I looked around the room groggily and realized that it was now full of people in scrubs moving quickly into action. My wife was nearing the end of a grueling 48-hour labor, and I can’t fully communicate the overwhelming relief I felt when her pain was over and we heard our baby cry for the first time.
After three full chapters of promised destruction, Micah offers his readers a similar sort of relief from the difficult journey he’s taken us on. We will return to those prophecies of judgment, but for now, Micah talks about the restoration that is coming “in the last days” (v. 1). This restoration will include Jerusalem as its centerpiece—good news for Micah’s original audience, who learned in chapter 3 of their imminent destruction—but beyond that, we see God’s heart for all the nations on display.
God always intended for Israel to be a “kingdom of priests and a holy nation” (Ex. 19:6), and the prophet Isaiah, a contemporary of Micah, spoke of Israel as a “light for the Gentiles” (Isa. 42:6). In today’s passage, the Lord depicts Jerusalem as a safe haven to which “many nations,” people outside of Israel, would come to learn directly from the Lord, “so that we may walk in his paths” (Mic. 4:2). God chose Israel to be His “treasured possession” (Deut. 14:2), but His goal all along was that they would shine His light to all the other nations so that everyone would seek Him. As New Testament Christians, looking back on Micah’s prophecy, we know that this promise of “the last days” (Mic. 4:1) was partially fulfilled in the life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Christ. But we also look forward to the coming last days when Christ will return to complete the work He began.
>> When we walk through difficult times, it helps to keep our eyes on those promised last days! As the hymn writer said, “The things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.”
However much we treasure this life—or weary of it—we celebrate Your purpose for each half-second. Because You are God, the future is as open to You as the past, and it is saturated with hope and renewal.