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.

Mic 5:1-2
Marshal your troops, O city of troops, for a siege is laid against us. They will strike Israel's ruler on the cheek with a rod.
2 "But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times."

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:

Mic 5:3-5
3 Therefore Israel will be abandoned until the time when she who is in labour gives birth and the rest of his brothers return to join the Israelites. 4 He will stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God. And they will live securely, for then his greatness will reach to the ends of the earth. 5 And he will be their peace.

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--

6 You will hear of wars and rumours of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 7 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of birth pains.

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--

Acts 1:6
"Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?"

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.

Mic 5:5-6
When the Assyrian invades our land and marches through our fortresses, we will raise against him seven shepherds, even eight leaders of men. 6 They will rule the land of Assyria with the sword, the land of Nimrod with drawn sword. He will deliver us from the Assyrian when he invades our land and marches into our borders.

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).

Mic 5:10-15
"I will destroy your horses from among you and demolish your chariots. 11 I will destroy the cities of your land and tear down all your strongholds. 12 I will destroy your witchcraft and you will no longer cast spells. 13 I will destroy your carved images and your sacred stones from among you; you will no longer bow down to the work of your hands. 14 I will uproot from among you your Asherah poles and demolish your cities. 15 I will take vengeance in anger and wrath upon the nations that have not obeyed me."

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:

Mic 6:8
8 He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

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 longerHe is sending the birth pains to bring us to our knees and repent.

Mic 6:12-15
12 Her rich men are violent; her people are liars and their tongues speak deceitfully. 13 Therefore, I have begun to destroy you, to ruin you because of your sins. 14 You will eat but not be satisfied; your stomach will still be empty. You will store up but save nothing, because what you save I will give to the sword. 15 You will plant but not harvest; you will press olives but not use the oil on yourselves, you will crush grapes but not drink the wine.

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.

Mic 7:11-12
11 The day for building your walls will come, the day for extending your boundaries. 12 In that day people will come to you from Assyria and the cities of Egypt, even from Egypt to the Euphrates and from sea to sea and from mountain to mountain.

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.

a. Covenant of the Good Shepherd

God the Father is speaking to His Son, Jesus,

Mic 7:14
14 Shepherd your people with your staff, the flock of your inheritance, which lives by itself in a forest, in fertile pasturelands. Let them feed in Bashan and Gilead as in days long ago.

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.

b. Covenant of the Plagues and Exodus

Mic 7:15
15 "As in the days when you came out of Egypt, I will show them my wonders."

In the above verse, God reminds Israel they will again come out of Egypt (USA) and the wonders God did in Egypt will be repeatedwonders 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.

c. Covenant of God's oath to the Patriarchs

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.

Mic 7:18-20
18 Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. 19 You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea. 20 You will be true to Jacob, and show mercy to Abraham, as you pledged on oath to our fathers in days long ago.

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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