“Listening to God” Bible Reading & Devotion: Jan. 21, 2022 – Habakkuk 003

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Habakkuk 3 (ESV)

16 I hear, and my body trembles;
my lips quiver at the sound;
rottenness enters into my bones;
my legs tremble beneath me.
Yet I will quietly wait for the day of trouble
to come upon people who invade us.

Habakkuk Rejoices in the Lord

17 Though the fig tree should not blossom,
nor fruit be on the vines,
the produce of the olive fail
and the fields yield no food,
the flock be cut off from the fold
and there be no herd in the stalls,
18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord;
I will take joy in the God of my salvation.
19 God, the Lord, is my strength;
he makes my feet like the deer’s;
he makes me tread on my high places.

To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments.

 

REFLECTION:

  • Chapter 3 is the prayer of the prophet Habakkuk accompanied by music. In this prayer, a deep and powerful emotion is expressed. When the prophet is suffering from various inner shocks and struggles, he prays in the theme of victory, which is really a model of prayer of faith.
  • The prayer of faith is not blindly disregarding the current situation. The prayer of faith takes God as satisfaction and joy, while despising the current or future hardships; the prayer of faith requires God to be our strength and we can still be able to survive in difficulties. To live a peaceful and joyful life is like a deer treading on high places. This is a triumphant song of victory.
  • The harvest of grains was lost, the livestock died, and the kingdom of Judah was desolate (17). Although Habakkuk faced war and famine, he still said with certainty that he would rejoice in the Lord (18). His feelings were not bothered by what was happening around him, he only believed that God would give him the strength to face everything. Likewise, whenever the difficulties seem unbearable and everything is unsatisfactory, remember that God will give you strength. Don’t fix your eyes on the difficulties, fix your eyes on God.
  • God will give believers firm faith to get over difficult situations. They will run through the rough terrain like a deer (19). At the right time, God will uphold justice and completely wipe out the evil forces in the world. Before this good day comes, God’s people need to live by the power of the Holy Spirit, and they must also believe that God will eventually overcome sin.

 

PRAYER:

Lord please increase my faith so that I can live a peaceful and joyful life despite difficulties. In the trials and troubles, please give me the strength to face them, so that I will not focus on the difficulties, but on you.

 

HYMN:

Be Still My Soul – youtu.be/mq59iE3MhXM

“Listening to God” Bible Reading & Devotion: Jan. 20, 2022 – Habakkuk 002

Read chapter in full: biblegateway.com/passage/?version=ESV&search=Habakkuk+002

 

Habakkuk 2 (ESV)

1 I will take my stand at my watchpost
and station myself on the tower,
and look out to see what he will say to me,
and what I will answer concerning my complaint.

The Righteous Shall Live by His Faith

And the Lord answered me:

“Write the vision;
make it plain on tablets,
so he may run who reads it.
For still the vision awaits its appointed time;
it hastens to the end—it will not lie.
If it seems slow, wait for it;
it will surely come; it will not delay.

“Behold, his soul is puffed up; it is not upright within him,
but the righteous shall live by his faith.

“Moreover, wine is a traitor,
an arrogant man who is never at rest.
His greed is as wide as Sheol;
like death he has never enough.
He gathers for himself all nations
and collects as his own all peoples.”

Woe to the Chaldeans

Shall not all these take up their taunt against him, with scoffing and riddles for him, and say,

“Woe to him who heaps up what is not his own—
for how long?—
and loads himself with pledges!”
Will not your debtors suddenly arise,
and those awake who will make you tremble?
Then you will be spoil for them.
Because you have plundered many nations,
all the remnant of the peoples shall plunder you,
for the blood of man and violence to the earth,
to cities and all who dwell in them.

