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Sunday, November 13, 2011

11/14/11 Micah 4:6-13 Hope in the End

6 “In that day,” declares the LORD, “I will gather the lame; I will assemble the exiles and those I have brought to grief. 7 I will make the lame a remnant, those driven away a strong nation. The LORD will rule over them in Mount Zion from that day and forever. 8 As for you, O watchtower of the flock,
O stronghold of the Daughter of Zion, the former dominion will be restored to you; kingship will come to the Daughter of Jerusalem.” 9 Why do you now cry aloud— have you no king? Has your counselor perished, that pain seizes you like that of a woman in labor? 10 Writhe in agony, O Daughter of Zion,
like a woman in labor, for now you must leave the city to camp in the open field. You will go to Babylon; there you will be rescued. There the LORD will redeem you out of the hand of your enemies.
11 But now many nations are gathered against you. They say, “Let her be defiled, let our eyes gloat over Zion!” 12 But they do not know the thoughts of the LORD; they do not understand his plan, he who gathers them like sheaves to the threshing floor. 13 “Rise and thresh, O Daughter of Zion, for I will give you horns of iron; I will give you hoofs of bronze and you will break to pieces many nations.” You will devote their ill-gotten gains to the LORD, their wealth to the Lord of all the earth.

(Woman in Labor- Micah compare Israel to one)

Thoughts: Micah prophecies the rise of Babylon before it was strong, and the end of the kings of Israel and Judah when they were strong.  There are four parts to this end of Micah 4: 1) A vision of the messianic age (vss. 6-8); 2) exile (in 586- vss.9,10) 3) restoroation (in 538 BC); 4) punishment for those who gloated. (11-13). It is evident that Micah is not prophesying in chronological order, but in theological order.  He begins with a reference to 3:1 "the last days" (which is the "that" of "in that day").  It is a vision of resurrection and restoration.  From a Christian perspective, this culminates in the resurrected one.  But to get to the Messianic age, they must go to exile in Babylon and then be rescued from exile. It is as if Micah was saying to get to the place of resurrection there must be a crucifixion and delierance.  This is also lived out in how we live our Christian life: we must die to ourselves in order to live for God.  Yet when we die to self- that is when our hope is the plainest.

Prayer: May I look for your redemption, O Lord, in the midst of my tough times.  Keep me from losing hope

John Calvin Abridged: God keeps the weak (lame) alive. The prophet tries to encourage the people who are depressed by saying that though they are weak yet God brings them new energy; though they were scattered, yet God is able to gather them together.  Though the Church may appear like a dead person, yet God is pleased to raise Her up.  The Church has had many resurrections.

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