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MARVELS IN MICAH
Now, following the last volume, Divine Agenda, and , by way of INITIATIVE INTO BLACK CHERRIES AND CREAM, AS A DELICACY, TRY MICAH.
agenda has been a matter of arrest, in our last volume; but now let us
enjoy the smooth flowing coverage of Micah, as an overview for our
purpose, of his agenda items; but it is also like flying, and you see the
skyscape, landscape and seascape scudding by with a sense of leisure and
pleasure. It is so exceedingly apt.
It brings us speedily to THE END. That, incidentally, is coming speedily also, if by END you mean the return of Christ Jesus, and the onset of judgment.
will allow us, through the enormous scope of Micah's writings, to see what
are some confusions and illusions concerning Israel, endeavours verbally
to dismiss what arms have not, since their 1948 institution as a State!
In parallel, it will usher us into that vast panoramic display of the Lord,
who presents history like an artist, but with this difference, that the
record comes before the object. He writes; and only then, is history itself
MICAH covers the millenium, the sins of Israel and its destruction, its false prophets, eroded morals, national dissolution of character, the victory which for all that is to come, the Messiah, the national assault on Him, His birth-place, His transcendence into eternity, without origin, His rule on earth, His preliminary blessings to a restored Israel and much more.
It is simply to look at the WAY IN WHICH the various elements and items spin past us as we move with this electrifying prophet, and to savour the sovereign facility with which the Lord inspires him as He moves upon him (as in I Peter 1:10-12, II Peter 1:20-21), that we take this excursion. Far more valuable than looking at rock sites (fascinating as John Mackay may make these in exhibiting the flood), this is the very word of God.
let us watch, chapter by chapter, or better, Chs. 1-3, 4, 5-7, without
detail except where it is essential to survey, the WAY and PLAN and SCOPE
of this amazing book of prophecy, outlining so much of the schedule of
the divine agenda.
CHAPTERS ONE - THREE
We at once learn that the LORD is planning to arrive ON this earth for the purpose of JUDGING ALL OF IT (Micah 1:2-3). It is to the PEOPLES that He speaks:
all you peoples!
Listen O earth, and all that is in it!
Let the Lord God, be a witness against you.".
NOT ONLY Israel, but the whole sinning substance of humanity outside the faith, are due for judicial review: He is coming "out of His place".
So many worry that God has not done anything, but it is they! HE has ANNOUNCED His actions, their reason, their order in large measure, except where He hides some details lest we become too aware of His exact time of coming and so remove the surprise element which He values enormously (as in Matthew 24:45ff., Acts 1, in the latter case positively refusing to enable FINAL time datings, though HIS OWN was dated precisely - SMR pp. 886ff.).
As to Israel, equipped so intimately with divine revelation, and so careless about it, "I will uncover her foundations" - Micah 1:6, the Lord declares. This He did indeed in two stages, first in the Babylonian devastations, in the 6th. century B.C., and then in the Roman ones, around A.D. 70, when the city was salted. In the latter case, the temple symbols having been preferred, NATIONALLY, to the symbols' meaning, in Christ the sacrificial sovereign and only Saviour, they were left with THESE devastated, with just that thoroughness and contempt which they had themselves accorded to the body of their own Messiah, subjecting Him to every indignity as well as prudentially removing Him, with the ironic objective of ... escaping suffering! (John 11:48ff.). Indeed, before long they were forbidden even to be THERE! … in their own Jerusalem of old, the Jewish capital site of virtually a millenium.
How it reminds one, in a single aspect, of the Tianamen Square folly of China, now exposed in terms which seem to reek of party hacks wanting power, unwilling to release it, finding it expedient to cling to it, and not to be under house arrest! Theirs was a sacrifice also, BUT OF YOUTH, and of ASPIRATION and of LIBERTY; it was not of themselves.
sacrificed, quite simply, what Communism has sacrificed anew from the first,
Both such follies are doomed, except there be repentance and return to the Lord, as prescribed and predicted for the Jews, while God Himself keeps faith, knowing all things, with His promise to Abraham and through Jeremiah (Genesis 17, Jeremiah 33:19ff., even to the Jewish people, in continuance to be kept such).
The stage one of the Communists' case is now past in the embroglio that was the USSR, now seeking some sort of arising with various symbols of various stages of Russia's past! China meanwhile - in a way different in kind from that of Russia - lives not a little on the largess of Western nations, not given, to be sure, entirely altruistically, but with a disregard of the simplicity of China nationalising their investments, which it is pitiable to behold.
The Gentiles are certainly filling up their cup of iniquity, to use God's terms relative to Canaan before He commissioned Israel to invade it in judgment, and replace it with a holiness of which, in time, they too failed to provide the exhibit. Indeed, that failure, thunderously exposed in Isaiah 1 for example, came to its culmination and conclusion in the judicious murder of their own Messiah, the reputed object of their very worship, as if to prove the truth of the stinging words of reprobation, of charges of hypocrisy, to be found in the first chapter of Isaiah, as in Micah.
Making the very ceremonies hateful by their superficial unspirituality, they eventually came to lose the SITE for it, and to murder the SOVEREIGN of it. How they have suffered...
Micah put it steeply, and predicted it.
because of you
Zion shall be ploughed like a field,
Jerusalem shall become heaps of ruins.
And the mountain of the temple
Like the bare hills of the forest."
This ruin, then, was instrumentally caused by Babylon (Jeremiah 25:4-9), but much more thoroughly by ROME! around by a very resolute invasion under Titus (cf. Daniel 9:27ff., following the rejection of the Messiah, and dating of His death prophecy of Daniel 9:24-27)! The city of Jerusalem literally became like ploughed fields, and salted too.
Moreover, there was captivity, such as happened most notably when Babylon enveloped Judah (leading to 70 years of enforced exile as Jeremiah 25 predicted, duly fulfilled); and more severely, somewhat earlier, when Sennacherib invaded the openly idolatrous northern sector of the Jews’ land, itself by then called a separate nation, 'Israel'. That northern land was then simply dismissed, dispensed, and only remnants could come to Judah, or eventually in the return of the children of Abraham to their unconditionally promised land, 2000 years or so after Christ! (Genesis 17:7-8).
