I love the minor prophets: I love all the prophets but somehow I am fascinated with the minor prophets. Micah was a member of the 8 century quartet consisting of himself plus Isaiah, Hosea, and Amos. Prophets are different; rarely do they fit in. They are a bit strange, austere; not give to small talk or chit-chat. They are not interested in winning friends and influencing people; they are more into raw truth. They have a knack of telling like it is instead the way folks want it to be. They are faithful at rebuking sin, preaching judgment and the holiness of God but they always have a message of redemption and hope.
Micah saw the exile coming. He knows that Israel is in for a tough time and he tells them as much but chapter four is a sun burst of hope as Micah looks into the future. Those in my profession that consider themselves experts in the area of prophecy will probably have a different take on Micah four but I can be dogmatic about what I am going to share and no one in their right mind would be dogmatic in their interpretation of prophecy. I would venture to guess that Micah 4 has something to do with the millennium but I know that it has something to do with Jesus. The bible is a Him book; it is a book about HIM, that is Jesus. I see Him on every page and He is certainly visible in Micah 4.
Tonight I want to talk to you about four things that only Jesus can do. No one else in existence can do these four things and of course it is as the Father ordains.
Jesus Can Give Us Unity
Micah said, In the last days, the mountain of the Lord’s house will be the highest of all— the most important place on earth. It will be raised above the other hills, and people from all over the world will stream there to worship. People from many nations will come and say,“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of Jacob’s God. [4:1-2b]
There is no question that our world is divided. We are divided by culture, language, ethnicity, religion, philosophy and taste just to mention a few. Not only is our world divided, our nation is divided. Several years ago, following a presidential election, the red/blue map denoting democratic and republican states was a graphic reminder of how clearly we are divided. The South and middle America are conservative and the Northeast and West Coast or liberal. Conservatives believe it is wrong to kill and unborn baby whereas liberals see nothing wrong with abortion–matter of fact, they promote it. Abortion, homosexuality and many other things are controversal and divisive subjects. It was not that way 50 years ago. Sometimes I think we were better off when there was no TV. The liberal news media exonerates the left and bad mouths the right. Now we have a president, maybe the first in history, who plays on our division and is seeking to divide us even more by constantly using his class warfare rherotic.
To be frankly honest: a divided world and a divided nation do not grieve me as much as a divided church. As a pastor of 42 years, I have to be honest–I do not know if I have ever seen a church that was unified. In every church that I have served there has been a faction, a force, a pocket of resistance. I do admit that preachers don’t always help matters. I know that for my first 20 years of trying to pastor, I thought that I was supposed to play the “Authority” card–“I am your pastor, do as I say.” Needless to say, that does not work. I have discovered that only one thing will bring a church together and that is Jesus. If I can faithfully follow Jesus myself, I have discovered that most will follow. They will help build His kingdom but most of them are too intelligent to help a preacher build his own kingdom. My philosophy is really simple: preach Jesus, teach Jesus, live Jesus, obey Jesus and exalt Jesus. If Jesus does not bring them together, they are not in His fold.
I believe Micah was talking about the later days. In regard to the last days, I believe Jesus is going to be the great unifying force of the ages. He is going to bring nations together and Jerusalem is going to be the center of worship. I am sure that it is Jesus who is going to bring this about, not Judaism. Jesus said, “No man can come to the Father except by Me”. Jesus is not a way, He is the only way. I believe that the Jews have a future but that future is bound up in Christ, not a part from Christ. You don’t put new wine in old skins. Judaism is a religion–Christianity is not. I am quite sure that God is not going to lead us back into religion. I am certain, Christ is the way, the truth and the life. God is not going to run Judaism and works on one track and have Jesus and grace on another. Jesus will bring Gentile and Jew together.
Jesus Can Give us Peace
Micah said, The Lord will mediate between peoples and will settle disputes between strong nations far away. They will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will no longer fight against nation, nor train for war anymore. Everyone will live in peace and prosperity, enjoying their own grapevines and fig trees, for there will be nothing to fear. The Lord of Heaven’s Armies has made this promise!
Can you imagine a kingdom of peace: no war, no conflict, no killing, no violence…wow, it is hard to picture a world at peace. You and I have never seen a world at peace but it is going to happen some day and Jesus is going to be the Prince of Peace. He is going to do what no one else has ever been able to do–bring lasting peace. Jesus is going to bring WORLD PEACE.
I know, we have a hard time waiting on this to happen. We want it to happen and it will eventually but what do we do in the meantime. The good news is that you do not have to wait on Jesus to be your personal Prince of Peace. Jesus can give you peace now. The moment you cast all your care on Him, He will give you peace.
No one other than Jesus can give you peace. You can not get your doctor to prescribe peace. Peace doesn’t come in a bottle or a capsule. You can pop pills every 15 minutes and still live in a hell on earth. The problem is not the world; not really. The problem is not your neighbor or your church. The problem is that you are not trusting Jesus. You have been living life your way; you have turned aside to your own path, you are following your own agenda. Stop being angry with others and cast all your care on Jesus. He is the only One who can give you peace.
Jesus Can Give Us Eternal Security
Note Micah verse 4…Everyone will live in peace and prosperity, enjoying their own grapevines and fig trees, for there will be nothing to fear. The Lord of Heaven’s Armies has made this promise. [CEV reads, “This is a solemn from the LORD All-Powerful.”]
Did you catch that…there will be nothing to fear. We are talking perfect peace and security. Feeling secure, knowing you are secure…wow! Note also verse 5…Though the nations around us follow their idols, we will follow the Lord our God forever and ever. Also look at verse 7…”Then I, the Lord, will rule from Jerusalem as their king forever.”
Listen friend, if Jesus does not have the power to keep you saved, then He is not a Savior. I do not understand these people who think you can be saved and lost, saved and lost and they base it on our behavior. I got news for you friend, you are not saved by good behavior–you are saved by the grace of God. Grace is God’s Riches At Christ Expense. It is ludicrous to talk about falling from grace. Jesus saves and keeps me and He is the one I give the glory to. If I have to do something to get saved or to stays saved, then it is up to me. If it is up to me, then it depends on me, if it depends on me then I deserve the credit. I am telling folks, any form of works glorifies man not Christ. You and I are not fit to be saved. We are saved by the redeeming power of the blood of Christ and He gets all the glory. He does not get 90% or 99% or 99.99%–He gets all the glory. God will not allow it to be any other way.
Jesus Gives Us Victory Over Our Enemies
You will soon be sent in exile to distant Babylon. But the Lord will rescue you there; he will redeem you from the grip of your enemies. [4:10b] I am reminded of the great hymn, “O victory in Jesus, my Savior forever” [there is that word forever again].
I guess you might say, the devil is having his hay day but it is only a day. I love the movie, “The Scarlet Pimpernel”. Percy, the noble Englishman that comes to the aid of the French aristocracy plays a trick on the villain whose name has eluded me. The villain has Percy before a firing squad but unbeknown to him, the firing squad is made up of Percy’s men. You can imagine the horror and shock that the villain felt when Percy comes back into the room after the shots have been fired. “Why this charade?” Says the bad guy…”Ah” said Percy, “I could not deprive you of your moment of glory [pause]…but alas, a moment is all I could spare”. The devil may be having his day but it is only a day.
There is victory in Jesus now but even more so in the future. We still have to face the fury of the flesh, the wickedness of the world and the animosity of the adversary but Jesus is going to put and end to it all: He will vanquish every foe. When He comes O glorious day, all our enemies will be defeated. The world, the flesh and the devil will be put down forever and ever, hallelujah.