Micah’s New Vision for Jerusalem

Micah’s New Vision for Jerusalem

The sermon is based on Micah 3-4 (CEB)
Micah justifies the coming destruction

But I said:
Hear, leaders of Jacob,
        rulers of the house of Israel!
    Isn’t it your job to know justice?—
        you who hate good and love evil,
            who tear the skin off them, and the flesh off their bones,
        who devour the flesh of my people,
            tear off their skin,
            break their bones in pieces,
            and spread them out as if in a pot,
                like meat in a kettle.
Then they will cry out to the Lord,
        but he won’t answer them.
He will hide his face from them at that time,
        because of their evil deeds.
The Lord proclaims concerning the prophets,
        those who lead my people astray,
        those who chew with their teeth
            and then proclaim “Peace!”
            but stir up war against the one who puts nothing in their mouths:
Therefore, it will become night for you,
        without vision, only darkness
        without divination!
The sun will set on the prophets;
        the day will be dark upon them.
Those seeing visions will be ashamed,
        and the diviners disgraced;
    they will all cover their upper lips,[a]
        for there will be no answer from God.
But me! I am filled with power,
            with the spirit of the Lord,
            with justice and might,
        to declare to Jacob his wrongdoing and to Israel his sin!
Hear this, leaders of the house of Jacob,
        rulers of the house of Israel,
    you who reject justice and make crooked all that is straight,
10         who build Zion with bloodshed and Jerusalem with injustice!
11 Her officials give justice for a bribe,
        and her priests teach for hire.
Her prophets offer divination for silver,
        yet they rely on the Lord, saying,
            “Isn’t the Lord in our midst?
                Evil won’t come upon us!”
12 Therefore, because of you, Zion will be plowed like a field,
        Jerusalem will become piles of rubble,
            and the temple mount will become an overgrown mound.

A peaceable world

But in the days to come,
        the mountain of the Lord’s house
            will be the highest of the mountains;
        it will be lifted above the hills;
            peoples will stream to it.
Many nations will go and say:
    “Come, let’s go up to the mountain of the Lord,
            to the house of Jacob’s God,
        so that he may teach us his ways
            and we may walk in God’s paths!”
Instruction will come from Zion
        and the Lord’s word from Jerusalem.
God will judge between the nations
        and settle disputes of mighty nations,
            which are far away.
They will beat their swords into iron plows
        and their spears into pruning tools.
Nation will not take up sword against nation;
        they will no longer learn how to make war.
All will sit underneath their own grapevines,
        under their own fig trees.
    There will be no one to terrify them;
        for the mouth of the Lord of heavenly forces has spoken.

An assertion of enduring loyalty

Each of the peoples walks in the name of their own god;
        but as for us, we will walk in the name of the Lord our God
            forever and always.

Dominion in Zion

On that day, says the Lord,
        I will gather the lame;
        I will assemble those who were driven away
            and those whom I have harmed.
I will make the lame into survivors,
        those driven away into a mighty nation.
    The Lord will rule over them on Mount Zion
        from now on and forever.
As for you, Tower of Eder,[b] hill of Daughter Zion,
    as for you it will come,
        the former dominion will come,
        the royal power belonging to Daughter Zion.

God is in control

Now why do you cry out so loudly?
    Isn’t the king in you?
    Or has your counselor perished,
        so that pain has seized you like that of a woman in labor?
10 Writhe and scream, Daughter Zion, like a woman in labor!
        Now you will leave the city and dwell in the open field;
            you will go to Babylon.
        There you will be rescued;
            there the Lord will redeem you from the power of your enemies.
11 Now many nations may gather against you;
        they say, “Let her be defiled,”
        or “Let our eyes look with desire at Zion.”
12 But they don’t know the plans of the Lord;
            they can’t understand his scheme,
        namely, that he will bring them like grain to the threshing floor!
13 Arise and thresh, Daughter Zion,
        for I will make your horn out of iron;
        your hooves I will make out of bronze.
    You will crush many peoples;
        you will dedicate their ill-gotten gains to the Lord,
        their wealth to the Lord of all the earth.

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