Chapter 2 exposes the moral degradation of financial opportunists (an art now), of the covetous, of those who disinherit by violence. With it is the denunciation of the common scorn of many of the Jews, directed at the prophets of God, who at that time were still writing His divine indictment and inditement, His declaration and His judgments.
mocks their mockery, and scorns their contempt:
" 'Do not prattle,' you say to those who prophesy,How like Isaiah 30:9-10:
So they shall not prophesy to you.
They shall not return insult for insult" - Micah 2:6.
" Now go, write it before them on a tablet,It could be today. The Gentile nations are now copying precisely this propaganda and procedure, as if their lives depended on accuracy! LET US NOT DISREGARD THEM... They are dismissing the prophecies of Israel and trying to invent their own 'arrangements'. Clinton's peace plan is now open to the concept that it is a disaster area. But the Gentiles ? they try to invent new ways of life and even of death, in euthanasia, new morals, new laws, new children with new education doing novel things with their bodies, minds and hands (cf. Acme, Alpha and Omega: Jesus Christ,
And note it on a scroll,
That it may be for time to come,
Forever and ever:
That this is a rebellious people.
Children who will not hear the law of the LORD:
Who say to the seers,
'Do not see,'
And to the prophets,
'Do not prophesy to us right things,
Speaks to us smooth things, prophesy deceits.
Get out of the way,
Turn aside from the path;
Cause the Holy One of Israel
To cease from before us.' "
It is, you recall, the NATIONS (Micah 1:2 cf. Isaiah 24), who with Israel, have asked for judgment! The invitation is, according to the prophecies which went before from Isaiah 24 to Joel, being responded to, with a gracious slowness which, however, is beginning to come to cumulative impact which even the deaf start to hear, and the blind to see.
The provocations do not diminish. Thus organic mythology, called evolution (cf. That Magnificent Rock Ch. 1, A Spiritual Potpourri Chs. 1-9, SMR Ch. 2) continues its anti-scientific method inroads, like viruses into the body, and its blood soaks the earth (cf. SMR pp. 127ff., and Ch. 1, pp. 33ff., above).
But we are tracing for the present, not the nations merely, but ISRAEL in particular. What is told here ?
In Chapter 2:12-13, we find an intriguing change from the exposure of false spirits, false hearts and blasé blasphemies (such as this, in 10-11, that if someone, some drunkard, should offer to prophecy of wine and drink, they would listen to him, so debauched is their heart, so contrary their mind, so polluted their spirit).
Here now we find that there is to be, in a future era, despite the imminent, impending and unamendable judgments which are to lay Jerusalem waste (as in Micah 3:12), the gathering of a REMNANT (Micah 2:12). Here then is a residue on the filter paper, something that did not go down the judicial drain. These are to be made into a FLOCK, and shall even be NUMEROUS. There is to be a leadership, a deliverance for these, and even the LORD will lead them (Micah 2:13).
This of course reminds us of Isaiah 40:9-10, and of Isaiah 11:1ff., 32:1ff., 9:6-7 and so on. It also is fascinatingly similar to Zechariah 14:5ff.. Thus are we in this book also, introduced to the Messiah, the LORD as man, and that will be given far more detail a little later (cf. Divine Agenda Ch. 5).
In Chapter 3, the Lord shows His outraged sense of equity at the heartless profiteering, the self-advancing, self-fulfilling hardness of heart of many of Israel to their poorer neighbours. Their sustained indifference is alien to him, and no piteous humbug will He hear. To the false prophets saying 'Peace' when war is in their hearts (good Darwinists in TYPE, even then, without the bauble of pseudo-scientific preposterousness now so disdained so rightly by an increasing number of scientists), the Lord gives a result, a reward if you will.
"Therefore you shall have night without vision,NO ANSWER FROM GOD is the lot of bombast and hypocrisy, and this is their inheritance.
And you shall have darkness without divination" - 3:6.
When we read passages like this, it is starkly amazing that anyone could be asking one, as happened recently, how the Jews could have anything to do with the Biblical Israel in view of the poor performances that the nation has often given, in spiritual terms.
This is fully oblivious of the relevant facts! (cf. Isaiah 28:7, 29:9-11, 6:8-10). Why it is JUST SUCH things which fill so much of the many prophets of the Old Testament! This is PRECISELY one of the distinguishing features of a land astray, a nation which heeded seducing spirits, one called to become a praise to God, which, despite many marvellous features, and years, drifted into this sort of oblivion (cf. Isaiah 29:14) and inherited, according to the very Mosaic covenant from the first, judgments which the Gentile nations are now to find are not exclusive to the Jews! It is, though sad, all but amusing to see someone try to trace a litany of the Jewish sins, adding and generalising to point of amazement, as if this proved they were not that very nation which precisely in just such terms is reprobated by God!
This is the sort of ignorance which presumes to teach, to appeal, to request that one should not teach such things! Will then white be black for such ? WIll one plus one equal zero! Is ignorance to be the teacher and fact to be crucified now!
Is one slaying of Christ not enough ? (cf. Hebrews 10). Is a verbal one to be added ?
No! It is the sad and grievous truth that Israel is so exposed, was warned from the first of the negative side of the covenant and even shown that it would in fact trace such a course, until the Lord Himself delivered it from its enemies (Deut. 32:43), and this at a time, we learn in such passages as Micah 2:12ff., and Micah 7:15ff., in a truly historic way, parallel to the Exodus of old In Deuteronomy 28-30, curses and blessings were highlighted: in fact, there were two mountains were chosen, one for pronouncing blessings on obedience, one for declaring curses on infidelity, such as was confidently predicted; while in Deuteronomy 32:40ff. the necessity of divine intervention in the midst of ruin, or threatened ruin, when Israel's power is gone, is predicted to be met in full!
The nation concerned is not Arabian, or British, whatever some may wish, or have wished in various wish fulfilments or fulminations of the past or present. It is precisely the one addressed by Moses, with a history both past and to come, traced by God, leading to the exile predicted in Leviticus 26 and to the divine intervention when the case seems lost entirely. God simply does what He says; and as to what He says, He declares knowing all things. The counsel of the Lord, THAT shall (and does) stand!
Meanwhile Micah announces the coming doom on Jerusalem with vigour and address:
"Her heads judge for a bribe,
Her priests teach for pay,
And her prophets divine for money,
Yet they lean on the LORD, and say,
'Is not the LORD among us?
No harm shall come upon us.'
Therefore because of you
Zion shall be ploughed like a field.
Jerusalem shall become heaps of ruins,
And the mountain of the temple,
Like the bare hills of the forest."
