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35 Micah (7)

As the one who continue
taking words of God

Micah 4:1-5
Matthew 24:29-31
THope of the end

 It is the last one of three that Micah told about hope. Micah told about hope of near future that south kingdom becomes Captivity by Babylonia empire invasion but they will return from there (about 100 years later), so far; and he told more big hope of salvation of Messiah (Christ) which will come after 700 years (4:6-8). I sail it up, but I want to think about another hope from Verse 4:1-5, this morning.

 It begins with "in the last days" (1), but I want to try to think about what kind of day this is. "The mountain of the house of the Lord will be established as the chief of the mountains. It will be raised above the hills, and the peoples will stream to it. And many nations will come and say, 'Come and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord and to the house of the God of Jacob, that He may teach us about His ways and that we may walk in His paths.'" "The mountain of the Lord" is Jerusalem, and "the house of the God of Jacob" will point at a shrine of the solemn Solomon's beautifully. Micah pictured the scene that people who loved God gathered into the shrine from all over the world on that day, it was the symbol that God always will be there. Perhaps it seems a notice of rebuilding of the shrine. Micah declared it about the shrine because of an Israeli crime, it ached but was still built well; "Therefore, on account of you, Zion will be plowed as a field, Jerusalem will become a heap of ruins, and the mountain of the temple will become high places of a forest." (3:12).

 I want to try to regard the history of the destruction of Jerusalem shrine and the rebuilding of it, but the first is "a shrine of Solomon". This was destroyed by Babylon invasion, and "the second shrine" was rebuilt by Ezra who returned from captivity. It was a small thing so that the elders who knew the first thing grieved. The third shrine, it is not a thing by destruction, but it was repaired very much by Herod the Great in the days of Jesus. And it was destroyed by a fight of Rome of A.D.70 years, and Jerusalem shrine is not rebuilt until today. The shrine, it was said even foreigners gather, but it does not be rebuilt yet. It may be said that Micah told the first message about "the end" that glory of God whom Israel stamped on is restored, and every nations love God and gather to God.

U To peace of eternity

 Micah feels "the end" a peace which is superior to anything, now. "And He will judge between many peoples and render decisions for mighty, distant nations. Then they will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks; nation will not lift up sword against nation, and never again will they train for war." (3-4) This would be an acute wish to peace of then people. The strongest country Assyria of that time attacked countries of the Mediterranean Sea coast in sequence and closed in for attack upon Jerusalem. It was the same thing for a lesser power even if it was not Assyria. Egypt, Syria and Hittites, such great power appeared in sequence and threatened Israel. It may be able to say that Northern Kingdom was smashed for such pressure. Besides this prophet was informed of that the Babylonia empire which appeared before long would finish destroying south kingdom. Even if there is hope to recover from the ruin, but lost life does not come back. In such situation, he would stare at it on an ultimate day while feeling it how holy peace is with pain, I think.

 I hear this scene Micah had a glimpse of is the things that people in the world is praying heartily now. The 20th century was called a century of war, but it is not only the 20th century, the history of human is colored by a fight really. Before, it had been reported that a human bone of the Jomon period latter which seems to have been killed at war was excavated. In my school days, I browsed books in a bookstore, those were more than 10 books of "the history of war" by Heibonsha; and a sigh occurred. The reason was because war covers all the human history really. How is the 21st century? When I see the situation of a miserable fight continues than the 20th century, such as Palestine or Afghanistan, my heart is damaged. In Afghanistan, there were the children who did not know even words of peace.

 Just before the cross, Jesus told to disciples about "the end" overnight, in Mt. olive. "War happens. In addition, famine and an earthquake happen to everywhere, and betrayal and hatred spreads. Illegality prevails, and love of people cools off. The sun darkens, and the moon does not emit light, and a star falls from the sky, and various forms of the sky are moved. And the Son of Man wears glory and comes." (Matthew Chapter 24) Micah may have drawn that the end is such a thorny days which comes after of all hardship ended. However, even if we pray for peace, when I know that it does not come never till time of God comes, I am dumfounded by human stupidity again.

V As the one who continue taking words of God

 Micah declared that this peace of the end is peace of eternity to walk with God. "Though all the peoples walk each in the name of his god, as for us, we will walk in the name of the Lord our God forever and ever." (5) "Though all peoples walk each in the name of his god,"; I want to try to think about the origin of this thought, and now it seems that he is saying about the people choosing contrastive way of life with people getting peace of eternity. "In the name of his god"; if we think about it, it will be science, money or work and sometimes it will be the way of life thinking there is no God; but it is really modern itself, I think. Israel at that time did such a way of life, too. If they spend time, will they be able to learn greeting God till the time of end? Nay. We must notice the fact that they have forgotten God, in their long history. They have become a person sentenced to ruin without listening to persuasion of prophets.

 However, an event to change such their way of life assuming there was no God, happened. It is Babylon captivity. In Psalm, at the ground of the foreign country which left Jerusalem distantly; how they loved Jerusalem, and how they prayed to return to there and wanted to worship God, such their sadness thought overflows and reaches us keenly. "By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down and wept, when we remembered Zion. Upon the willows in the midst of it we hang our harps. For there our captors demanded of us songs, ... saying 'Sing us one of the songs of Zion.'. How can we sing the Lord's song in a foreign land?" (Psalms 137)They who cannot visit a shrine of Jerusalem built a synagogue (a Jewish assembly hall), and assembly hall worship grew there.

 The swelling of Messiah faith at a stretch came since then. The words what Micah told, "For from Zion will go forth the law, even the word of the Lord from Jerusalem." (2); it is felt suggesting the Messiah. There is not positive evidence, but, when we think that Gospel of Jesus spread from Jerusalem to the whole world, we can hear that Micah showed here Jesus of the Messiah. He took it the center of Messiah is teaching / words of the Lord. Micah himself was a prophet called as the person who told a message of God. Dozens of years after, he was assigned to the work; how he has to taste a very empty thought! If more powerful One told it, Israel may have heard it. That long-awaited One will come. The end for Micah, it would be that the Messiah comes and would be a new hope which will begin from there. It is said that we greet "the end" closely, but the day when we can meet Jesus who is "the words of the Lord" will be really near now. On that day, can we meet Jesus as the one who continue taking words of God?