The Prophet Micah - Part 2
This is the second instalment on our study of the Book of Micah. Discussion of this book needs an understanding one of the general principles of unlocking the prophecies, mainly, biblical history will be repeated. Once we are aware of that, then it should be plain and simple to understand Micah's writings along with the other prophets.
God's rebuke to the leaders of nations and the Church
Last week, we discussed up to chapter 2 and explained that shortly before the Antichrist's reign worldwide, the leaders of Europe will be hostile towards their own people to appease and convince the evil ruler that they support his cause. That makes the defeat of the whole world easier for the Antichrist. Chapter 3 details how these leaders will treat their people. That will be the time of the Great Tribulation and everyone knows it will be a time of violence, wars, pestilences and great famines. Every nation, mostly in Europe and Middle East will be struggling for physical survival. For those kings and leaders of the church, God had these words for them:
Notice the tortures. It is even hard to interpret this literally—either spiritual or physical suffering. But what is being emphasized though are the extreme hardship that those people of God will go through. Now, this is one of the prophecies that will debunk the widely believed 'theory' that before the Great Tribulation, no Christians will be left behind as they will all be 'rapture-d' to heaven. Other prophets, including Jesus Christ Himself have many writings about Christians suffering in the Great tribulation. Read Is The Traditional Rapture Doctrine Biblical? for more details on the rapture story. In verse 4, Jesus Christ is now talking about His return and during that time, He will not listen to those evil leaders "because of the evil they have done."
Corruption in the Church
In the succeeding verses, God simply reiterates His warnings to the present day spiritual leaders of Israel who are described to be corrupt and yet think God is with them.
Check also verse 5 about their corruption. Notice today if you are a church-going believer, oftentimes, some preachers preach only what is pleasing to the ears. Preachers are afraid to rebuke especially if it will cost a member or members to leave. Nowadays, some church leaders are after quantity of membership, not spiritual quality. No wonder outsiders are not seeing spirituality anymore in the church—they see that there is no difference by being an atheists. Therefore during those times, there will be no sign, response or any vision coming from God. It will be famine not of food but of God's word.
Read also Amos 8:11 on this spiritual famine. It should not surprise us anymore about this prophecy that during those times of hardships, God will hide His face from us. We have not found the true way of worship and the leaders of the Church are even more guilty of a greater sin. When Jesus Christ rebuked the Pharisees, He was also referring to the present day corrupt church leaders. Jesus warned--
This passage just reiterates what the prophets Amos and Micah wrote that God will be utterly silent during those times of desolation (see also Mica's prophecy on this desolation) until Jesus comes again and people will say 'Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.' Church leaders today and even all believers should be more courageous, I would say a bit more radical in rebuking wrongdoings in the church just like what Jesus did to the Pharisees.
The Lord's plan for His nation Israel
When I write about Israel, it is not only about the small nation of Israel we know today but it also includes the EU, the Ten Lost tribes represented by Ephraim, and the U.S.A., represented by Manasseh. Though Israel suffers in the tribulation, there will be a wonderful future for them in the last days. They will become the greatest nation on earth.
God is talking about the thousand year worldwide reign of Jesus Christ. Read The Millennium for more details on that coming age. It is like a brand new day after a violent storm, a rule that anyone who wants to be great should first be made low. Same process that Jesus underwent who suffered, died and become great forevermore. That applies to anyone or any nation who wants to become great in the future—everyone should be made low (Mark 10:43-45). And that is what will happen to Israel. Israel is sinning and will suffer for it in the tribulation but even with those low points in Israel's history, God can make it work for good (Rom 8:28) if they repent and return to Him. They will be greatly rewarded for their perseverance.
Rescue from Egypt
After the tribulation is over, God will gather all the remnants, many of whom are coming from exile, others suffer from physically disability.
Many have asked, 'how do we survive the Great Tribulation?' One of the answers is found in the above verse. Those who will suffer most physically or emotionally and had gone into exile without giving up faith will likely have a greater chance to survive as opposed to those who seek physical survival and security more than spiritual survival (Read Matt 16:25).
And just like in the old times, Israel will also be taken to Babylon.
'Zion' appeared the first time in the Bible in 2 Sam 5:7, when Israel was still one nation. 'Daughter of Zion' appeared for the first time in 2 Kings 19:21, to mean the citizens of Judah or daughter of Jerusalem, then, Israel was already a divided kingdom. So before, it was only the House of Judah that was taken captive to Babylon. Later on, the Daughter of Zion will include all Israel. Now, the modern Babylon is also the modern Egypt, a nation where Israel was maltreated for 400 years (Gen 15:13) until Moses led them out of it. In the same way, to confirm that old covenant, God will also rescue His people from the new Egypt, the U.S.A., the throne of the Antichrist, the modern day Pharaoh. Read The Last Days Exodus on how modern Israel will be taken out of the last days Egypt.
Once they have resettled in the Land of Promise, the land of Canaan, the nation of Israel will be rebuilt to become great among the nations as promised to Abraham and then treasures of nations will flow to it.
Read also Isaiah 60:5,9,11; 61:6. This is very similar to the times when the Egyptians gave the Hebrews their gold and treasures before they left Egypt (Ex 12:35-36). So this covenant will be confirmed. Moreover, the rescue and redemption by God written by Micah in verse 10 is not exactly about the first captivity in Babylon. He is actually referring to Israel's captivity in the last days for since after their return to Judah after seventy years of captivity in Babylon, the prophecy for them above is not yet fulfilled.
It should be clear now how God's plan is working in our daily lives, not only individually because God's plan is immense. He is also dealing with every family, our towns and cities and even nations and the whole world. More importantly, He has a wonderful plan for His Church. God is in total control of everything no matter how complex and those plans are clearly written in the Bible, being fulfilled without our knowledge. We will conclude our study of the Book of Micah next week. Praise be to God!
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