Now in that delightful turning, like a ship moving in a curve towards the coast, to enter by a river, into a land, we move to the "latter days" a phrase denoting often a terminal and triumphant period, or one of drama leading to this.
"The mountain of the LORD's house shall be established on the top of the mountains."
Who is the LORD ? The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the "I am" of Exodus as of John 8:58, who proclaims there is NO OTHER GOD, that He knows NO OTHER, that before the day was, "I am He", and that NO GOD SHALL BE FORMED after Him, just as there was none before. This is the one in view... the ONLY ONE (Isaiah 43:10-11, 46:5,10, 45:5ff.). HE declares the end from the beginning, and there is no likeness, no resemblance to Him to any extent whatsoever, in heaven or on earth (Psalm 89:6-7, Isaiah 40:8).
HE, the trinity (Isaiah 48:16) made heaven and earth ALONE (Isaiah 44:6,8, 24) and made man (45:5,12).
ANY other God is an idol (Psalm 96) not having the benefit of existence. In fact, one of His charges against Israel from the first, is the trend towards to worshipping that which IS NOT (Deuteronomy 32:15-18, 21), turning to NOT-GOD.
Hence came the litany of disasters of Deuteronomy 32.
nothing changes this:
Such is the story of Israel, and such the result, when she is brought back in terms of a geographically restored nation, later largely to seek and to find the Lord, that very Messiah she so lightly regarded, as in Zechariah 12 also.
This restoration was to be after long spreading years, and to issue in the very arrival of the Messiah as King. (Hosea 3:5), and THIS TIME they should receive Him in the fear of the Lord, (3:5) so bringing this long schedule to completion as in Romans 11 explicitly. Long was the discipline, and that has in the exile period been fulfilled; and long has been their rebellion of spirit, and the end of this has yet to be fulfilled, though in this century the extraordinary and of necessity UNIQUE preliminaries are fully fulfilled.
Indeed, "Who is he who speaks and it comes to pass,
When the LORD has not commanded it!" - Lamentations 3:37.
In fact, the simple case is this: "The counsel of the LORD, that shall stand!" (Proverbs 19:21).
"The counsel of the LORD stands forever,
The plans of His heart to all generations" - Psalm 33:11.
Ours happens to be a particularly pregnant one, in which w are seeing precisely this.
Politics cannot out-counsel Him; armies are like lice before Him. When others seek to add their ire to His discipline, and bully the nation whom He teaches, then the sheer effrontery brings results (cf. Ezekiel 38:11-19, Zechariah 1:15, Jeremiah 50:15, 29ff., , 51:11, 49, Obadiah 13-17*1).
Thus, then, is "the mountain of the Lord's house" to be "established on the top of the mountains", so that they say, "Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD" - Micah 4:2.
In that day, we find, as in Isaiah 2, there is to be a renewal and the grand opera of Jew in, Jew out, Gentile in, many Gentiles out like the Jews in apostasy, Jew back, one God, one Christ, Himself returned, as in Zechariah 14, to Jerusalem, will be complete. This then is the word of God, and none is there who can later either a) what He says or b) what He does, has done and is almost complete in fulfilling to the last part, even now in 2001!
In Ch. 5 of Micah, we therefore come to the "active ingredient", to Him who makes the difference, to the ransom price Himself, to the Messiah to be rejected, as in Isaiah 49:7, Psalm 2, 22 (see Joyful Jottings for these Psalms in detail). The amazing execution of Isaiah 52-53 (see Ch. 5 above, for Isaiah 9) is now seen in its official setting. The JUDGE OF ISRAEL, a post of high honour, and this vaulted to the skies by its being THE judge, HE is to be stricken on the cheek - it is this that Micah 5:1 reveals. Who could consider such a breach, overturning of all order, disrepute of all authority! Yes, with a rod He will be smitten: not merely will it be rough, but there will be a contrary authority which will presume to pressure and smite Him! That of course is precisely what happened with the murderous rebellion of the priests (John 11:48ff.).
Is He then to be human ? But of course; for how else would you have opportunity to smite His cheek. Born ? How else, if human! Where ? In Bethlehem (Micah 5:2). Small though the town was, yet it was in this one that He would be placed at birth. No external splendour would be His (cf. Isaiah 53:2). What a thought! He would come to earth as a MAN and be located in this small town for birth, the "root out of a dry ground" as Isaiah put it of His young years. SO it was to be, so it was.
is then He ? But of course, it is clear in Psalm 45, in Isaiah 48:16, in
Zechariah 12:10, in
Ezekiel 34. What does Micah declare of Him:
it is He
"THEREFORE", says Micah 5:3, "He shall given them up,
Until the time that she who is in labour has given birth:This then is the next phase to come, a compelling coda to the operatic highlights of which we have, as just exhibited, seen so many since one's own birth, in 1928. The dramas exposed in the 20th. century, in full context of all these prophecies since that time, have been as sensational as anything since the time of Christ on earth. The storm clouds are gathering, now already outlined in gold from the sun behind, for the Sun of Righteousness is about to return (Malachi 4:2, cf. 3:1-2, 4:3), and sharp shall be His righteous judgments on those not covered by the blood of the Lamb, whose word of old, and from His own lips has outlined the return of the Jews to Jerusalem, and of Himself to the earth.
Then the remnant of His brethren shall return to the children of Israel,
And He shall stand and feed His flock
In the strength of the LORD,
In the majesty of the name of the LORD His God,
And they shall abide,
For now He shall be great
To the ends of the earth:
And this ONE shall be peace" - from Micah 5:3-4.
It is soon, it is NEXT, following the outrageous attacks on Israel, as appear to related to Zechariah 12, in Ezekiel 38-39, which are themselves scheduled for soon after the return of that nation to its PLACE as determined and predicted in Deuteronomy and Jeremiah, together with Ezekiel and Isaiah (cf. SMR Ch. 9).
How strange! When, as in Zechariah 14, the LORD personally comes in the format of a descendant of David, as long promised (Isaiah 11), then His will be not only Israel, that place found fitting for His earlier crucifixion, but all the earth, and what He has said, goes! NO RACE, NO PERSON will be exalted in that day, but the LORD only; and one of the ways in which HE will be exalted is this, that Israel will be back AS HE SAID, having already found the place rather too small (as in Isaiah 49:20-21), yes even she who had felt forgotten by the Lord (Isaiah 49:14), as someone who ONCE knew Him, but now felt neglected. NO! says the Lord,
And be glad with her, all you who love her.
