The Prophet Micah - Part 3
We are on the last part of our study on the Book of Micah. Micah 5 starts with the promise of the coming of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, around seven hundred years before He was born. Micah also identified the birthplace, the town of Bethlehem Ephrathah. It was fulfilled almost 2,000 years ago as prophesied. But before this, Judah should suffer through series of defeats starting with the conquest of the Babylonians.
Ever since Judah's (city of troops) fall from Babylonians, Judah no longer recovered and did not have any king of their own even after their return to Judah from seventy years of captivity in Babylon. The series of foreign occupation never allowed them to set up an independent kingdom. After the Babylonians, came the Persians, then the Macedonians and next, the Romans. It was during the time of the Roman rule that Jesus was born, not only to be the Messiah but also the ruler of Israel. Note, He shall become the ruler of Israel, not only of the House of Judah but a ruler of the undivided House of Israel. But before that, He shall suffer first and as the first verse prophecies, "They will strike Israel's ruler on the cheek with a rod." It apparently prophecies a Roman striking the face of Jesus with a rod when He was being punished in Pilate's palace. This prophecy does not apply to King Zedekiah, the ruler during the House of Judah's defeat by the Babylonians since he was not the ruler of the whole of Israel but the ruler only of House of Judah. The next passage below will let us understand the story better:
This tells us that Israel will not be restored as undivided kingdom and Jesus can not reign over them until His return. There should be more sufferings far worse than what Israel has gone through in their entire history. The verse describes it like a woman in labour about to give birth. Jesus also described Israel suffering's the same way in Matt 24:6-8--
Worse is still to shall come to Israel and to all Christians the world over. We call it the Great Tribulation and the reign of the Antichrist. But after the labour pains (when she who is in labour gives birth), the rest of his brothers [will] return to join the Israelites. It is about the great homecoming, the Great Exodus, the return to Israel which is the original Land of Promise. And so Israel will be reunited and Jesus Christ finally becomes her king.
That will finally fulfill God's promise to Abraham, to make his descendants numerous, a great nation, powerful and possessing the gates of her enemies. That will also answer the question of the apostles before Jesus ascended to heaven asking Him--
That will also fulfill Micah's prophecy for Jesus to become ruler of Israel, to shepherd Hid flock, and that His greatness will reach to the ends of the earth. Israel will no longer be divided, not a subject to any nation or empire for she shall reign over all nations and He will be their peace. Micah wrote these promises to assure the houses of Israel and Judah that God is not completely ignoring them. God has a plan and a hope for them that in the end, they will still be the greatest nation on earth forever.
The triumph over the enemies
Not only did Micah promised a united Israel but also her main enemy, Assyria will forever be humbled and they will rule over them. Assyria occupies almost the same land area of Babylon, both of which were conquered by the Persians and Macedonians. Assyria and Babylon were both founded by Nimrod, a mighty hunter before (or against) the Lord (Gen 10:8-12). Assyria was responsible to the demise of the northern kingdom, the House of Israel. All the enemies of Israel have one common denominator: Edom or Esau. Edom was Jacob's own brother who turned into his worst enemy. Edom married women that were disliked by his parents, women or descendants of Egypt, Ishmael, Canaan and down the line, intermixed with people of Assyria. Read The Prophet Obadiah for more information on Edom. In the last day, the Assyrians, Persians along with many nations will join Gog and Magog to make war against Israel (Ezek 38:5-6) but by then Jesus Christ will defeat them all. We call that final battle, the Battle of Armageddon.
Assyria or Babylon today occupies the land of Iraq. It is the same place from where the Bible prophesies the Antichrist will come (Nahum 1:11). However, take note that the last day invasion of Assyrians is different from the prior invasion on Israel by the Assyrians prior to the reign of Antichrist. That invasion of the symbolic Assyria will also not be successful because he will get killed in action. But when the Assyrian ruler will resurrect to become the Antichrist (the wound is healed), then he becomes the symbolic Babylonian king and should destroy Israel and the rest of the world. The whole world then becomes the Empire of Babylon but will come to an end. Its center is New York City, the new Tyre, the seat of the Antichrist. Read The Antichrist and the Number "666", The Powerful Delusion, A Great Lie, and Where Are We Now? What To Expect? for more understanding on the fall of Israel in the last days. So the root of all Israel's troubles is Assyria, the land of Edom, the city of Nimrod. Micah promised that Assyria will no longer be the pain on the side of Israel but will rule over them.
