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Saturday, November 12, 2011

11/13/11 Micah 4:1-5 The Mountain of the Lord & Swords into Plowshares

1 In the last days the mountain of the LORD’s temple will be established as chief among the mountains;
it will be raised above the hills, and peoples will stream to it. 2 Many nations will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways,
so that we may walk in his paths.” The law will go out from Zion, the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. 3 He will judge between many peoples and will settle disputes for strong nations far and wide.
They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore. 4 Every man will sit under his own vine
and under his own fig tree, and no one will make them afraid, for the LORD Almighty has spoken.
5 All the nations may walk  in the name of their gods; we will walk in the name of the LORD
our God for ever and ever.

(Statue at U.N. in New York of Beating swords into plowshares)

Thoughts: This is the beatific vision of Micah and of the Jews- that people would come to Mount Zion as the center of their universe, and that at the end there will be peace instead of war. 
      Today, many people come to Mt. Zion.  To the Jews it is their holiest place- and they gather around the remnant of the Temple, the western wall (or parts of the southern wall).  Christians gather there to visit the Church of the Holy Sepulchre where Jesus was buried and raised, and the Via dolorosa.  Muslims come to Mount Zion to see the site where Mohammed ascended to heaven preserved in the Al Aqsa Mosque and al-Haram ash-Sharif (Dome of the Rock).
    This verse of beating swords into plowshares (tiller tines) in Micah is found exactly in Isaiah 2:4, and its opposite (beating plowshares into swords) in Joel 3:10.  This verse is also found on the walls of the United Nations.  Often military items are turned into peace-time benefits.  Tissues has changed from being used in gas masks to blowing noses in homes; Computers were used to break war-time codes to being used in 94% of American homes; GPS was used for military purposes at first and now helps the average American find their way around town.  Nuclear fuel used for destruction may be converted into fuel to heat homes. 
     Our hopes also should be that people would come to the Lord for help and center their lives around Him.  We should also not be afraid to keep the vision of peace. 

Prayer: Use me, Lord, to point and lead people to you, and to foster peace in this world.

John Calvin Abridged: Here the prophet refers to the last days.  "Come let us go up to the mountain of the Lord" is a call of encouragement to worship- which is what we all should do. "He will teach us His ways" is a reminder that there is no true religion except it be formed according to the rule of His Word.  Hence, there can be no Church , except it be obedient and guided by the Word of God.  "They shall beat their swords into plowshares..." means that when the nations are taught by the Word of God there shall be such a change that everyone would study good and perform their duty of love toward their neighbors.  Until people are made gentle by the Word of God, we should not be surprised at tyranny and oppression.

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