Rejoice with joy with her,, all you who mourn for her..." (Isaiah 66:10),
in manifest reference to that word of Moses, concerning the end of the long saga of spiritual pilgrimage of the people of Abraham, his people, whom he himself had led.
It is then that "the hand of the LORD shall be known to His servants,It is in this last days context, following, then, the rejection of the Messiah noted in Micah 5:1-3, after the abuse of the LORD in human form, that we see as in Ezekiel 36-37, the restoration geographically of the Jewish People, the children of Abraham, those whom we saw to the offspring of David, and of the Kings of Israel, the seed chosen, so readily discerned by their oppressors for so many centuries in Europe and in Russia.
And His indignation to His enemies.
For behold, the LORD will come with fire
And with His chariots,
like a whirlwind,
To render His anger with fury,
And His rebuke with flames of fire.
For by fire and by His sword
The LORD will judge all flesh,
And the slain of the LORD shall be many."
These martial and destructive events are of course the opposite of the spiritual history of the Christian Church, and represent those terminal activities as noted in Revelation 19, when the LORD overthrows, as also in Micah 7, Malachi 3-4, Isaiah 66, with power, expressly as in the days of the Exodus from Egypt, says Micah, the incorrigibly unbelieving, power-grasping Gentile world powers which He is to demolish. And what does He overthrow ? Which nations will figure ? Which races will be foremost in this affront to God ? Certainly when they have for a purpose, to make WAR on the LORD (as in Revelation 19:19), in their hostile world power groupings, the JEWISH FINAL SOLUTION of this world, will be overthrown as one of the obvious power plays where an unbelieving heart could express its antagonism to God. With it goes every other grasping objective, projection of ancient Babel, propaganda of sin and Satan.
As we have seen, GOD IS NOT IMPRESSED when people, peoples try to ADD to His divinely construed DISCIPLINES, and act the hyena against those whom HE has distressed. It is a sorry business, to war against one's Maker, and those who wish to engage in it should take care, for there is no other destiny than His, no other redemption than His; and if where Jew and Gentile alike crucified Christ, some want land rights, it is just a trifle ridiculous. GOD will choose, has chosen (Zechariah 14:5) where He will come when, not this time to be crucified, but to be King, He arrives.
As in Zechariah 12, we see wars triumphantly prosecuted, by Jews for so long under discipline; and this we find in terms of the divine faithfulness to HIS WORD, and NOT AT ALL in congratulation to the Jews for their NATIONAL DISGRACE of His crucifixion (Ezekiel 36:22ff.). Indeed all this is EXPLICITLY CONTRARY TO DEMERIT, far from merit, a work of divine grace, of promise keeping fidelity. Thus here we see the hand of the Lord protecting His now returned people. This is what was to be; this is what is.
This situation is, as noted, AFTER the crucifixion of Christ, when, having given them up, "Until the time that she who is in labour has given birth" (Micah 5:3, precisely as in Isaiah 66:8ff.), they are now restored. It is as in Zechariah 12, BEFORE their conversion (12:10), but DURING His protective mandate that these transforming overturnings and divinely ordered power displays occur.
Where Britain failed disastrously, the Lord, having made use of her, and using whatever else He desires (as in the case of the power of the US, in the case of the 1973 Arab attack during the Jewish HOLY DAY of all times!), successfully brings His sovereign protection to pass. As before, He discomforted them, now He maintains them. This vast contrast is most clearly noted in Deuteronomy 32:21-26 compared with 32:40ff.. It is a direct , intentional and dramatic change!
How the nations will be amazed, bemused, and discontented, and how they will rage (as in Ezekiel 38-30, at the newly returned people). Small wonder then that the deliverance of the people who have yet to return to their own LORD, is to be compared to the exodus miracles in dimension (Micah 7:15). It is to them that the word is given, it is to this nation as "YOU" (those of Exodus fame) that the Lord refers, in depicting and predicting this, His later deliverance of this same people.
There is no confusion of identity, except where some act as if they were gods, and God were to be suppressed. His word rules, and happy is the one who realises this deeply within. It is personal, it is profound, it probes, it is not to be judged; it judges, and in its terms, all is judged (John 12:48-50).
WHAT is to occur, according to the prophecy of Micah ? What is this which is coming BEFORE the reign of peace on earth (as in Micah 5:10-15, cf. Isaiah 2) ? What does Micah 5:5-6 specify ? It appears that Iraq, the Assyrian in modern clothes, the land of Nineveh, is to come in affront as Hussein did in the 1948 war (which Saddam was careful to indicate in 1991 was STILL IN PROCESS, the war against Israel), with his rockets against Israel in that continued aggression in 1990-1991, is to be distressed because of her bellicosity towards Israel. In this one needs to realise that the LORD does not think as men think. "MY THOUGHTS are not your thoughts," He declares in Isaiah 55, but as the heavens above the earth, beyond those of mankind.
Therefore, IF the worldly reason for the repression of domineering Iraq, taking Kuwait, was anything from pity to oil, that is nothing whatever to do with the Lord's thoughts about an Iraqi army estimated at anything between some 350,000 and 500,000 with thousands of tanks and a vast array of aircraft, still at war with Israel, grabbing land in the Middle East.
that GULF WAR, which has enormous representation still on the internet,
with hundreds upon hundreds of analyses and reviews, there were some 7,
yes 8 principal agents. Let us list them.
They were: the US, Great Britain, France, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Syria, Italy (contributing aircraft) and "various Arab air force" contributions. Seven principals ? yes eight. That is what Micah 5:5 has.
in Micah 5:6 we learn of these "shepherds"
raised up to "waste with the sword the land
of Assyria", and so they did. "Thus,"
continues in Micah 5:6, "He shall deliver
us from the Assyrian."
This was, for the time at least, to be the end of the huge Iraqi threat to Israel. Soon the immense warlike thrust from the NORTH is to occur, which has been discussed in detail before (cf. Scoop of the Universe 47 and SMR pp. 512-513, 876-877, and see Index Gog in SMR). Meanwhile such a group of nations did lay waste, as predicted. They DID waste the land of Iraq in spectacular fashion, in a war some regard as the most EFFICIENT ever undertaken by the US!