 

REFLECTION:

  • The “watchpost” was a place to monitor people’s movements and issue timely alarms for the safety of fellow citizens. Although the prophet Habakkuk still had conflicts and struggles in his heart, he still faithfully performed the duty of keeping watch. He must pay attention to God’s answer. So that he can ask questions immediately. He wants to understand the future of God’s people, and he is convinced that God will answer (1). When God answered (2-3), he faithfully wrote down what God said, so that the people could see it. This is the correct attitude of the prophet. Verse 2 can be translated as “make the reader run and read”, which means to declare everywhere. This is expressing a picture of lively confidence, because the fulfillment of the message has a certain date (3), and the person who declares it must have confidence. We must learn the attitude of the prophet Habakkuk, no matter what the situation, still face God faithfully, wait for and deliver the message of God by faith.
  • “The righteous shall live by his faith.” (4) People who belong to God must have faith in God’s deeds and know that the wicked will eventually perish in order to rely on God to live in the midst of troubles, and finally receive the blessing of life. The New Testament also quoted this verse twice (Romans 2:17; Galatians 3:11) to confirm the truth of believing in the Lord Jesus and gaining eternal life.
  • The Babylonians are proud and confident, and have never doubted their military strength. They only care about satisfying their own desires, and never care about the consequences (4-6). However, the sins of these people will eventually be accounted for, and those captives will come and take everything from Babylon and ridicule them (7-8). Justice may come slowly, but it will come.

 

PRAYER:

Lord please help me learn the attitude of the prophet Habakkuk. No matter what the situation is, I will still face God faithfully, wait by faith and preach the Lord’s gospel.

 

HYMN:

By Faith – youtu.be/-ksMIWSGnLc

“Listening to God” Bible Reading & Devotion: Jan. 19, 2022 – Habakkuk 001

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HABAKKUK

INTRODUCTION

Near the time of the transition from the Assyrian to the Babylonian empires (late 7th century BC), the prophet Habakkuk engaged in a profound dialogue with Israel’s God. The form of his book is a short series of complaints, or laments, followed by the divine responses. When Habakkuk’s cries are answered, he closes with a hymn of confidence in God’s expected victory.

 

The prophet begins by asking how long God will allow evil to triumph. The divine reply is that God is raising up the Babylonians as his tool of correction. This leads to Habakkuk’s second question: Why do you allow the wicked to swallow up those more righteous than themselves? God replies again, explaining that the Babylonians will be judged just like the Assyrians, and that the righteous must await this in faith and patience. The inevitability of Babylon’s doom is emphasized when God pronounces a series of five woes against it.

 

When Habakkuk’s dialogue with God concludes, the book moves to what is called A prayer of Habakkuk. But its musical notations reveal that it is clearly meant to be sung. Habakkuk celebrates God’s dramatic intervention for Israel in the past and prays that God will do it again. The prophet resolves in the meantime to wait patiently for God’s coming.

 

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Habakkuk 1 (ESV)

The oracle that Habakkuk the prophet saw.

Habakkuk’s Complaint

O Lord, how long shall I cry for help,
and you will not hear?
Or cry to you “Violence!”
and you will not save?
Why do you make me see iniquity,
and why do you idly look at wrong?
Destruction and violence are before me;
strife and contention arise.
So the law is paralyzed,
and justice never goes forth.
For the wicked surround the righteous;
so justice goes forth perverted.

The Lord’s Answer

“Look among the nations, and see;
wonder and be astounded.
For I am doing a work in your days
that you would not believe if told.
For behold, I am raising up the Chaldeans,
that bitter and hasty nation,
who march through the breadth of the earth,
to seize dwellings not their own.
They are dreaded and fearsome;
their justice and dignity go forth from themselves.
Their horses are swifter than leopards,
more fierce than the evening wolves;
their horsemen press proudly on.
Their horsemen come from afar;
they fly like an eagle swift to devour.
They all come for violence,
all their faces forward.
They gather captives like sand.
10 At kings they scoff,
and at rulers they laugh.
They laugh at every fortress,
for they pile up earth and take it.
11 Then they sweep by like the wind and go on,
guilty men, whose own might is their god!”

