The Lord is a God who is serious about his justice. He will deal with the foreign people who make a mockery of His name and He will drive out His people who also make a mockery of His name. This is something that we expect a sovereign God to do. This expectation is not what makes God necessarily unique from all the other gods. What is the ultimate thing that makes God unique for the other gods? How do we have a relationship with this God? How do we know that he really is the Lord of lords and the King of kings?
The Lord is sovereign and mighty even during the exile that Israel faces. We affirm that no matter where we walk in life that the Lord will save us and secure us. Why did the Lord send Israel into exile? What does exile do for us that is good? Where are the Israelites to put their faith? Can they be saved even as they march into exile and it seems as if all is finished? What is the assurance even at the time of facing exile?
Knowing that the Lord is sovereign over all things is something that should give us comfort. The challenge in finding comfort in knowing the the Lord is sovereign over all things is that we cannot control this God. We have to wait upon our God. How do we know that waiting on the Lord is good? How do we know that the Lord is going to be faithful? What is the basis of the promise where we can ground our hope and peace in the Lord? Why wait upon the God of my salvation?
Micah has warned the people of God that they are sinning against the Lord, and there is a serious consequence that is coming their way. They have worshiped false gods and they find their comforts in the gifts of the Lord rather than the Lord Himself. In other words, they enjoy their elite blessings, but they have missed the Lord who gives them the blessings that they enjoy. So, what is the ultimate consequence of their action? Is the Lord being cruel in promising or bringing about such punishment? What do we as a people learn from their experience and what exhortations come to bear upon us?
The Lord offers Israel a series of options regarding sacrifices that might relieve them of the coming exile. You would think that Israel, with a sacrificial system, could offer the Lord enough sacrifices to turn away the foreign army. You can almost imagine the people thinking about going to the temple, pooling resources, and making the priests work overtime to gather together enough to avoid impending doom. This is possible until the Lord asks them about child sacrifice. Does the Lord really want them to sacrifice their children? If there is not enough then what can appease this Holy God? How can we please such a sovereign, mighty, and holy God as mere fallen creatures?
Many times when we think of peace we think of things in our lives going well for us right now. However, this peace is still working out despite Christians who are tragically being martyred and it was working out when saints were martyred. How can we find peace in all circumstances of life? How do we find peace when we are among the nations in a dispersion and living in terms similar to Jeremiah 29 rather than the book of Joshua? Where is our peace ultimately?
Micah 5:4 is a wonderful prophecy about the accomplishment of Christ’s work. There is no doubt that Micah is promising the ultimate victory of the Lord through humiliation. If victory is promised then how can this humiliation be a horrible thing? It would seem not that horrible because at the end of the story is the exaltation of Christ. So, if the Lord is exalted then what can be so bad? If this is just Micah presenting the gospel then how can the gospel be so difficult to embrace?
Micah has warned that Israel is facing exile. Israel is going to be marched away from the promised land. This does not sound fun nor does this sound like there is opportunity for any rest. So, what can be a positive outcome of this prophecy? What is the ultimate reversal and the declaration of rest? How should we view ourselves in light of these promises?
I hope that we can agree that the ultimate splendor of Jerusalem was not the buildings, but ultimately that the Lord dwelt in the midst of the city. If you were an Israelite in the ideal times of Israel it must have been reassuring to see the temple and know that the Lord was in Israel’s midst. This is not necessarily a bad desire, but when can this desire be sinful? When can the Lord withdraw His presence from His people? Why would the Lord withdraw His presence from us? How can that ultimately be a good thing for a time no matter how tragic and painful it might be?
The Lord is a good shepherd. So, if the Lord is good why is it that people who have not contributed to the problem in Israel still face exile? How does this show that God is good? We can see that exile is part of the punishment for Israel, but what is encouraging about exile?