So the saga continues for this race of Davidic past, with God its guarantor, way past the vicious and almost deadly inroads of such aggressors as Adolf Hitler (cf. Jeremiah 30:5-7 which specifies a time of such deadliness - and note here The Biblical Workman Ch. 1 as for the coverage in Jeremiah).
Thus far we have then come
to the very threshold of this peace, seen in its institution after these
things, in Micah 5:10ff.. We now turn to the interim, in Chs. 6-7, where
some of the most vital pathos one could ever wish to see, is unveiled.
(You may care after this, to consult Ch. 8 for more detail)
Here again, after these revelations of destiny and deliverance, we are back with Micah, who after all in the near term has been forecasting - from the 8th. century B.C., you recall, the DESTRUCTION OF JERUSALEM, which indeed was the impending peril. When the eyes of the prophet Micah were taken from the annals of destiny to the judgments of the contemporary and immediately following period, however, the sight was ghastly and indeed the site of the city! (cf. 3:12). So it was to be; so it occurred.
O you mountains, the LORD's complaint,
And you strong foundations of the earth:
For the LORD has a complaint against His people,
And He will contend with Israel.
My people, what have I done to you ?
And how have I wearied you ?
Testify against Me..." (Micah 6:3),
the Lord attests,
I brought you up from the land of Egypt...
And I sent before you Moses, Aaron, and Miriam..."
As noted, it is only necessary to be able to read to realise that the Jewish People are those from Moses, and Aaron and Miriam, of David, those whose history is recorded, whose Messiah is the Lord, those who came from Egypt to the Promised Land, who failed to enter it, who spent 40 years in the desert, whose children were brought in through the lack of faith of their parents, under Joshua, whose height was reached with David, and Solomon, and depths in the murder of Christ. It was they who stayed 70 years as predicted, in Babylon, before being released by the conquering Cyrus, predicted by name (Isaiah 43-45), who were rebuilt as a remnant, who restored Jerusalem (as predicted by Daniel 9), who flourished under the Maccabees, from whom came the Christ, whom they killed as predicted, whose Jerusalem was then destroyed as predicted by Micah, by Christ Himself.
No one else has done these things; these are the people, this is the very word of God. It is HE who claims in Amos 3:7 to cover their historic outline, and it is He who proclaims not only their return, but their murder of the Christ, and His way to forgiveness, as in Zechariah 13:1, even for them as for all who come in faith with repentance to Him, as He is, to His Christ, as He is, to receive what He has done, not in emulously of hating Jews, or loving Arabs, or vice versa, but in contrition and respect for the sovereignty of Him who died in Jerusalem, and will be there for His will, with the population of His will, brought to contrition according to His will, with many saved according to His word.
who want it different need not apply to World Wide Web Witness Inc. to
change it. We are servants of the Most High God, not masters. We speak
what He has said to the world, from His book, that blessed book of the
Lord, every smallest part of which is fulfilled, as Christ indicated, as
Isaiah proclaimed (Matthew 5:17ff., Isaiah 8:20, 34:16).
THEY have had their time OUT and will have their TIME in; and as to the Gentiles, as Paul points out in Romans 11, it was their fall, that of the Jews, which was occasion for grace to us. Let us not be highminded, says Paul, for God is able to take out what, like Israel, once exalted its own ideas. It is a fatal path to follow. What, he asks, will their return be, then, if their fall led to so much blessedness for so many, but "life from the dead".
has ALREADY PLANNED WHO SHALL BE THE PEACE AND ANNOUNCED IT (Isaiah 9:7).
CHRIST shall be the peace, and His peace is according to the Gospel (Ephesians
2:14-18). This is brought in the Gospel NOW, and in the RULE of CHRIST,
then, until the world being dispensed with, it departs with no place for
it to be found (Revelation 20:11). It is not worth fighting for, this world.
God will have His way in it, and His servants, in the work of the Gospel
and the terms of Christianity, do not fight. The Christian Church (as distinct
from its caricature, which explicitly seeks a kingdom in this world, with
princes and churches under it cf. SMR pp. 1042ff.,
John 18:36) has no wars, except against Satan; but God ? It is He who will
effect ALL that He has said, and if He chooses to return to the place which
crucified Him, what prince is so mighty as to contest it. But they will!
yes, they will to their uttermost cost (Ezekiel 38-39, Revelation 19).
Such is the constant way of sin; it never knows when to stop. To the heart it comes, to the head it goes, and it executes many!
The Jewish People have themselves been humiliated before God and man, and in Micah 6:9-16, so that in the day of Micah, there were judgments aplenty, in multitudes, there was purging in power, there was devastation to come.
In Chapter 7, there is the response, as from the remnant of Jewish People (cf. Micah 5:3). Often does God indicate this. It is not the entire nation which continues with the Lord, but there are always SOME. But ah! what a sight they see in their afflicted nation.
This then, Micah 7:1-4) is a lament like that of Jeremiah in Lamentations.
"Woe is me!Those who, like someone who wrote to us recently, can scarcely get out of their mouths the evil words against Jews, should read such things. Some seem to be like dispensationalists of some kind, imagining that there is an innate heroism, wonder, grandeur, triumphalism in the Jews, and wishing to denigrate them in every conceivable and inconceivable way. This is mere foolish racism. Like other nations, the Jews, with the distinctive that they reacted not only against morals and conscience, but against the LORD directly and personally, against Him who had called them and placed them, and outlined in advance their whole history (affirmed in Amos 3:7), have done much evil. In this they are NO DIFFERENT. The horrors of the contemporary Palestinian sacrifices of youths for their land desire, of Cambodia, of Russia, China, of all the indoctrinating squalor and pretence, debasement of people and exaltation of folly, passion, injustice and violence to smash many, just for parts of this present world, or its wealth, priorities or dowers: these devastations, these evils are widespread.
For I am like those who gather summer fruits,
Like those who glean vintage grapes,
There is no cluster to eat...
The faithful man has perished from the earth,
And there is no one upright among men.
They all lie in wait for blood,
Every man hunts his brother with a net.
"That they may successfully do evil with both hands -
The prince asks for gifts,
The judge seeks a bribe,
And the great man utters his evil desire:
So they scheme together,
The best of them is like a briar..."
Whose nation, whose race is without sin!
