The Poetic Prophet

Micah — Part 2: Restoration

“But as for me, I will look unto the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me” (Micah 7:7 NASB). (Part 1 of this article was published in the May-June 2017 Herald issue on “Minor Prophets — Part 1.”)

by Jeff Mezera

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Chapters four and five of Micah are restoration chapters, detailing some of the blessings to come upon Israel and the nations in the future.

“But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose origin is from of old, from ancient days” (Micah 5:2 RSV).

Quoted in the Gospels of Matthew and John, both Jesus and his lineage were prophesied to come from Bethlehem. He would go forth “for me,” for God.

“When the Assyrian shall come into our land, and when he shall tread in our palaces, then shall we raise against him seven shepherds, and eight principal men.  And they shall waste the land of Assyria with the sword … and he shall deliver us from the Assyrian, when he cometh into our land, and when he treadeth within our border” (Micah 5:5-6, ASV).

Both the Biblical account and the Assyrian archeological accounts, mention Sennacherib’s invasion into Judah, Hezekiah, the siege of Lachish and Jerusalem, Hezekiah’s tribute to the Assyrian king, Sennacherib’s return to his capital city of Nineveh, and his death at the hands of his own sons.

When the Assyrian king came against Jerusalem, Isaiah prophesied that God would protect the city. “Therefore thus saith Jehovah concerning the king of Assyria, He shall not come unto this city … For I will defend this city to save it, for mine own sake, and for my servant David’s sake” (Isaiah 37:33,35, ASV).

God miraculously spared Israel in this battle with Sennacherib. “And it came to pass that night, that the angel of the LORD went out, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians a hundred fourscore and five thousand: and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses” (2 Kings 19:35, KJV).

At the University of Chicago’s Oriental Institute, a copy of a prism, written by Sennacherib, confirms the Biblical record. “The Assyrian records try to gloss over the sudden retreat from Jerusalem, the more shameful because of the appreciation that its fall had been imminent” (1997, Chaim Herzog and Mordechai Gichon, Battles of the Bible, page 254).

No mention is made in the Assyrian account of any victory in Jerusalem or why the attack would have been broken off. If the king had indeed captured Jerusalem, he would have boasted of it with his other conquests. Instead, he tried to make it sound as good as possible, an early example of political spin.

Israel’s deliverance in the future battle mentioned in Micah 5:5 will be even more miraculous. “And this man shall be our peace: when the Assyrian shall come into our land, and when he shall tread in our palaces, then shall we raise against him seven shepherds, and eight principal men” (RSV).

Assyria was the foe most feared in Micah’s day. The Assyrian in Micah 5:5 represents the enemies of Israel at any time, the enemies of the church at any time, or even sin during the kingdom. In Isaiah, the Assyrian is the type of antichrist and of Satan (Isaiah 10 and including Babylon in chapter 14). At the beginning of the Millennial Age, the seven shepherds are the completed and glorified church. The eight principal men are the Ancient Worthies who rule on the earth. Jesus leads both groups against God’s enemies. This harmonizes with Isaiah 1:26, “I will restore thy judges as at the first, and thy counselors as at the beginning” (KJV).

“They shall rule the land of Assyria with the sword, and the land of Nimrod with the drawn sword; and they shall deliver us from the Assyrian when he comes into our land and treads within our border” (Micah 5:6, RSV).

The Ancient Worthies will be on the scene immediately after the church is gone. They will be the visible representatives and leaders of the state. Together, they will shepherd with a sword, not to hurt the sheep, but to protect against the enemies who are after the sheep.

“Then the remnant of Jacob shall be in the midst of many peoples like dew from the LORD, like showers upon the grass, which tarry not for men nor wait for the sons of men” (Micah 5:7, RSV).

Dew and rain are from God. Water revives and refreshes. The work of Israel and the Church in the kingdom will be to revive and refresh the nations (Gentiles) as the dew covers the grass. Like dew or showers, Israel will be spread throughout the world, leading the Gentiles to become Israelites.

“And the remnant of Jacob shall be among the nations, in the midst of many peoples, like a lion among the beasts of the forest, like a young lion among the flocks of sheep, which,
when it goes through, treads down and tears in pieces, and there is none to deliver” (Micah 5:8, RSV).

The strength of God is irresistible, and no one will be able to resist His strength working through Israel.

“It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be raised up above the hills; and peoples shall flow to it, and many nations shall come, and say: ‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; that he may teach us his ways and we may walk in his paths.’ For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem” (Micah 4:1-2, Cf. Isaiah 2:1-4, RSV).

The people will ask to be taught the ways of Yahweh, showing hope for those who do not believe now (Isaiah 26:9). The people will not learn war anymore (Micah 4:3-4, see also Isaiah 2:4). Soon, we will see the government of God established as the highest government over all of the earth.

God miraculously helped Israel in the time of Micah. He has had His protective hand on them throughout history and will continue this divine protection in the future. How much more does He have His hand on us, and He will help us even more than He did Israel. He will do this only if we are faithful to Him.





Categories: 2018 Issues, 2018-May/June

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