Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Restoration To Come

Micah 4:1-13

“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.  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.” (Micah 4:1-2)

At the time of the Lords return, Jerusalem will be established as the capital of Christ’s kingdom.  Isaiah 65 and Revelation 20-21 also describe a time when the world will flock to Jerusalem to worship God, and to learn what he commands.    Jesus Christ will be the king. 

“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.  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. 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.” (Micah 4:3-5)

Isaiah 11:10 makes it clear who the king will be in that day, and that the people turn to him.  “And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious. “  Revelation 19:15-16 describes how he keeps things undetr control.  “And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.  And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”  There will no longer be the power struggles we see today. 

“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; 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.  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.” (Micah 4:6-8)

Israel would be carried away from their land, but eventually God will bring them back.  Isaiah 11:11-13 describes what will happen.  “And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea.  And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.  The envy also of Ephraim shall depart, and the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off: Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim.”  For centuries, competition between the northern and southern kingdoms had interfered with their serving God.  In that day even the internal conflicts will be ended.

“Now why dost thou cry out aloud? is there no king in thee? is thy counsellor perished? for pangs have taken thee as a woman in travail.  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.” (Micah 4:9-10)

As the Assyrians took Israel, they invaded Judah as well.  Instead of trusting God, Judah first tried to buy the Assyrians off, which the Assyrians took as a sign of weakness.   God was still there and willing to help them.  The troubles they were going through were to help them understand God wanted to help.   Because of their refusal to trust they would be taken captives by Babylon, where God would protect them and bring them back after seventy years. 

“Now also many nations are gathered against thee, that say, Let her be defiled, and let our eye look upon Zion.  But they know not the thoughts of the LORD, neither understand they his counsel: for he shall gather them as the sheaves into the floor.  Arise and thresh, O daughter of Zion: for I will make thine horn iron, and I will make thy hoofs brass: and thou shalt beat in pieces many people: and I will consecrate their gain unto the LORD, and their substance unto the Lord of the whole earth.” (Micah 4:11-13)

Nations that didn’t understand God’s love were crying for the total destruction of Israel.  Like many ungodly people today, they didn’t understand God’s punishment was to correct Israel, assuming it was done out of hatred rather than love.  When it was done, God would gather them into his arms like a father does a repentant child.  The people who had tried to capitalize on their punishment would be destroyed, and the things they had claimed would be given to God.  

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