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33 Micah (5)

Our hope to the Lord

Micah 4:9-5:1
T Peter 1:18-21
T What do you stare at?

 It was from Chapter 6 of Micah last week. This is the talks that people who heard a story of Micah in a street corner and a court asked with "What kind of offering is necessary to approach God?", and Micah answered it, "To walk humbly with your God.". However, when we hear a sentence of severe condemnation which is continued to the middle of Chapter 7, we may be able to receive it like thus; this is the last opportunity of repentance to them who have lost sight of God and continues to Chapter 3. However, they abandoned the last opportunity of the repentance. It is felt that it is the course that modern people are following, but Micah is still going to stare at hope in the Lord. Order becomes the consequences, but I want to look at Chapter 4-5 for a while from this time.

 Some messages desired are sung loudly here. I want to take up it from Verse 4:9 to Verse 5:1 this morning. Firstly I want to think a little; there is it in Verse 4:1 "in the last day", but, in Verse 4:6, it is said "in that day". I want to avoid a detailed thing, but, "a day" which mentioned including hope has 3 in the many Prophets. The first one is the return from Babylon captivity and the second one is Messiah arrival and the third one is a day of the end, but, most prophets considerably confuse these three hope. However, it seems that Micah distinguishes and tells a day desired about these 3 clearly, and it will be a remarkable characteristic of Micah. The first hope that I take up is a decision of Babylon captivity and an event for that salvation, this morning.

 "Now, why do you cry out loudly? Is there no king among you, or has you counselor perished, that agony has gripped you like a woman in childbirth? Writhe and labor to give birth, daughter of Zion, like a woman in childbirth, for now you will go out of the city, dwell in the field, and go to Babylon," (9-10) When we think about Babylon rise is the back for 60 years from this time, it is amazed to learn that Micah told the name of Babylon here. Because there is it, "in the days of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah" (1:1), his activity generation is thought, it is from just before Northern Kingdom extinction to the time that the armed forces of Assyria surround Jerusalem and withdrew. South kingdom extinction by Babylon comes out about 100 years later than it, and Babylon is the world empire which prospered in Euphrates basin of same Mesopotamia, but it is still the times of the height of prosperity of Assyria in those days. In that time, Micah stared at an event after 100 years. It is told that sharp insight is necessary for the person who serves the words of God.


U The salvation of the Lord

 Verse 10 is told to here, "There you will be rescued; there the Lord will redeem you from the hand of your enemies.". Two times of repetition will be emphasis that the salvation is certain. Declining in a hand of Babylon; it was accompanied with great pains for them Israel. There is thus, "cry out loudly", "that agony has gripped you like a woman in childbirth" and "writhe and labor"; but those are never exaggerations. The prophet drew it as if he experienced those pains by oneself, though it was still in a long time away. Surely, he would put it on top of one another in the Northern Kingdom that fell by Assyria. Our country also ever experienced the defeat in the Pacific Wars, but I who was young memorize this terrible hardship time a little. A figure of adults becoming desperate to live and lacking a thing to eat, it is branded on my judgment clearly. My mother had a hard labor of gravel collection. It would be a cause by it that she has lost her life in 49 years old. However, Japan still did not come to reach losing a country. They Israel was driven into the worst situation; so, you will be able to understand such expression of pains is not an exaggeration by any means. Because pains were such big, expectation of Micah who stared at "the salvation" was big, too. I feel it his expectation to the Lord and swelling of faith. The declaration of salvation from Babylon captivity; we must hear this as his only central message that a hand of the Lord is there. There is it; "there you will be rescued". It was the event of salvation that God intervenes in and the pride only an Israeli had; they were people of selection of God. Redemption is a word that means "buying it", and it means that the slave whom hard circumstances had is bought, and is taken to the new kind master; and so Micah would put them on the figure of slave that Israel will become happy under a new master / God.

 It is piled up to our figure of the present age at the same time. Greed and sniffiness, we who have hardened of an ego do not notice those, but, in fact, we have become a slave of such a crime. Even if we notice it and jump into various religion to get away from there and work hard at ascetic practices and faith, there is no one who frees us from a crime other than Jesus who died on a cross for our crime.


V Our hope to the Lord

 It was certain that Micah heard this message from God as a prophet, but when he saw the wonder which God did close at hand, he would be able to testify like having already had it about the event after 100 years. Verse 4:11-5:1 is the witness testimony. "And now many nations have been assembled against you who say, 'Let her be polluted, and let our eyes gloat over Zion.' But they do not know the thoughts of the Lord, and they do not understand His purpose; for He has gathered them like shaves to the threshing floor. Arise and thresh, daughter of Zion, for your born I will make iron and your hoofs I will make bronze, that you may pulverize many peoples, that you may devote to the Lord their unjust gain and their wealth to the Lord of all the earth." (11-13) I think that it is saying the times that Assyria which destroyed the Northern Kingdom went to the west again 20 years later, and they hit countries of Cannan of the Mediterranean Sea coast and broke it and invaded Judah and surrounded Jerusalem. However, while he is doing farming in Gath, it is southwest 40km from Jerusalem, Micah watched the armed forces which was going to invade and attack Jerusalem; so I imagine it whether he went from far away to the neighborhood of Jerusalem about the armed forces. It seems that Micah watched and heard those events (UKings Chapter 19, Isaiah Chapter 37) of the armed forces were repulsed, and 185,000 armed forces of Assyria destroyed by the Lord during single night, in prayer of Hezekiah king and prophet Isaiah. Therefor rather, Micah would want to testify that if the Lord protects, people of the Lord will become strong, than to conveying those events. The message of Micah reaches us, the only means how weak Israel can be opposed to Babylon is to depend on the Lord.

 Unfortunately the south kingdom was not going to get a firm trust to the lord, even though while they were experiencing such help of the Lord. "Now muster yourselves in troops, daughter of troops; they have laid siege against us; with a rod they will smite the judge of Israel on the cheek." (5:1); it would be a message to such them. At the times of king Jehosua before 3 generations, a book of law of the Lord was found when a shrine was repaired, and this was read to people and gods of paganism were burnt and the reformation of faith was performed to be brought back to Yahweh, but it was already late. And new Babylonia empire gained power at that time, and invasion to south Judah kingdom was started soon by powerful Nebuchadnezzar King under Hezekiah. At the times of the third, Zedekiah king, a little after king Jehosua, South kingdom was ruined and a lot of Israelis have become a captive in Babylon. And the return had to depend on Persia rise after 70 years for Babylon. Would Micah pile up the hope of the return on the top of salvation of the Lord that the Assyria armed forces were repulsed? "The Lord do it!"; it was the central subject of Micah. We want to learn that our hope is in God (1 Peter 1:21), too.