I imagine Micah felt the same shock and awe we should all feel when we consider God's abundant grace and mercy.
Remember what God said would happen to Samaria in Micah 1:6?
Therefore I will make Samaria a heap in the open country, a place for planting vineyards, and I will pour down her stones into the valley and uncover her foundations.
Then Micah says this about Jerusalem in chapter 3:12: Therefore because of you Zion shall be plowed as a field; Jerusalem shall become a heap of ruins, and the mountain of the house a wooded height.
Complete destruction! Even the mountains would be reclaimed by the wilderness. It would have been heartbreaking to hear this message. The people of Israel would have been in shock, knowing they were going to be wiped out. That's how chapter 3 ends.
But let's look at the first verse of Micah 4: It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and it shall be lifted up above the hills; and peoples shall flow to it.
God was going to treat His sinful, rebellious prodigals with extravagant, unmerited grace and mercy. This is always the way God treats those who are His when they return to Him.
Verse 8 says, "And you, O tower of the flock, hill of the daughter of Zion, to you shall it come, the former dominion shall come, kingship for the daughter of Jerusalem."
Although it's unclear what tower the prophet is referring to, we can be certain of several things. It was a stronghold, a fortress, a place of protection. But more importantly, it was a place where God's people, the whole congregation, assembled to worship Him. I believe Micah is referring to the church of our Lord Jesus Christ rather than a physical location.
Hebrews 12:22 refers to Mount Zion. It says, "But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering."
In Revelation 21:2, Mount Zion refers to the entire church, both on earth and in heaven. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
So, when Micah's talking about the future supremacy of Zion, he's talking about the future of the church of our Lord Jesus Christ. He's talking about the triumph of the gospel!
Even though it appears that evil is triumphing—in the world and often in our own lives—it has already been defeated!
In Matthew 16:18, Jesus promises, "I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."
God reigns victorious, and His people, all His people, will be redeemed. So, when you hear reports of the decline of church attendance in America, when you hear of churches closing their doors, when you hear reports of increased persecution, remember, the Word of God promises the future of the church is bright and the gospel is, indeed, triumphant.
Let's review verse 3: He shall judge between many peoples, and shall decide disputes for strong nations far away.
During the reign of the Messiah there will be perfect justice. All types of disputes will be resolved by the Lord Jesus Himself. What Micah was saying is that the reason there will be worldwide peace is that the gospel will change the hearts of men.
The second half of verse 3 reads this way: And they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore."
Those whose hearts have been changed will lay down their weapons.
Verse 4 says, "But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree, and no one shall make them afraid, for the mouth of the Lord of hosts has spoken."
Micah described a perfect society, one of peace, security, and prosperity—all because of the gospel. We long for this reality.
First Corinthians 1:26-29 says, "For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God."
God uses people like you and me—weak, poor, inadequate, inexperienced, fragile, and powerless—to reach the world with the gospel. Isn't that encouraging?
So, Micah's message to God's people, both the Israelites who were about to be invaded by Assyria and 21st century believers, is this: when the world seems to be falling apart around us, there is bright hope ahead. We don't need to worry about the problems of today because the glory of Christ will come. We can cling to the promises of God.
While we wait for this perfect world, what can we expect? Suffering, hardship, and persecution.
We are to take up our cross and follow the Savior. Our suffering and hardship—even times of persecution—are for a purpose. God will make Himself known to the nations and all those who belong to Him will come to saving faith. This makes it well worth it to suffer for our faith.
After reflecting on the millennial reign, the church age, and the victory of the gospel, Micah again addressed the Israelites' situation.
Now why do you cry aloud? (v. 9)
Writhe and groan, O daughter of Zion, like a woman in labor, for now you shall go out from the city and dwell in the open country; you shall go to Babylon (v. 10).
Now many nations are assembled against you, saying, "Let her be defiled, and let our eyes gaze upon Zion" (v. 11).
Though their future was to be filled with heartache and suffering, Micah offered them hope at the end of verse 10: There you shall be rescued; there the Lord will redeem you from the hand of your enemies.
We, too, can take comfort in Micah 4:12: But they do not know the thoughts of the Lord; they do not understand his plan, that he has gathered them as sheaves to the threshing floor.
No matter what we face, God is willing and able to deliver us—in His time and in His way.
What benefit is there to suffering? In 1 Thessalonians 4:3, we read, "For this is the will of God, your sanctification."
God's sets us apart from the world. He molds us into the image of His Son. And He often does so through suffering.
But isn't there a less painful option?
We were created in the image of God with the potential to trust, obey, and glorify the Lord, but we're all born in sin. (See Psalm 51:5.) We're impure by nature and practice. But God slowly takes away our impurities through the refining fire of suffering.
First Peter 1:6-7 says, "Now for a little while you may have to suffer various trials, so that the genuineness of your faith, more precious than gold, which though perishable is tested by fire, may redound to praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ."
James 1:2-4 instructs us to "count it all joy, my brethren when you meet various trials, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing."
God guarantees the gospel will be victorious, saving all His sheep throughout the whole world. And He is going to use people who are weak, poor, powerless, and inexperienced—people like you and me. We are equipped for the task as He refines us through suffering.
We must trust in Christ, even in our sorrow, heartbreak, and despair. Suffering makes us more like Christ. As we are refined, we will increasingly bring the Lord honor and glory.