Micah Shows The Desperate Need For The Messiah - Micah - 4:9-5:6 part one
As we begin let’s take a moment to follow Micah’s flow of thought starting back in Micah 4:9. Micah has been giving judgment oracles against Zion and then following each of them up with a glimpse into how the Lord will redeem them from these situations.
Micah begins by saying, “Now why do you cry aloud? Is there no king in you? Has your counselor perished, that pain seized you like a woman in labor? Writhe and groan, O daughter of Zion, like a woman in labor, for now you shall go out from the city and dwell in the open country; you shall go to Babylon.” (9-10)
Immediately these words are followed up by words of comfort and hope for the people of God, “There you shall be rescued; there the LORD will redeem you from the hand of your enemies.” (10b)
There are several encouraging things for God’s people in these verses. First, God can rescue His people from the strongest of enemies. He can deliver them from Egypt, from the Assyrians, from the Babylonians, and from the hand of Satan and from death. Hebrews 2:14-15, “Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.” There is no foe who can overcome God when He acts to save His people.
Secondly, there is no place too distant from which the LORD cannot save his people - “There you shall be rescued.” He will rescue His people out of every distant land and from every nation, every city, out of every clan and from within every family. There is no place that is hidden from the Lord. There is no place too far for Him that He cannot save.
Thirdly, notice that the LORD will redeem His people. He can pay our debt. He can pay the ransom that is required of our sins which have sold us into slavery. The cost to redeem God’s people is too high for any of us to pay. Even if we were to gather all of our resources together we could not free even one person from the bonds of slavery to sin. But God can save and redeem. He has the means to save, He has the will to save, and as we will see today He has the plan to save His people.
The LORD will not be able to save only a few lucky ones. He will save all of His people from the hand of their enemies. They will not escape on their own. They will not be freed because their captors were distracted. No, the LORD redeems us from the hand of our enemy. He came into the jail cell to rescue Peter in Acts 12 despite the fact that he was shackled to guards and imprisoned behind iron bars. He rescued Lot from the gates of Sodom on the very day that they were destroyed. He rescued the thief while he was dying on the cross.
[Continuing in the context of Micah]
In Micah 4:11 Micah gives another judgment oracle saying, “Now many nations are assembled against you, saying, ‘Let her be defiled, and let our eyes gaze upon Zion.’” Words such as these can be terrifying when a kings scouts return and say that they have heard such words; but how much more terrifying would these words be if you were to hear them with your own ears by the enemy.
Hezekiah heard such words in 2 Kings 18. Assyria came to Jerusalem and said to all within Jerusalem these words, “Thus says the king: ‘Do not let Hezekiah deceive you, for he will not be able to deliver you out of my hand. Do not let Hezekiah make you trust in the LORD by saying, The LORD will surely deliver us, and this city will not be given into the hand of the King of Assyria.’”
Upon hearing these words we are told of King Hezekiah’s response, “As soon as King Hezekiah heard it, he tore his clothes and covered himself with sackcloth and went into the house of the LORD.” (19:1) Others joined the king there and Hezekiah said, “This day is a day of distress, of rebuke, and of disgrace...” (19:3)
In all of this Hezekiah hopes that the Lord will hear what has been said by the Assyrians and that He would have mercy upon them. The Lord does see and He speaks these words through Isaiah, “Do not be afraid because of the words that you have heard, with which the servants of the king of Assyria have reviled me. Behold, I will put a spirit in him, so that he shall hear a rumor and return to his own land, and I will make him fall by the sword in his own land.” (19:6-7)
After Micah speaks of those who would want to defile Zion, he also gives a word of encouragement to the people saying, “But they do not know the thoughts of the LORD; they do not understand, His plan, that he has gathered them as sheaves to the threshing floor. Arise and thresh, O daughter of Zion, for I will make your horn iron, and I will make your hoofs bronze; you shall beat in pieces many peoples; and shall devote their gain to the LORD, their wealth to the Lord of the whole earth.” (4:12-13) I love the fact that the LORD is doing all of this: His thoughts, His plan, He has gathered, I will make (2x).
I wanted to mention this context as we come into chapter five because the same thing is happening in this chapter. Micah 5:1 begins with another expression of judgment and another warning. And then it is followed up by the rest of the chapter being a message of hope and encouragement. Micah will give a further revelation as to what the thoughts and plan of God will be in the future.
Micah 5:1 says, “Now muster your troops, O daughter of troops; siege is laid against us; with a rod they strike the judge of Israel on the cheek.”
What is Micah saying to Judah with these words? Let’s first look at the words, ‘Now muster your troops...” We don’t use the word ‘muster’ much anymore. This word means to assemble, to collect, to convene, to mobilize, to rally, to round up, etc.
An example of how this word is used is when Judah fell to the Babylonians and were taken into captivity. We find these words in 2 Kings 25:18-19, “And the captain of the guard (of Babylon) took Seraiah the chief priest and Zephaniah the second priest and the three keepers of the threshold, and from the city he took an officer who had been in command of the men of war, and five men of the king’s council who were found in the city, and the secretary of the commander of the army who mustered the people of the land who were found in the city.”
When I read the words, “Now muster your troops”, I wondered what Micah is doing here? Is he like Paul Revere who rode through the land shouting for the people to prepare for battle? Is he filling the role of the commander of the army in 2 Kings 25 when that man sought to muster the people of the land to fight the Babylonians?
Sometimes a prophet would tell the king to engage in battle. Sometime