Afterwards, Israel (remnant of Jacob) will be among the nations, in the midst of many peoples, so powerful that it mauls and mangles as it goes, and no one can rescue In victory, God says, "your hand will be lifted up in triumph over your enemies, and all your foes will be destroyed" (Mic 5:7-9).
Reasons why Israel falls
However, before the Lord can work for Israel's victory, Israel today should first be stripped of his own source of strength and rely on God's power alone. That's why Israel will be subjected to defeat and humiliation because he relied too much on her own power and idols (wealth).
Indeed, today, Israel (EU, USA and Israel) along with the rest of the west are the world's most powerful allies. That is because they are the descendants of Abraham that were scattered due to their disobedience. Read also Who Are the Ten Horns of the Beast? - Part 1 and Part 2 for more details on the origins of these nations. But since we relied too much on weapons and wealth, God will prove that no human power and idols can save them from their less powerful enemies.
Chapter 6 outlines God's case against Israel and challenged them to answer Him back why they don't deserve to suffer. Of course the Lord is always right in His judgment. Man has sinned, all nations sinned and deserve nothing less than death. God is not happy with how men are worshipping-- with offerings, sacrifices and this is what He wanted from us:
This was actually made into a song, one of my favourite gospel songs, courtesy of Maranatha Music titled Micah 6:8.
Do we act justly and love mercy? Do we walk with God with humility? These are simple demands of God from His people and yet only few do this anymore.
God is slow to anger, full of compassion and justice. For thousands of years, He resisted punishing His people. He still gave them power and wealth. And yet His people did not acknowledge Him as the source of all strength and power. Today, due to advances of knowledge and science, people allege that religion is just a fruit of ancient rich imagination and invention. They say biblical people can not explain how things came to be and creating god is the easiest excuse to explain our existence. Yet even our modern knowledge can not explain how the simplest organism came into being from nothing. Man can not claim to know everything and yet established scientific theories that no one will be able to prove. Christians are not exempt from being poisoned by these false knowledge. We are turning away from age-old tradition of worship and instead of gaining wisdom, we gain foolishness. Churches are empty, many are insensitive to the needs of others. I myself is guilty of not meeting the simple requirements of the Lord. I deserve the tribulation that is to come in order to obtain the blessings in the end. But there is and end to all our sinfulness and God will not wait any longer—He is sending the birth pains to bring us to our knees and repent.
Chapter 7 further narrates Israel's sins and misery. There will come a time when families will be divided (Mic 7:6). Jesus also quoted this in Matt 10:35-36. Many will turn against a person because of that person's faith in Jesus even if both are members of the same family. That pictures that religion will be a matter of life and death in the last days even among a very close relationships. The Antichrist will do everything in his power to convince people that he is the true "Messiah." Jesus warned us early enough in order not to be misled by false "Christs" (Matt 24:5,24).
Israel covenant with God to be confirmed
As of now, Israel is still lost and have not recovered as one nation. They are still divided. Their rise to world power is still to come.
God shall repeat history to prove that the biblical history of Israel did happen. Chapter 7: 14-20 lists some of the covenants to be proven true in the last days.
God the Father is speaking to His Son, Jesus,
This is the fulfillment also of Psalm 23. Bashan and Gilead were territories defeated by Joshua, very fertile lands ideal for pasture. Most of these were given to the half-tribe of Manasseh (Jos 17:1-6). Manasseh soon become the present day USA. So God is basically speaking of present day Egypt, the USA.
In the above verse, God reminds Israel they will again come out of Egypt (USA) and the wonders God did in Egypt will be repeated—wonders like the plagues and the divided Red Sea, the exodus to Israel. Many people from Europe will seek refuge in the USA prior to the Second Coming and will find themselves later that they will be held captives by the Antichrist (Isa 14:17; 49:8-9), the last days Pharaoh. Read The Prophet Micah - Part 1 about Israel's return to Egypt.
God has repeated His promise to the patriarchs of Israel many times from Abraham to Joseph's sons, Ephraim and Manasseh. As final words of Micah, he assured that God's covenant with the forefathers still stands and in the end, God will forgive all transgressions.
Micah's book is a very wonderful piece of prophecy for the Kingdom of Israel that should be taken to heart seriously. God's undying love and compassion to His chosen nation proved strong to the end while we find these same peoples today of being ungrateful and unfaithful. Let all nations, not only Israel become followers of Jesus Christ because every nation is part of the blessing pledged to Abraham.
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