Habakkuk’s Second Complaint

12 Are you not from everlasting,
O Lord my God, my Holy One?
We shall not die.
O Lord, you have ordained them as a judgment,
and you, O Rock, have established them for reproof.
13 You who are of purer eyes than to see evil
and cannot look at wrong,
why do you idly look at traitors
and remain silent when the wicked swallows up
the man more righteous than he?

 

REFLECTION:

  • The prophet Habakkuk was born in the turbulent era of Jehoiakim. He saw the corruption of national politics and religion, and he also understood the sinfulness of the world. He cried out to God for a long time, but God seemed to hide His face, so he fell into a faith struggle.
  • The prophet shouted to God, lamenting that God did not answer his prayer and save him from evil (2). He expressed his inner struggle with two “why” questions (3). He did not understand why the holy God saw the collapse of faith and the decline of morals but did not take action. He angrily shouted “justice goes forth perverted” in protest (4).
  • However, God’s answer shocked the prophet. God used the cruel Babylonians as a tool for the punishment of His people. God first pointed out that He raised up the Babylonians to punish the people as He had already said, but the people did not believe (5); then, God pointed out the military power of the Babylonians (6-10); finally, God even pointed out that the Babylonians will be punished by Him for they worship their own might as their god.
  • Habakkuk was surprised that God used the Babylonians to punish the kingdom of Judah, because this nation is far more corrupt than the Judah (13). On the other hand, the Babylonians did not know that God used them to punish the kingdom of Judah in order to turn the people back. They will be dazzled by victory, and as a result they will also embark on the road of destruction. The wicked will perish on their own and will never escape from the hand of God. God may use very special tools to correct us and punish us. If we really need to be corrected or punished, how can we blame God’s tools?

 

PRAYER:

Dear God! The world is full of injustices, why do You seem to sit idly by? The wicked are in power, the deceitful gain wealth, but the honest are oppressed, don’t You care? Although I don’t understand many things, I firmly believe that You are a righteous and loving God, and one day You will have a fair judgment.

 

HYMN:

All of Our Tomorrows – youtu.be/U_cN89lN7RM

“Listening to God” Bible Reading & Devotion: Jan. 18, 2022 – Nahum 003

Read chapter in full: biblegateway.com/passage/?version=ESV&search=Nahum+003

 

Nahum 3 (ESV)

Woe to Nineveh

1 Woe to the bloody city,
all full of lies and plunder—
no end to the prey!
The crack of the whip, and rumble of the wheel,
galloping horse and bounding chariot!
Horsemen charging,
flashing sword and glittering spear,
hosts of slain,
heaps of corpses,
dead bodies without end—
they stumble over the bodies!
And all for the countless whorings of the prostitute,
graceful and of deadly charms,
who betrays nations with her whorings,
and peoples with her charms.

Behold, I am against you,
declares the Lord of hosts,
and will lift up your skirts over your face;
and I will make nations look at your nakedness
and kingdoms at your shame.
I will throw filth at you
and treat you with contempt
and make you a spectacle.
And all who look at you will shrink from you and say,
“Wasted is Nineveh; who will grieve for her?”
Where shall I seek comforters for you?

 

REFLECTION:

  • Here the prophet Nahum describes Nineveh as a city full of blood, deceit, rape, and robbery (1). In other words, she is a place of no justice, truth, and love. The Prophet also called her a prostitute (4), because of her shameful behaviour, only seeking to satisfy selfish desires and unscrupulous. Of course, such a city cannot escape God’s punishment. God once again said: “Behold, I am against you.” (5) It can be seen that God hates her. This city will be ravaged by a very powerful army, with countless dead people. God will make her shame before the nations, no one will pity her and comfort her (7).
  • Nineveh used her prosperity, honor, and power to lure the nations with the same methods as prostitutes (4). She pretended to establish diplomatic relations with the nations, let them neglect to take precautions, and regarded her as a true ally, but when the time came, she looted and destroyed them. Although Nineveh was beautiful and attractive on the outside, she was full of treacherous and deceit inside. Behind the veil of beauty often hides seduction and murder. Whether it is a government agency, group or individual, do not be lured by them to lower personal moral standards or make compromises because of their attractive appearance.

