Micah 4:1

"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." NIV translation

"In the last days" is a technical term in the Old Testament that specifically refers to the period of time that is commonly called the Great Tribulation as well as the period referred to as the Millennial Reign. Throughout the Bible, mountains are associated with places of teaching/learning especially about the things of God. The word that is translated as "temple" here is the Hebrew word "bayith" and is better translated as house. Micah begins by telling the people of a time when the teaching of the Lord will be raised up above all other teachings in the world. The center of this teaching will be the city of Jerusalem (house of the Lord). We are reminded that, in the previous chapters, he has been warning the people of Judah and Jerusalem of the coming judgment of God at the hands of the Babylonians. This judgment was coming to the people because they had ignored the teachings of God and failed to repent. He had told them that Jerusalem was going to be destroyed but, here, he speaks of the fact that the city will be rebuilt and it will even become the center of the world. This message is identical to that of the prophet Isaiah (see Isaiah 2) and we are reminded that, according to Jewish law, two witnesses were required to establish something as truth. We also see that groups of people will come to Jerusalem to learn about the ways of God. That reminds us of the fact that today the city of Jerusalem is basically shared by four groups of people. There are the Muslims, the religious Jews, the secular Jews, and the Christians. The government tries to allow all of the people access and freedom to worship in their own way but there is constant strife between the groups. There are various initiatives and ideas for bringing peace to the city as well as to the nation as a whole but, as we see here, the peace will not come until the true teaching of God is elevated above all religion.

Micah 4:2

"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." NIV translation

Micah continues to describe what is known as the Millennial Reign and the fact that Jerusalem will be known as the home of God. We see that people from other nations will stream to Jerusalem to be taught the ways of the Lord and the teachings of Jesus will go out to the world. That brings up the question of: What is the purpose of this thousand year reign on this earth? In Revelation 20, we see that, just before this reign starts, Satan is bound and his influence is removed from the earth. During this time, there will be people who believe that everything would be just fine if only the devil was removed. God does this to show them that, even without the presence of Satan, the heart of man continues to rebel against the ways of God. This is the final test of man under the best of circumstances as they have the teaching of Jesus , without the presence of the devil and yet there will be those who still reject God's grace.

Micah 4:3

"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." NIV translation

This thousand years will be a time of world peace and we are reminded that this is only possible due to the fact that the Prince of Peace has come to earth to reign. He may be based in Jerusalem but it is acknowledged that He is in charge of the entire earth. There will be no wars during this time but that does not mean that there will not be disputes among the nations. We must understand that the majority of the world's population will still not have accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. They will not fight among themselves as they submit to the rule of the King.

Micah 4:4

"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 spoken." NIV translation

Micah continues to describe the Millennial Reign and the fact that it is a time when God's provision is available for everyone. In part 2, we saw that this period of time is a time of true world peace and this is possible because Jesus (the Prince of Peace) is in charge. The conflicts between men and nations usually stem from the fact that one man (nation) has what the other man (nation) wants. Here, we see that God provides for the needs of all men even those that have not accepted Jesus as their Savior. This time of God's total provision will be the total opposite of the seven years that come immediately before it. During that time, the Great Tribulation, God's hand of provision is removed from the earth in general and limited to His 144,000 witnesses.

Micah 4:5

"All 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." NIV translation

Even during this time, God will not force man to accept Him as the only true God. As we saw before, this is a final testing of the people of the earth under ideal circumstances (without the influence of Satan). Men will be able to see the difference between the kingdom way and the way of men and, at the end of this time, they will be judged on the basis of the choice they have made.

Micah 4:6 & 7

"'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.'" NIV translation

God promises that those who accept the fact that they could not become righteous on their own will be residents of the city of Jerusalem. This is a reminder that it is not our efforts that gain us eternal life but our acceptance of Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.

Micah 4:8

"'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.'" NIV translation

Micah continues to share the words of the Lord with the people of Jerusalem as he is describing the fact that Jerusalem will once again be a royal city during the Millennial reign. This verse refers to the fact that the shepherd boy, David, became their king and ruled all of Israel from Jerusalem. He was the last king of the unified nation of Israel and, here, God promises to restore kingship under his family line. That is why it was important for Jesus to be from the line of King David.

Micah 4:9

"Why do you cry aloud - have you no king? Has your ruler perished, that pain seizes you like that of a woman in labor?" NIV translation

Micah returns to speaking about the situation that his people faced at that time. This verse refers to the fact that King Zedekiah fled with his army during the Babylonian siege and left the people of Jerusalem on their own. This is a stark contrast to the promised King Jesus and the Millennial reign. It is also a reminder that Israel was not designed to have a man as its king. We are reminded of the fact that God was going to dwell with them and be their king but, when they entered the promised land, the people of Israel cried out for a man as king so that they could be like the surrounding nations.

Micah 4:10

"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." NIV translation

The prophet goes on to say that it is too late to stop this judgment at the hands of the Babylonians but gives the people hope as he says that they will not remain in captivity forever. We must remember that, to the people of this time, the idea of leaving Jerusalem meant that they would be separated from God, alone, and on their own. It is this position that was required to bring them to repentance so that they could be saved. It is the same for people of today in that, for them to be saved, they must realize that they are isolated from God and on their own until they repent and accept Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.

Micah 4:11

"But now many nations are gathered against you. They say, 'Let her be defiled, let our eyes gloat over Zion!'" NIV translation

The prophet now, shifts his focus to the final battle between Satan and Jesus which occurs after the Millennial Reign as we see in Revelation 20:7. Micah describes the fact that Satan will lead the nations in a final siege of the city of Jerusalem. At this point, they do not deny that Jesus is the King of Kings and that Jerusalem is the city of God but they make a final effort to overthrow the kingdom.

Micah 4:12

"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." NIV translation

This final battle was also described by the prophet Ezekiel in more detail. He described the fact that it was God that was going to draw these nations to Jerusalem so that they could be openly defeated. ( see Ezekiel 38 & 39) Here, this battle is described as a harvesting where the grains with their stalks are brought to the threshing floor where they are separated.

Micah 4:13

"'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." NIV translation

The final victory is credited to God's people (the Jews) as it is accomplished by Jesus Christ who was identified as a Jew. John gives us more detail as he says that the armies were defeated as a "fire came down from heaven".

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