No, the Jews were a SHOW PIECE NATION (Isaiah 43:21) and have been dealt out in detail the results of breaking their covenant. When they walked and worked with the LORD (as HE specifies in Deuteronomy 32:7-15, 29ff.), wonders were worked. When they left Him, they were chased who chased! Now He has ordained as in Deuteronomy 32:39ff., Micah 7:15ff., that things will change as He honours His promises. It is HE, and always and only HE, and in this the Jews form an OBJECT LESSON, as is fitting for a show case nation (Isaiah 43:21). This is stressed by Paul also in Romans 11 (for which, see The Biblical Workman Ch. 3).
Now comes, through the prophet Micah, that telling sketch of decaying affections and kinships, and ultimate challenges which Christ noted as seen in Matthew 10:21 when He was advising the disciples before their crusade of evangelism in Israel, the Israel of His time on earth. Thus in Micah 7:6-7, we read:
man's enemies are the men of his own household.
Therefore I will look to the LORD;
I will wait for the God of my salvation;
My God will hear me." There is no other!
Then comes that amazingly affecting word of the Jew, alert to the Lord, the "remnant", as if a voice from the cyanide gallows of Hitler, the tooth picking war on bodies, bodies experimented with sexually, bodies in pulp, bodies in waiting for death, bodies starved:
not rejoice over me, my enemy;
When I fall, I will arise:
When I sit in darkness,
The LORD will be a light to me.
I will bear the indignation of the LORD,
Because I have sinned against Him
Until He pleads my case..." from Micah 7:8-9.
This is what those who are hostile to the Jewish People should realise (and one must repeat, Against which people may one not be hostile, if hate is in one's breast, an unwise indulgence, since God is love - if one is to count and consider, in endless unrepentant wars of folly and pride, vainglory and self-assertion!).
It is of the Lord, that they, the Jews, rose, fell and rise again, but they rise to fall in repentance before the LORD as in Zechariah 12:10 and to repent of their foolish initiatives against God.
It is they for whom the Lord Jesus Christ lamented (Luke 19:42ff., Matthew 23:37ff.). It is they of whom He predicted the return to Jerusalem (Luke 21:24), putting His own personal imprimatur on their future! It is they whom He told, were to INHERIT the wrath due for all the evils wrought on the prophets; it is they whose 'fathers', said He, had done such things (Matthew 23:29ff.).
is the continuity, as a nation, to inherit, and to disinherit,
and the only thing to disinherit is sin,
and the only way is Christ, their own Messiah;
but what they are, none can disinherit, and how comic, if not atrociously so,
that they, the refuse dump of the great for centuries,
should now be so admirable in the eyes of some, so arising, or so blessed,
that they would steal their very name,
who lack the credentials, the history and the ways, yes the very religion,
yes even its beginnings in the Old Testament.
would the Gentiles, grafted in, when the Jews are brought back as Paul
specifies precisely in Romans 11:15, want to become Jews, to grow into
the title accorded to them in the Old Testament,
by the dictators,
by the oppressors,
by their culture,
by their ways and associations,
their country, which is far more conservative about their intake than some might imagine,
so that they might gain the advantage of a smidgen of territory.
It matters not at all if the modern Jewish secular State (although there is a considerable input from the Orthodox in particular, sometimes in government) is somewhat distant from its Biblical past; though indeed not all are so, since Netanyahu for one, is aware of the fulfilment of prophecy in their return, as heard in one of his own political speeches, some years ago.
In fact, is not to DENY their Biblical past, to make it not the criterion of their secular present. That does not follow and is mere imagination. But even if they did so, their return and their heritage, their very tests of race, are all of a kind. THIS is where the TESTS rest, and this is WHERE THE WORD OF GOD PREDICTS, and as it was spoken, so it is. WHAT IT PREDICTS is that these people, call themselves as they will (and the name is clear enough), will come to the place apportioned to them in a certain epoch, and there do what they have in fact done, making the desert blossom like the rose, and enduring and prevailing against all the (predictively) numerous assaults upon their land.
This, Biblically, is Israel, even if they called themselves Greenland. This is Israel, even if they excluded Christianity absolutely. This is Israel, the land apportioned to the Jews, and it is to none other so. The more they sin, the more they suffer; the longer they delay to come to their own Messiah, Jesus the Christ, the more perilous their condition - and in Daniel as in Zechariah, it is apparent it is VERY perilous, though they be protected. They invite in their current national continuance of rebellion, the confusion and weakness which sin brings, even though the Lord protects them; and hence is their state as predicted, partly strong by protection and partly weak by non-repentance, TILL IT COME.
But it is Biblically very clear who they are, historically most obvious, and all the denigrations many would give them, have no more effect in disturbing their identity, than would a positive TB test have for disturbing the identity of a TB patient! It is what is called a falsification which is the attestation! How strange that so many WILL not realise, refuse as well as the nation of Israel to realise, that salvation is OF THE LORD (as Jonah declared), that it is by CHRIST'S knowledge as sin-bearer that justification is to be obtained, that growth in Christ is NOT being born again, and you are not born by your own works! (cf. Titus 3:5). It is ALL of grace, and not of works, as Paul says, for it if were of works, how then of grace, and if of grace, how then of works! The works are worked BY faith, but before faith comes, it cannot work! Eternal life (Romans 6:23) is a GIFT of God!
In apportioning Israel to the Jews, as in Deuteronomy, God did not have a problem about knowing what that would be, or in Jeremiah 33, in knowing just what He would preserve this DEFINED, and VERBALLY DEFINED PEOPLE. The Jew is one of the great phenomena of the world, and the proof of identity from ancestors of this kind is one of the dangers of the 1940s, and the entrances of the end of the century, the beginning of the next. It is here that Israel arises, here the Zionists looked, here they have come. Let those who want to prove ancestry put it to the test; and let those who are not of this ancestry, cease to confuse secularism with historical fact.
To depart from history is not a plus of science, and to invent a history divorced from reality is not a way of equity. Let the Jew be the Jew, and let his past be his past, his future his future; for assuredly there is none on this earth which is precisely this.
As surely as the Bible is the word of God, the Jews are a preserved identity; and have returned to their land. Not all have come, for millions are in New York! and many still in Russia. But this is the land to which they have in droves come, for which Britain made provision in their name, as a homeland; and as to intermarriage, Christ came from a Moabitess in one of the ancestral figures in the maternal line. It has not removed the character, the criteria; they remain vulnerable by identity exceedingly clear, Biblically defined, guaranteed and assured.
