The Coming of the Kingdom: Micah 4 (3)
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Opening Prayer: Psalm 22.29-31
All the prosperous of the earth
Shall eat and worship;
All those who go down to the dust
Shall bow before Him,
Even he who cannot keep himself alive.
A posterity shall serve Him.
It will be recounted of the Lord to the next generation,
They will come and declare His righteousness to a people who will be born,
That He has done this.
Sing Psalm 22.29-31
(Dix: For the Beauty of the Earth)
All the prosp’rous of the earth shall before His mercy fall;
bending low before His worth, hear them humbly on Him call.
Even those low in the grave He will by His mercy save.
Let the generations all witness to His saving grace;
let them to all nations call, “Bow before His holy face!”
Let the children of the earth hear of Jesus’ saving worth!
Read Micah 4.6-8
1. Whom was God going to “assemble” to Himself?
2. What would He make of them?
Like many prophecies that look to the future, this one has its fulfillment in stages. First, God will assemble His people again in Jerusalem, and to His holy temple. There the kingdom of David will in some sense be renewed. This occurred as the people were returned to Jerusalem and Judah from their captivity in Babylon.
Second, remembering the “last days” of verse 1, this passage looks to the coming of the Kingdom of God, when God will assemble and gather His people from all nations, tribes, and tongues, and bring them into His true Temple, even our Lord Jesus Christ. In Him they will reign over the earth as they seek the Kingdom and restore the reconciled world. This stage of the prophecy began in the book of Acts, as we have seen, and continues to this day.
Finally, this prophecy points to the end of the “last days”, when the Kingdom will come in its fullness with the return of our Lord Jesus Christ, the “stronghold of the daughter of Zion”. Then the Kingdom and all the world will be His forever.
Those to whom this Kingdom is promised are “lame” and “outcast.” They cannot help themselves; they have no strength to constitute themselves a great nation. The assembling of God’s people as “a strong nation” is entirely a work of God’s grace.
Treasure Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
In that day, God’s grace will overflow onto those of us who need it so desperately: the lame, the outcast, and the afflicted. Sin crippled, alienated, damaged, and depressed us. Then God gave us Jesus! In that day.
“Then the lame shall leap like a deer…” (Is. 35.6).
“The blind see and the lame walk…” (Matt. 11.5).
“…and many who were paralyzed and lame were healed” (Acts 8.7).
“He will set up a banner for the nations, and will assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth” (Is.11.12).
“…he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation, and not for that nation only, but also that He would gather together in one the children of God who were scattered abroad” (Jn. 11.51, 52).
“…He hears the cry of the afflicted” (Job 34.28).
“For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal” (2 Cor. 4.17, 18).
In God’s amazing grace He has determined to choose us, “the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence” (1 Cor. 1.27-29).
We were called to this Kingdom “when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us…through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life” (Titus 3.4-7). We, the lame.
1. Why are “lame”, “afflicted”, and “outcast” good ways of thinking about us before we believed in Jesus and were conveyed into His Kingdom? Does any of that yet remain in us? Explain.
2. As God’s “assembled” people we are a “Kingdom” and we have “dominion.” What does this mean for your personal walk with and work for the Lord?
3. How would you explain to a new believer what it means to be a citizen and ambassador in the Kingdom of Jesus Christ?
This wording connects this section with the end times referred to in v. 1. lame … outcast: Those who were abused by the wicked leaders of Israel would be exalted by the Lord. afflicted: Those whom God had driven from the land would be the people of His new kingdom. This is a remarkable surprise—a surprise of grace. Earl Radmacher (1931-2014), NKJV Study Bible Notes on Micah 4.6, 7
Closing Prayer: Psalm 22.23-28
Pray for the coming of Christ’s Kingdom, on earth as it is in heaven, unto righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.
Sing Psalm 22.23-24
(Darwall: Rejoice, the Lord is King)
All you who fear the Lord, now praise His holy Name!
You children of His glorious Word, declare His fame!
We stand in awe of our eternal God, and on His mercy call.
For He has not despised the anguish of our King,
nor from Him hid His eyes, Who knew such suffering.
Let praise arise from all who love and serve the Ruler of the skies!
Then all the poor shall eat and praise with us the Lord.
Forever we His praise repeat and trust His Word.
Praise God above, all you who keep His vows and who His mercies love!
All nations shall repent and hasten to the Lord;
all those to whom His truth is sent shall praise His Word.
The Lord is King! His sovereign rule on high now we His people sing!
T. M. and Susie Moore
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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. All quotations from Church Fathers from Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1-2 Samuel: Ancient Christian Commentary Series IV, John R. Franke, ed, General Editor Thomas C. Oden (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2005). All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (available by clicking here).