themselves, and they believed they could do it.  What they didn’t realize is that they could only do what the Lord God would allow them to do.  They were just tools in His hands.  They did not “know the thoughts of the LORD.”  They did not know His ultimate plans concerning His people & His land.  God had plans not only to restore His people, but to defeat their enemies.  Just as God gathered His people back into a cohesive nation, so also did God promise to gather Israel’s enemies like a harvest of wheat: gathered, and cut down, made ready for trampling by the strong ox of Israel.
  • Question: is this a past or a future promise?  Like many of the prophecies in Scripture, there’s probably an element of dual fulfillment.  Certainly, God did redeem the Jews out of slavery, graciously putting them back into their own land.  And yes, God judged the nation that came against them, with the Babylonians being soundly defeated by the Medes & Persians.  Even so, it’s difficult to see how Israel could be said as participating in their defeat.  God’s word to the Jews is that “you shall beat in pieces many peoples,” specifying that they would be pulverizing their enemies – and it wouldn’t just be one nation, but many peoples.  Ancient Israel hadn’t seen anything like that since the days of David & Solomon, and although modern Israel has seen something similar in the Six-Day War, that doesn’t quite fit the picture of a totally restored relationship with God.  It seems best to think of the ultimate fulfillment of this promise still in the future – perhaps even in reference to the battle of Armageddon when Israel will be on the battlefield with Jesus as He brings the ultimate victory as Israel’s own Messianic King.
    • How many of our enemies is God capable of destroying?  All of them!

Conclusion:
When it comes to the comparison between the ancient rulers of Israel and its future ruler, there is no contest…their very best King is Christ Jesus!

He is ours, too!  Hold fast to Him – hold fast to His promises.  Things may be tough today, but we have the promise of a better future.  To look forward to Jesus’ Kingdom is not some pie-in-the-sky idea or escapism; it’s certain hope in a very real promise.  Dark times are easier to endure when you see the light at the end of the tunnel.  Suffering is bearable, when we know it has an end.  And it does!  The suffering of this world will forever end when Jesus returns and sets up His Kingdom.  That’s something to which we can look forward!

And it’s a reality that we can taste right now.  Every day you live as a born-again believer in Jesus is a day you live as a citizen of the Kingdom of God.  Although the physical promises are still for the future, the spiritual promises are already in place today.  You still have the power of the Holy Spirit – you still have the presence of God with you – you still have the Lord Jesus who teaches you, and guides you.  Those are things we have right now, today.  So live in them!  Enjoy them!  Micah longed for what we can experience right now…so take advantage of the opportunity we’ve been given.

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