Although the term 'Israel' may indeed be used metaphorically on occasion, as presumably in Galatians 6, yet this does nothing whatever to remove the national facts. It merely uses them as an image.
But the nations!
How some of them fume! but how this fulfils the prophecy that the nations will consider sharply what the LORD does, when He returns the Jews, Israel, the promised people, the persecuted people, to their land (Ezekiel 36:36, 37:28). They come (36:24-25), but still AFTER their arrival (as in Zechariah 12) still need to be SPRINKLED WITH WATER, that is converted to the New Covenant, that of Christ, to what His baptism indicates (cf. Questions and Answers 9, 10, 11). THIS, it has yet to be. God has done all, but this. This is to come. It is indeed to be a symbol of what is to happen in the very teeth of wars to come (which Zechariah 12 makes clear).
The Jews then have been a focus for many for many centuries, for the persecutions of Louis XIV, of Russia, of many nations, and their ways are known, their people afflicted, their buildings scorned by many, and their ways afflicted. Surely they have provoked the Lord, and equally surely, many have made use of their afflictions, to advance themselves, and still do, and some would even seek to grab their name. But it is not possible. They are of their own kind, and their distinctness is the source of mirth, of pity, of persecution, of religion, itself impure as Christ told, which they have built up as they have, as a nation, maintained to this day, their Jewish rebellion against their own Messiah. They will not find peace while they so continue; but then, the nations will not find the rule of Israel, for are they better than they ? Is God willing to be told to act differently, then!
There are indeed many nations which also do not repent of what in principle are, if not the very same follies, yet ones grossly similar, in ignoring, distorting, not reading but presuming to 'interpret' the Bible, and telling people what to say, without a word of confirmation from the Bible, ghost writers of God, people of passion with knowledge. But our God is a God of knowledge, and by knowledge He will show up the follies of such intrusions, a new sort of liberalism, into His word. It continues. Its judgments continue, not only on Jew, but on Arab, Britisher and American who defile, defame or assail His name. To each his own, be it your club, nation, race, or church, which meddles with the word of God, tremble, for He does not hesitate to say this:
But Micah proceeds. When the LORD condescends to hear the plaint of the remnant, what then:
she who is my enemy will see,
And shame will cover her who said to me,
'Where is the LORD your God?' "
That is precisely what is predicted, to be read in conjunction with the detailed indications of Ezekiel 38-39 and Zechariah 12-4.
The Jewish People are to RETURN, says Micah, from their many international exiles (Micah 7:12-13), even though there is yet a terrible time of testing for the Jews, in these last days before their massive and predicted repentance and finding the LORD, for then, they sin even as others.
we find that "as in the days when you came
out of the land of Egypt,
I will show them wonders.
"The nations shall see and be ashamed of all their might:This is exactly as in Isaiah 2 and 66. This is coming.
They shall put their hand over their mouth.
Their ears shall be deaf.
They shall lick the dust like a serpent:
They shall crawl from their holes like snakes of the earth.
They shall be afraid of the LORD our God,
And shall fear because of You" - from Micah 7:16-17 (emphasis added).
But what of the last verses ? For these, read our sermon presentation, SINNERS ONLY, which shows forth this, which whether for Jew or Gentile, is such a solace, source of grace and wonder of love. It is here specifically for the repentant Jew, but it is a GENERIC reference to the pardoning power of God, whatever one's sins, even if they are huge like those of the Jewish NATION, to this day, for all the divine and guaranteed protection, not yet returned to the Lord.
It is there for any Arab who similarly has not found the Lord; for any man of sophistication in Europe, in Germany, in France, in Switzerland. There is no limit; for though the Lord runs all things as He promises, He rejects NONE, for the Saviour is for all nations. Shortly, there shall not even BE any earth. It is not soil but soul which is the target. Therefore repent if you are still in the grip of the non-grace of flesh, wanting your own way, like some squalling brat; for alas, of us all sin can make brats so readily. There is such an abundance of mercy as Isaiah 55 also makes so clear, so freely available, for which price and payment is ridiculous, and it is from the LORD for one and for all "without price and without money".
The ideas of Jews, or any others, MERITING favour from the LORD, rather than simply being chosen is at the base of much of the confusion which tries to make straw men of marvellous Jewry, in order to make a mulch of the concept. It is NOTHING WHATEVER TO DO WITH WORKS (Romans 3:23ff.), except of course, for the works of Christ, the Messiah, Jesus Christ, who brings reconciliation by HIS DEATH (Colossians 1:22, Romans 4:25-5:1, Isaiah 53:11-12, where it is by the Messiah's knowledge, as the One bearing sin and yet raised up, that any soul is justified). NOT by the killings and swillings and billings of FLESH is ANYTHING to be gained from the Lord! NO FLESH SHALL GLORY in His presence: therefore discontinue if this is your case. One declares it in the very love of God, discontinue while there is still time (Isaiah 2:17-11), but rather come and be covered (Isaiah 32:1-4) in the ONE provided, the ONLY ONE, the ONLY REDEEMER given to men (Acts 4:11-12).
reconciliation with God the Creator-Redeemer, there is NO reconciliation,
and pointless and endless feuding is merely ONE of the many symptoms of
hatred, hostility, vainglory and grabbing which mar the earth. It will
never be cleared by these means, and those merely mar themselves and add
to their delusions, whose non-repentance for the sins of their own
hearts and parties makes them implacable in insisting on their own dream
and draft for history, ignoring history, unhistorical in theme and in ignorance,
for the word of God has always controlled history, and does to this day.
Jackals and Discipline,
Jews and Endurance,
God and His Promises
we shall give on this topic an excerpt from SMR, as inset below:
At the nearer level to the Jews, the prophecies of Obadiah and Isaiah (34) are fulfilled in a way which is also awesome in its atmosphere and detail. The city of Petra, featuring recesses in rocky cliff faces, and redoubtable Edom territory, reveals a startling coincidence between the Biblical scenario of its abandonment and its actual, contemporary scenario - for its desolation was predicted to endure.It should especially be noted how God hates the self-exaltation of ANY nation (cf. Isaiah 2:14-22), and those who abuse HIS disciplines of the Jews, or indeed meddle like monsters, like jackals when some are brought low, are to expect attention. Listen to Zechariah 1:15:
Abandoned ? Yes, to the very wild beast population prophesied, in the absence of human occupants! To read the prediction, just this, gives an almost eerie thrill of desolation. How like the thing itself, when visited now!