 

PRAYER:

Dear Lord, please teach me to live in awe of You, and try my best to save the lost souls, so that more people will be spared the miserable punishment in the future.

 

HYMN:

Here I Am Lord – youtu.be/_b-ocGlQvzM

“Listening to God” Bible Reading & Devotion: Jan. 17, 2022 – Nahum 002

Read chapter in full: biblegateway.com/passage/?version=ESV&search=Nahum+002

 

Nahum 2 (ESV)

The Destruction of Nineveh

The scatterer has come up against you.
Man the ramparts;
watch the road;
dress for battle;
collect all your strength.

For the Lord is restoring the majesty of Jacob
as the majesty of Israel,
for plunderers have plundered them
and ruined their branches.

The shield of his mighty men is red;
his soldiers are clothed in scarlet.
The chariots come with flashing metal
on the day he musters them;
the cypress spears are brandished.
The chariots race madly through the streets;
they rush to and fro through the squares;
they gleam like torches;
they dart like lightning.
He remembers his officers;
they stumble as they go,
they hasten to the wall;
the siege tower is set up.
The river gates are opened;
the palace melts away;
its mistress is stripped; she is carried off,
her slave girls lamenting,
moaning like doves
and beating their breasts.

 

REFLECTION:

  • What is prophesied here is the Babylonian kingdom of Chaldea, and they seem to particularly like the red colour (3). Babylon will destroy Assyria and become the overlord of the nations. Assyria will suffer the same sufferings she imposed on other nations in the past—hurried guards, frightened soldiers (5), the country is ruined (6), the mistress is stripped, carried off and looted, lamenting and moaning everywhere (7). God’s judgment is fair, what you do to others will ultimately come back to you. Those who do evil must take a deep warning. These prophecies were fulfilled in 612 BC, when the coalition forces of Babylon and Medean captured this seemingly strong Nineveh.
  • The defeat of Nineveh brought about the restoration of Israel. The Lord will restore the majesty of Jacob, as the majesty of Israel (2). Jacob is Israel, and both are synonymous; but sometimes Jacob refers specifically to Judah (Isaiah 43:1, 44:1, 46:3; Obad. 18). There should be a difference between Jacob and Israel here and could be such a distinction. The northern kingdom of Israel and the southern kingdom of Judah were repeatedly invaded and plundered by foreigners. The destroyers plundered them and ruined their branches. If this branch is “majesty” that majesty has long been lost. Now that the destroyer is destroyed, Judah will be revived, and their freedom and honour will be restored.

 

PRAYER:

Lord, please help me understand that You are the master of history and that the destiny of all nations is in Your hands. Anyone who are arrogant and disrespectful to God will receive the punishment they deserve. Pray that You will touch the hearts of the people of the world to turn to the true God, and accept the gospel, so that no more serious punishment will be imposed on them.

 

HYMN:

Lord Have Mercy on Us; Come and Heal Our Land – youtu.be/5Lf9EmQocjk

“Listening to God” Bible Reading & Devotion: Jan. 14, 2022 – Nahum 001

Read chapter in full: biblegateway.com/passage/?version=ESV&search=Nahum+001

 

NAHUM

INTRODUCTION

In 612 BC the Assyrian Empire was nearing collapse. Its capital Nineveh was about to fall before a combined invasion of Babylonian, Medean and Scythian forces. But those living in the nations that Assyria had cruelly oppressed felt little pity. In their view, the Assyrians were simply getting a long-overdue taste of their own medicine. The prophet Nahum echoes these thoughts on behalf of the people of Judah. He situates this event within the context of God’s rule over all kingdoms on earth. God will judge the Assyrians, even though he had used them as his own instrument, because they were excessively destructive and proud.

