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The Blue Letter Bible

David Guzik :: Study Guide for Micah 4

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The Lord Reigns over Restored Zion

A. The character of restored Zion.

1. (Mic 4:1-3) Zion is the center of a renewed earth.

Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and peoples shall flow to it. Many nations shall come and say, "Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths." For out of Zion the law shall go forth, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. He shall judge between many peoples, and rebuke strong nations afar off; 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 any more.

a. The mountain of the Lord's house … shall be exalted above the hills: This speaks of the ultimate exaltation of Jerusalem, the City of Zion, in the LORD's ultimate restoration. This will be fulfilled completely in the Millennium, when the peoples shall flow to a restored and redeemed Jerusalem as the capital of the millennial earth (out of Zion the law shall go forth, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem).

i. Micah 4:1-3 is repeated in Isaiah 2:1-3.  Since Isaiah and Micah were contemporary prophets, it isn't surprising that the same Spirit of the LORD could give these two prophets the same word, to establish and emphasize His word.

ii. The glorious transformation of the mountain of the Lord is especially wonderful in light of what the sinning people of God did to it: Therefore because of you Zion shall be plowed like a field, Jerusalem shall become heaps of ruins, and the mountain of the temple like the bare hills of the forest. (Micah 3:12)

b. He will teach us His ways: With the prophet's eye Micah sees the world streaming into Jerusalem to meet with the Lord GOD, and to know Him better.

c. He shall judge between many peoples: During the reign of the Messiah, there will be no more war.  There will still be conflicts between nations and individuals, but they will be justly and decisively resolved by the Messiah and those who reign with Him (He shall judge between the nations, and shall rebuke many people).

i. It isn't the reign of the Messiah itself that will change the heart of man.  Citizens of earth will still need to trust in Jesus and His work on their behalf for their personal salvation during the millennium.  But war and armed conflict will not be tolerated.

d. Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore: It is important to see that this is not the peace of capitulation.  This is the peace of enforced righteousness.  There is no more war, and no more need for swords - so why not make them into plowshares?  There is no more war because there is a new ruler on earth, Jesus Christ.  Psalm 2:9 tells us what the Messiah will do to the disobedient in that day: You shall break them with a rod of iron; You shall dash them to pieces like a potter's vessel.

i. We long for the day when there is no more need for a military budget, when the money that goes for weapons and armies can go to schools and parks.  But we are only safe doing that when the Messiah reigns among us!

e. In 1941 Franklin Roosevelt gave a famous speech about four freedoms: freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom from want, and freedom from fear. Micah 4:1-5 describes four freedoms:

- Freedom from ignorance (He will teach us His ways)
- Freedom from war (Neither shall they learn war anymore)
- Freedom from want (everyone shall sit under his vine and under his fig tree)
- Freedom from fear (no one shall make them afraid)

2. (Mic 4:4-5) The blessed people of restored Zion.

But everyone shall sit 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. For all people walk each in the name of his god, but we will walk in the name of the LORD our God forever and ever.

a. Everyone shall sit under his vine and under his fig tree: This is a proverbial expression that means prosperity and peace (1 Kings 4:25, 2 Kings 18:31).

b. We will walk in the name of the LORD our God forever and ever: In the Millennial reign, the inhabitants of earth will not be compelled to follow the LORD. Some will walk each in the name of his god; yet those who do walk in the name of the LORD will enjoy great blessing and peace.

3. (Mic 4:6-8) The gathering of restored Zion.

"In that day," says the LORD, "I will assemble the lame, I will gather the outcast and those whom I have afflicted; I will make the lame a remnant, and the outcast a strong nation; so the LORD will reign over them in Mount Zion from now on, even forever. And you, O tower of the flock, the stronghold of the daughter of Zion, to you shall it come, even the former dominion shall come, the kingdom of the daughter of Jerusalem."

a. I will make the lame a remnant, and the outcast a strong nation: God's restoration isn't just for the strong, but the weak and disadvantaged will especially know the blessing of His restoration.

b. To you shall it come: These promises are so glorious that it would be easy for Israel to think they are too good to be true. Therefore, God gives them a special promise, vowing to you it shall come.

B. The birth of restored Zion.

1. (Mic 4:9-10) The pain before Zion's restoration.

Now why do you cry aloud? Is there no king in your midst? Has your counselor perished? For pangs have seized you like a woman in labor. Be in pain, and labor to bring forth, O daughter of Zion, like a woman in birth pangs. For now you shall go forth from the city, you shall dwell in the field, and to Babylon you shall go. There you shall be delivered; there the LORD will redeem you from the hand of your enemies.

a. Pangs have seized you like a woman in labor: After spelling out the glory of restored Zion, now Micah tells them of some of the pain they will experience before it comes. Part of the pain will be a lack of leadership (no king in your midst … counselor perished).

b. To Babylon you shall go. There you shall be delivered: As is common in the prophets, Micah intertwines ages - having just spoken of the Millennial Earth, now he speaks of Israel's deliverance from Babylonian captivity.

2. (Mic 4:11-13) The strength of restored Zion among the nations.

Now also many nations have gathered against you, who say, "Let her be defiled, and let our eye look upon Zion." But they do not know the thoughts of the LORD, nor do they understand His counsel; for He will gather them like sheaves to the threshing floor. "Arise and thresh, O daughter of Zion; for I will make your horn iron, and I will make your hooves bronze; you shall beat in pieces many peoples; I will consecrate their gain to the LORD, and their substance to the Lord of the whole earth."

a. Many nations have gathered against you: Though the nations were set against Israel, the LORD was for them (they do not understand the thoughts of the LORD). The LORD will deal with Israel's enemies as easily as a farmer deals with the sheaves of grain on the threshing floor.

b. I will make your horn iron: When the Lord restores Zion, He will restore them in strength - a strong as an ox with an iron horn. This has its ultimate fulfillment in the Millennium when Israel will be lifted up as a "superpower" among the nations.

i. "The ox pulling the threshing-sledge represents the people of God. She is supernaturally equipped with horns of iron, symbolizing her invincibility, and with hoofs of bronze, with which she treads the pride and pretensions of the enemy exceedingly fine." (Waltke)

© 2001 David Guzik - No distribution beyond personal use without permission

Study Guide for Jonah 1 ← Prior Book
Study Guide for Nahum 1 Next Book →
Study Guide for Micah 3 ← Prior Chapter
Study Guide for Micah 5 Next Chapter →
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