The treachery of Arabs against Edom and the Jewish inhabiting of the South (Negev), following Edom's treachery against Israel would be followed by Edom's eviction by Arabs, leading at last to a grand inhabiting of the South - Negev - by Israel (Obadiah 7-14, 17-21). And this ? Predicted, it is now famous civically for military feat and in irrigation (esp. since 1967). There was to be a disestablishment of Edom and an occupation by Israel, in view of the divine judgment on Edom, for its earlier infamy against Israel.
These movements are fulfilled before our eyes as is the Isaianic detail (34:11 ff.). Here the divine emphasis is both inexorability and detail. Apart from the feelings evoked, there is the fact provoked, and duly come to pass. This twin application of truth is in perfect parallel with the words, already noted, of Jesus Christ, in Matthew 5:17-19.
"And I am very displeased with the heathen that are at ease; for I was but a little displeased, and they helped forward the affliction."
As Zechariah was willing to help, in the restoration, after Babylon, so is the Lord his Master willing to help and bless those returning; and His wrath can now burn, as it did then, where the bullies, hyenas have sought to make use of His estrangement from a disciplined people, to advantage themselves, and seek as did on one occasion, EDOM, to occupy their very territory! (Obadiah 12-13).
Let us hear Obadiah:
"You should not have gazed on the day of your brother,Here as so often, the JEWS ARE BACK. Surely there has been some intermarriage, for example one of the ancestors of the LORD, the Christ, on the maternal line, was a Moabitess, Ruth! Yet their distinguishing features, picked up so well by Webster's dictionary, as by Hitler, their notable affinity for their customs, ways, characteristics, usages, language, mutual help, in the face of centuries of often rabid persecution in Europe, to mention but one, and in Russia, from Rome and various jackal like preying nations, not least Louis XIV: these do not end. As God said in Jeremiah 33, if YOU PLAN to remove the LIVING REALITY of the JEWISH PEOPLE, then you might as well begin by changing astronomy, the "covenant with the day". "As the host of heaven cannot be numbered, nor the sand of the sea measured, so will I multiply the descendants of David My servant..." Jeremiah 33:22.
In the day of his captivity,
Nor should you have rejoiced over the children of Judah,
In the day of their destruction.
Nor should you have spoken proudly in the day of their distress.
You should not have entered the gate of My people,
In the day of their calamity..."
Is this not just what so many are doing, making statistics of 'sins of Israel', or provoking them, deriding them, blistering their name with infidelity to the truth, with rancid generalisations, seeking to remove what God has joined together, as if this were a divinely accorded duty!
are these people ? Those who are the people of David, the Kings of Judah,
those who historically once fought against Babylon, those whose people
suffered the fury of the Lord
( Jeremiah 33:5), who returned and rebuilt in their own day, who were then pardoned, who had been called before that in Moses, and in Abraham, who then became for a time a name of praise with people like Ezra, Nehemiah, Josiah, Hezekiah, who then in goodly numbers were bent on the name of the Lord and HIS honour, which is the distinguishing feature of any sincere faith: THESE are they whom the LORD undertakes to maintain in continuity throughout history.
These are those who, as we shall see in Micah 5, have had the Messiah in their very midst, first as a babe, and who after that, have His power to help when they return to Him. This is so, though not yet is the preponderance of the nation His, or any substantial part of it. Given that promised restoration to their land (Ezekiel 36:24-25, 37:9,12), they yet delay, and pay.
GOD guarantees their continuity and restoration when the Lord Himself shortly comes on the scene to rule (as in Zechariah 12:10 and Ch. 14).
It is only necessary to be able to read to realise that DAVID is a Jewish strain; that the multiplication promised for the time of their return must mean millions; that the removal is the opposite of multiplication; that Hitler was not wrong in one thing, you can readily find out the Jews, at least in the bulk. They congregate, aggregate, practise this and that, have inter-relationships, corridors of interaction developed in their long time of enduring hostility and grief, have notable physical features very often, noted by Webster, and though they vary enormously, through this or that amount of inter-marriage, their cultural congregation and driving force is hard to suppress. Israel today gives entrance on very special terms, and JEWISH heritage is not the least! There are cases, certainly, of some little doubt; but this merely emphasises the generality of confidence.
They are THERE, God said they would be THERE, and they are BACK, and God guaranteed both THAT and that they would be THERE. WE teach two main things here : what God says and what is to be found in the world, attesting it. Here they are the same. This is both normal and indeed, a law! It cannot be escaped. Next time you want to change astronomy, first do that, and then try. That, it is God's challenge in Jeremiah.
This World Wide Web Witness Inc. is not of such a mind, ahs no desire to do that, is at peace with Almighty God, contest not with Him, follows Him in Christ, and rejoices to do so! We merely teach and show what GOD HAS SAID and HISTORY HAS DONE. They coincide more than any law.
Just as Deuteronomy maintains the call, "Rejoice O you nations, with His people", when after the long predictive saga, God intervenes to deliver them, and Jeremiah provides God Himself as divine guarantor of the continuance as such as of Jewish race as we have seen, concerning "the two families which the LORD has chosen", to become one, so does Micah show the eventual deliverance of the chastened Jewish people in Ch. 7, to which we shall come in the main text.
The two families are SPECIFIED in Ezekiel, as Judah and Ephraim, thus making it ultra-clear that the prediction of restoration is applicable precisely to those, for on their union, there IS UNION. It is a union specifically of tribes, of specialties of the Jews, precise specialties. It is like surgery: the elements are where they are, and to ignore it merely involves butchery.
ALL of Israel is thus made up at that stage of these two 'families', and of course, whatever proselytes and acceptances the nation may see fit to make, as it exhibits the truth of the word of God, somewhat ironically, even before it applies it to its own heart, or to that of multitudes within it, by accepting the Messiah. Any other "definition" of Israel has in this context of restoration to their land absolutely nothing to do with the Bible, its promises and its dealings with the children of Israel. It is merely a confusion of terms, terminology and politics that amounts to a denial of history and reality alike.
Now we come to the verbal attack on the Jewish people as noted. Naturally the identity of the writer is withheld, while the answer correcting the errors, is provided.
For more on these things, see not only Ch. 2, but Chs. 3 , 4 , 5 and 6 , 7 and 8 below.