Nahum’s oracle describes God’s character and power, announcing God’s purpose to judge Assyria. Words of comfort to Judah alternate with words of doom to Nineveh. The defense of the Assyrian capital will prove futile and the city will be plundered, confirming God’s judgment.

 

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Nahum 1 (ESV)

1 An oracle concerning Nineveh. The book of the vision of Nahum of Elkosh.

God’s Wrath Against Nineveh

The Lord is a jealous and avenging God;
the Lord is avenging and wrathful;
the Lord takes vengeance on his adversaries
and keeps wrath for his enemies.
The Lord is slow to anger and great in power,
and the Lord will by no means clear the guilty.
His way is in whirlwind and storm,
and the clouds are the dust of his feet.
He rebukes the sea and makes it dry;
he dries up all the rivers;
Bashan and Carmel wither;
the bloom of Lebanon withers.
The mountains quake before him;
the hills melt;
the earth heaves before him,
the world and all who dwell in it.

Who can stand before his indignation?
Who can endure the heat of his anger?
His wrath is poured out like fire,
and the rocks are broken into pieces by him.
The Lord is good,
a stronghold in the day of trouble;
he knows those who take refuge in him.
    But with an overflowing flood
he will make a complete end of the adversaries,
and will pursue his enemies into darkness.

 

REFLECTION:

  • “Jealous” (originally referred to as envy) and “avenging” (originally referred to as revenge) (2) do not seem to have a relationship with God, because people’s jealousy and revenge are often selfish; but to God It is to ensure our loyalty to Him, so it is reasonable and just for God to punish wicked people who do not repent. The purpose why God is “jealous” and “avenging” is only to remove sins and restore peace in the world (see Deuteronomy 4:24; 5:9), and does not contain selfish elements.
  • God is slow to anger, but when He decides to punish, even the earth trembles (3). Many times, people are unwilling to believe in God, because they see that there are treacherous people in the world, and even there are hypocrites in the church. However, they did not understand that it is precisely because God is slow to anger that His followers can have the opportunity and time to share God’s love and truth with sinners. However, judgment will eventually come, and God will not allow sin to escape the mesh of the law forever. If someone asks why God doesn’t stop sin immediately, please don’t forget that if God is really angry, no one can survive. In fact, we should thank God for giving people the opportunity to return to Him.
  • For those who refuse to believe in God, God’s punishment is like a raging fire and no one can stand before His indignation (6); but for those who love God, God is like a refuge, and there is no shortage of His supply (7). Those who are enemies are flooded and washed away by God like an overflowing flood (8). The relationship with God is our own choice. Which one should you choose?

 

PRAYER:

Dear God, You are a jealous and avenging God, slow to anger, great in power, and will by no means clear the guilty. Lord, let me see Your majesty so that I will be in awe and will not sin against You.

 

HYMN:

When I Look Into Your Holiness – youtu.be/jfIT3rooJWQ

“Listening to God” Bible Reading & Devotion: Jan. 13, 2022 – Micah 007

Read chapter in full: biblegateway.com/passage/?version=ESV&search=Micah+007

 

Micah 7 (ESV)

God’s Steadfast Love and Compassion

18 Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity
and passing over transgression
for the remnant of his inheritance?
He does not retain his anger forever,
because he delights in steadfast love.
19 He will again have compassion on us;
he will tread our iniquities underfoot.
You will cast all our sins
into the depths of the sea.
20 You will show faithfulness to Jacob
and steadfast love to Abraham,
as you have sworn to our fathers
from the days of old.

