Micah 4:6-8 “In that day, declares the LORD, I will assemble the lame and gather those who have been driven away and those whom I have afflicted; and the lame I will make the remnant, and those who were cast off, a strong nation; and the LORD will reign over them in Mount Zion from this time forth and forevermore. And you, O tower of the flock, stronghold of the daughter of Zion, to you shall it come, the former dominion shall come, kingship for the daughter of Jerusalem.”
Once again, we need to determine the time indicated by the opening phrase, “In that day.” Almost certainly, it is a continuation thought from the previous statement and therefore it is a reference to the day of the Lord, but once again which of the 3 days of the Lord, or the last days, are we speaking about? Is it the day of His incarnation, the beginning of the gospel or church age, or the day of His final return to finally establish the Kingdom eternal? We determine this primarily from the context. Sometimes the context indicates the inauguration of the Kingdom by the incarnation of the Son of God, or the beginning of the church age, or the end when the eternal Kingdom is established. Sometimes it might include the whole era of “the last days” from the birth of Christ to His return as King. As we saw in the first few verses of Micah 4 there seems to be an indication of the whole inauguration as well as the completion of the eternal work of God, but the context also indicates the distinct process from beginning to end. “In that day” often indicates a time or season during the whole process. It might even be interpreted as “during this time” or “during this journey toward the conclusion.” These verses in context, do seem to be talking about a process of gathering, leading up to the inception of the fulfilled Kingdom. These verses also indicate a common promise concerning the gathering of a remnant referring to natural Israel.
There is much in scripture to be said about “the remnant” referring to natural Israel. God always talks in terms of saving a remnant of the nation. His promise of faithfulness to Israel is that they will not be annihilated but that a remnant will always be preserved. The only possible reference to more than a remnant of Israel being saved is maybe Romans 11:26, but even then, the reference is likely to a harvest of Jewish souls which wraps up God’s promise to the natural Jewish nation. It follows the final influx of the Gentile believers and thus concludes God’s harvest of souls throughout history. This final outpouring on the Jewish nation inaugurates the return of the Lord for the final judgment of all mankind. It is evident here in Micah 4 that whatever stage of the last days he is referring to, the effort of God is directed to those Jewish people who have been most oppressed and that His mercy is being extended to draw them to Himself and that this gathering of the outcast is referred to as a remnant. This is not a small thing and should not be looked at as a diminished effort by God. This outcast group of Jewish men and women who will become believers in Jesus will be strengthened by the Lord to become a powerful nation.
What does this mean, that natural Israel will become a powerful nation? The picture in scriptures of a New Heaven and a New Earth infers, that in the forever scheme of God, He intends for there to remain a distinction of nations. What began as a judgment of God on mankind at Babylon and led to the scattering of languages and people groups, evidently also had a purpose of God embedded in it. Like everything that God does with mankind, there was redemptive purpose in the confusion of languages and the dispersing of the people. Acts 17:26-28 “And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, for “‘In him we live and move and have our being’; as even some of your own poets have said, “‘For we are indeed his offspring.’ Paul actually indicates that by placing men within the boundaries of their nations, God has acted in order that they would seek Him. The Book of Revelation also makes it clear that Jesus receives glory because His redemptive purpose has penetrated and succeeded in drawing people from every nation, tribe, and tongue on earth. Jesus speaking in the Gospels and in Revelation seems to indicate both a judgment that calls nations into account and places His chosen ones as rulers over these nations indicating that the distinction of nations continues into the eternity of the New Heaven and New Earth. Finally, in our passages in Micah, the nations will continue to be in existence during this time of Christ’s rule. Some might say that this is just during a millennium, however, the context clearly says that whatever the circumstance described, it will be “from this time forth and forevermore,” Micah 4:7.
There is a short changeover in Micah 4:9-10, as if the promises that have been forthcoming might have drawn their attention away from their present calamity or it might be that the Lord did not want them to begin to think that these promises were meant for the present situation. God has wonderful plans for His people, but the time is not yet and so He pulls them back into the present and reminds them that now they have no king and now they are those who groan in misery. The picture is one of travail with a promise that is far into the future and there will be no rescue in their lifetime. In many ways, this far-off promise causes their present suffering to be intensified as the prophet extends no help to them from God in the present.
But the following discourse almost contains such a theme of hope that it’s as if the Lord and His prophet Micah cannot help but express excitement and joy even though the events are far off from the perspective of men. I have often witnessed the confusion of an imminence of fulfillment in the hearts of those who are caught up in the presence of the prophetic spirit. There is such a sense of excitement and it is understandable in the reality that in the reality of the Lord, a thousand years in mankind’s history is but one day in the presence of the Lord. It would be hard to not be caught up in a sense of immediacy in such a situation and that is almost what we sense as we read this prophecy of Micah which is about to turn toward the most significant event in human history prior to the final return of the Lord. Micah 4:11 through chapter 5 will begin to describe the purpose of God that is awaiting the people of God. The fascinating thing about the prophecy is that it almost seems as if the word is for the present even though we know in retrospect that it is not. It will not be fulfilled until the advent of the Lord and then will likely extend through the end of the age of the Church.
We will take up these verses in our next teaching and I am excited and looking forward to studying through this passage.