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Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Micah: Who is Like God? (Part 7)

In the last days the mountain of the LORD's temple will be established as the highest of the mountains; it will be exalted above the hills, and peoples will stream to it.
Micah 4:1

This refers to a temple in Jerusalem, the 3rd temple. "The last days" refers to before the events in revelation. Since the third temple has yet to be built, Micah is making a prediction that's waiting to be fulfilled. Ezekiel 40 describes the physical appearance of the temple, but Micah describes something different.

Many nations will come and say, "Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the temple of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths." The law will go out from Zion, the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
He will judge between many peoples and will settle disputes for strong nations far and wide. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.
Everyone will sit under their own vine and under their own fig tree, and no one will make them afraid, for the LORD Almighty has spokenAll the nations may walk in the name of their gods, but we will walk in the name of the LORD our God for ever and ever.
Micah 4:2-5

Micah means "Who is Like God?" and this helps when your look for what Micah means.
In the old testament, the temple was how God communicated with his people. You need to sacrifice at the temple to have your sins forgiven.
Once Jesus died on the cross, there was no need for the temple and it was destroyed in a later invasion of Israel.
But what we see is the temple coming back and we see what happens when the temple is rebuilt.
Who is like God?
God has chosen to reveal himself to his people by a third temple.

for the LORD Almighty has spoken.

"In that day," declares the LORD, "I will gather the lame; I will assemble the exiles and those I have brought to grief. I will make the lame my remnant, those driven away a strong nation. The LORD will rule over them in Mount Zion from that day and forever. As for you, watchtower of the flock, stronghold of Daughter Zion, the former dominion will be restored to you; kingship will come to Daughter Jerusalem." Why do you now cry aloud— have you no king? Has your ruler perished, that pain seizes you like that of a woman in labor? Writhe in agony, Daughter Zion, like a woman in labor, for now you must leave the city to camp in the open field. You will go to Babylon; there you will be rescued. There the LORD will redeem you out of the hand of your enemies.
Micah 4:6-10

Who is like God?
Only God can keep a perfect balance between justice and mercy.
God punishes his people, but he also promises to gather them back together.

But now many nations are gathered against you. They say, "Let her be defiled, let our eyes gloat over Zion!" But they do not know the thoughts of the LORD; they do not understand his plan, that he has gathered them like sheaves to the threshing floor.
Micah 4:11-12

This prophecy is already starting to be fulfilled. Nations have always been rising up against Israel. More modern examples would be Hilter and conflicts with Egypt, Jordan,Syria, and Iraq.

"Rise and thresh, Daughter Zion, for I will give you horns of iron; I will give you hooves of bronze, and you will break to pieces many nations." You will devote their ill-gotten gains to the LORD, their wealth to the Lord of all the earth.
Micah 4:13

Who is like God?
God still helps his people, despite the many times they've turned their backs on him. God will bring them victory, allowing them to destroy many nations. Who is like God?

Then Solomon stood before the altar of the LORD in front of the whole assembly of Israel, spread out his hands toward heaven and said: "LORD, the God of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven above or on earth below—you who keep your covenant of love with your servants who continue wholeheartedly in your way.
1 Kings 8:22-23


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