 

REFLECTION:

  • God is very willing to show kindness and mercy to people (18)! God’s forgiveness is not out of reluctance. God is happy when we repent, and once we turn to God, He will forgive us. Today we can confess our sins to God and repent, and accept God’s loving forgiveness. But we must not arrogantly reject this free gift from God.
  • At the end, the prophet Micah once again reminded the people to know who the master of the universe and human life is. In the experience of life, God is the Most High God. He is slow to anger (18), shows great mercy, forgets human transgressions (19), and saves us according to the eternal covenant he made with the ancestors of Israel (20). Sincerely hope that Christians can exalt God’s authority in their life and follow His will as the principle in their life. When we are rich, we will not forget the grace of God and share everything with others; when we are poor, we will not deviate from the path of the Lord and look to His supply at any time, so that when we live in the world, we can glorify the holy name of the Lord.

 

PRAYER:

Dear God, Who is a God like you? You pardon my iniquities and forgive my sins. You don’t always hold anger to me, You love to show kindness to me. I hope I can uphold Your authority, do Your will in life, and glorify Your holy name.

 

HYMN:

When I Survey the Wondrous Cross – youtu.be/dPdmmzRHlMA

“Listening to God” Bible Reading & Devotion: Jan. 12, 2022 – Micah 006

Read chapter in full: biblegateway.com/passage/?version=ESV&search=Micah+006

 

Micah 6 (ESV)
What Does the Lord Require?

6 “With what shall I come before the Lord,
and bow myself before God on high?
Shall I come before him with burnt offerings,
with calves a year old?
7 Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams,
with ten thousands of rivers of oil?
Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression,
the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?”
8 He has told you, O man, what is good;
and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?

 

REFLECTION:

  • The prophet Micah appeared to represent the Israelites in verses 6-7, and answered according to their faith and life at the time, in order to mock their worship. Although they still offered sacrifices to God, the Israelites, who were full of knowledge of the Law, lost their sincerity in their hearts, making their faith a mere formality, not to mention about bearing witness in their life, which is exactly what God rejects. At that time, King Ahaz of Judah followed the pagan worship rituals and sacrificed young children, which made his worship not only unacceptable, but also cursed by God (cf. 2 Kings 16:3-4; Lev. 18:21-29).
  • People try to please God in many ways, but God has made His hope very clear: What God wants is for the people to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with Him (8). Check how we are doing in these aspects in our efforts to please God. Do we treat people fairly? To those who have wronged us, have we shown mercy to them? Are we learning to be humble?

 

PRAYER:

Dear God, how can I repay your kindness to me? Please help me to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with You.

 

HYMN:

Act Justly, Love Mercy, Walk Humbly – youtu.be/wb77GaGNNzw

“Listening to God” Bible Reading & Devotion: Jan. 11, 2022 – Micah 005

Read chapter in full: biblegateway.com/passage/?version=ESV&search=Micah+005

 

Micah 5 (ESV)

2 But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah,
who are too little to be among the clans of Judah,
from you shall come forth for me
one who is to be ruler in Israel,
whose coming forth is from of old,
from ancient days.
3 Therefore he shall give them up until the time
when she who is in labor has given birth;
then the rest of his brothers shall return
to the people of Israel.
4 And he shall stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the Lord,
in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God.
And they shall dwell secure, for now he shall be great
to the ends of the earth.
5 And he shall be their peace.

When the Assyrian comes into our land
and treads in our palaces,
then we will raise against him seven shepherds
and eight princes of men;
6 they shall shepherd the land of Assyria with the sword,
and the land of Nimrod at its entrances;
and he shall deliver us from the Assyrian
when he comes into our land
and treads within our border.

A Remnant Shall Be Delivered

7 Then the remnant of Jacob shall be
in the midst of many peoples
like dew from the Lord,
like showers on the grass,
which delay not for a man
nor wait for the children of man.

