June 17
‘Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man.’ Matthew 7:24a
Bible reading: Micah 5:1-15 (Go to the Bible passage)
All who are somewhat familiar with the Biblical message have heard of the coming kingdom of the Messiah. The second verse of this Biblical passage is nearly always read at Christmas time when we celebrate the birth of Christ. But in this chapter, the prime importance is the proclamation of His supreme reign over the whole earth: ‘…for then His greatness will reach to the ends of the earth. And He will be our peace’ (4b,5a).
The remnant of Jacob will no longer be hunted in this world. Instead, they will live peacefully in the midst of many peoples, as a powerful nation, to be compared to a lion. Unlike today, the peoples around Israel will also live in peace. But not all, for the enemies of Israel are the enemies of God, and Micah says they will be destroyed (:9).
The Messiah, born in Bethlehem, will be so powerful and full of peace that all chariots will be demolished and there will be no cities or strongholds anymore (:10,11). Witchcraft too will be destroyed, spells no longer cast, and nobody will worship idols anymore.
All this will not be achieved by the zeal of Israel, but God Himself will purify His chosen people. He will bring justice and righteousness, not only to the nation of Israel, but to all nations. But before God will pass judgment on all peoples of the earth, He will first have the gospel of grace proclaimed, to save many!
The gospel does not only bring salvation to a lost mankind, but it will also judge those who have heard it, but did not heed it.
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