 

REFLECTION:

  • Verse 2 is the clearest verse in the Old Testament foretelling the place of the birth of Christ, so that when King Herod asked about the place of birth of the new king, the scribes answered without hesitation: Born in Bethlehem (cf. Matt. 2:5). Messiah was not born in the capital, Jerusalem, but was born in a poor village, which means that he deeply realized the poverty and suffering of human life. This prophecy was indeed a great encouragement for the people living in the unfair and disparity between the rich and the poor at that time.
  • No matter how the people of Judah suffer, as long as they know that when the Messiah comes, He will rule the whole earth in peace according to His majesty, and the people will enjoy peace, abundance and happiness. This kind of longing for future happiness has always existed in the hearts of the people (4-5); however, when the Lord Jesus came to the world to realize this kingdom, it is ironic that they refused to accept Him as King.
  • The seven shepherds and eight princes in Micah’s prophecy are a form of visualization (5). They symbolize the good leaders that the Messiah will raise up when he returns to power. This is in contrast to Micah’s statement in Chapter 3 that the leaders of Judah was corrupt. “Assyrian” here symbolizes all nations that oppose God’s people in every age. These excellent leaders will help Christ defeat all evil in the world.
  • “Nimrod” is an alias for Assyria (6), which symbolizes all the evil countries in the world.

 

PRAYER:

Thank you Lord Jesus for being born in the poor village of Bethlehem for me. You are the God whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days, but you came to this sinful world for my sins, and you even shed your precious blood on the cross to pay off my sin debts. I am willing to follow you as your disciple all my life.

 

HYMN:

The Servant King – youtu.be/A0FSZ_iSYO8.

“Listening to God” Bible Reading & Devotion: Jan. 10, 2022 – Micah 004

Read chapter in full: biblegateway.com/passage/?version=ESV&search=Micah+004

 

Micah 4 (ESV)

The Mountain of the Lord

1 It shall come to pass in the latter days
that the mountain of the house of the Lord
shall be established as the highest of the mountains,
and it shall be lifted up above the hills;
and peoples shall flow to it,
2     and many nations shall come, and say:
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
to the house of the God of Jacob,
that he may teach us his ways
and that we may walk in his paths.”
For out of Zion shall go forth the law,
and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
3 He shall judge between many peoples,
and shall decide disputes for strong nations far away;
and they shall beat their swords into plowshares,
and their spears into pruning hooks;
nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
neither shall they learn war anymore;
4 but they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree,
and no one shall make them afraid,
for the mouth of the Lord of hosts has spoken.
5 For all the peoples walk
each in the name of its god,
but we will walk in the name of the Lord our God
forever and ever.

 

REFLECTION:

  • The prophet Micah understood that God’s judgment on the Israelites was to make them repent, be holy, and enjoy the blessings He gave them. Therefore, he showed people his hope for the future: the kingdom of God must be established, higher than all the powers in the world (1); and in the latter days, many people will look to God, take refuge in His kingdom, and follow His instructions to establish a universal peace (2).
  • At that time, the highest adjudicator ruled all nations, and all peoples were based on His judgment. To live together peacefully under His rule, there is no need to learn about warfare (3), because everyone has their own homeland, lives abundantly, and there is no greed at all, which leads to world peace (4).
  • Of course, the prophet Micah’s prophecy refers to the kingdom of peace introduced by the Messiah’s coming, but from the perspective of the New Testament, it refers to the kingdom established when Jesus Christ came to earth and died and rose for sinners. This kingdom is based on love and salvation as the foundation. Some commentators believe that this prophecy refers to the millennial kingdom established when the Lord Jesus Christ returns in the last days.

 

PRAYER:

Dear God, today’s world is full of injustices, there are wars everywhere, and natural and man-made disasters continue to occur. Please let me know that this is the end time, and that the day of the Lord Jesus’ return is approaching. I will wait with all my heart, hoping for God’s kingdom of peace to come.

 

HYMN:

The Day Approaches; Jesus Soon Is Coming – youtu.be/X0VIIkB_Y68