Micah Chapter Four


Read Micah 4:1-8 – The Eternal Kingdom, The Church


v.1But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it.”


            The prophet of God has just written of the total destruction of Jerusalem; the city and the temple of God would be totally destroyed.  The mountain on which it stood would become totally desolate and empty as plowed field.  That kind of destruction occurred twice, first by Babylon and later by Rome, this refers to the latter.  Then after this prophecy of total destruction Micah writes the little three letter word “BUT” and then gives us a clear and undeniable picture of the coming of the Messiah and the establishment of God’s eternal kingdom to replace that ruled from Jerusalem.  His prophecy is paralleled by the prophet Isaiah:


Isaiah 2:22And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD’S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.”


            “IN THE LAST DAYS” or literally “THE END OF THE DAYS”, gives us the point in time in which this wonderful event will occur.  Whether it means specifically the last days of the Mosaic dispensation or the beginning of the Christian dispensation, the literal last days of time for our earth is immaterial.  Of necessity there would be a transition when the Mosaic dispensation would end and the Messianic dispensation, or last days, would begin.  The outpouring of the Holy Spirit and the words of the apostle Peter, quoting from Joel 2:28 confirms the fulfillment of this prophecy:


Acts 2:16-17But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; 17And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:”


            The “MOUNTAIN OF THE LORD” is literally the mountain within the city of Jerusalem, Mount Moriah, upon which the temple stood.  To the hearers of Micah’s prophecy this represented the seat of God within the presence of his chosen people and consequently the center of worship to God and the seat of the Jewish religion.  As we should remember from other study; the mercy seat at the ark of the covenant, both in the tabernacle and in the temple, was the place of God among his people.

            “AND PEOPLE SHALL FLOW INTO IT” represents the universal nature of the Kingdom of Christ, it confirms all of the prophecies that we have studied that reassure Israel that after a period of punishment that they will indeed be invited to again become part of the kingdom of God.


v.22And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.”


            God’s invitation to become part of the kingdom of Christ, ruled by the Messiah promised, would not be restricted to the descendants of Israel only.  All men, all nations would enjoy that invitation; again we remember the words of the prophet Isaiah who recorded that “ALL NATIONS SHALL FLOW INTO IT.”  This is seen in the commandments of Jesus to his disciples:


Matthew 28:19Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:”


Luke 24:47  And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.”


Mark 16:15And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”


This command was confirmed again by the Holy Spirit through the sermon given by Peter on Pentecost:


Acts 2:39  For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.”


            The prophet further tells us that we will need to “GO” to him for instruction; “FOR HE WILL TEACH US HIS WAYS”.  In the Christian Age we know that we are drawn to God through Jesus Christ:


John 6:44 “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.”


We are told by the Hebrew writer that faith, belief, is mandatory:


Hebrews 11:6 “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”


We are told by Christ, confirming the words of Micah; that we will be taught of God:


John 6:45It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.”


We are told by the Holy Spirit through the pen of the Apostle Paul that this belief, this faith in God comes only one way:


Romans 10:17  So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”


This “WORD OF GOD” is the same as “THE TRUTH” which Jesus said would make us free (John 8:32).  And this “TRUTH” in found only in the kingdom or church of the living God because his “CHURCH” is the “PILLAR AND GROUND OF THE TRUTH” as Paul writes:


I Timothy 3:15But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.”


            This truth is also called “LAW”, law which governs, rules, provides direction for our lives, a pattern for our living.  Much to the consternation of our liberal brethren today, we do live under “LAW”, the “LAW OF CHRIST” (Galatians 6:2, James 1:25) or the “PERFECT LAW OF LIBERTY”.  All of this confirms for all time that the words of Micah are genuine, truly the Words of God.


v.3And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.”


            Does this verse, part of which is also found in Isaiah 2:4, mean that the world will no longer know war?  Just looking at the world around us today that would hardly seem possible.  Does this mean that some day a utopian kingdom will be established on earth, ruled by Jesus Christ from Jerusalem for 1000 years as many denominations teach?  That can’t be supported by scripture either.  So then what is the prophet telling us?  Writing about the king to come the Psalmist records:




            Under the Mosaic Covenant the dwelling place of God’s people, the kingdom of God, Israel, was established and maintained by war, by armies, by the use of carnal weapons.  But the kingdom of Christ will not be established or maintained that way.  Jesus himself tells us:


John 18:36Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.”


v.4But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the LORD of hosts hath spoken it.”


            Under the reign of Solomon the condition of Israel was described in very similar terms, indicating a peaceful and restful existence; a time of prosperity without wars or troubles:


I Kings 4:25And Judah and Israel dwelt safely, every man under his vine and under his fig tree, from Dan even to Beersheba, all the days of Solomon.”


Such should be the mindset of God’s children regardless of what we may face in this world.  The promise of God, with all of His integrity behind it, of a place of rest in peace, safety and security in the kingdom of God is enough to keep us going even during the worst of times on earth.  A place of rest that Jesus promised:


And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Matthew 16:18


v.5  For all people will walk every one in the name of his god, and we will walk in the name of the LORD our God for ever and ever.”


            “ALL PEOPLE”, that is the people who will follow the Lord God.  There will still be multitudes that will continue to go on trusting in their false, dead and powerless gods, men will continue to trust in false religions, false teachers and false doctrines.  But God’s people will walk in the authority and strength of Jehovah God.  The kingdom of Christ will indeed be one that:


Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:” Hebrews 12:28


A kingdom, a place of refuge, a home for our souls that are Christ’s at his coming:


Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.” I Corinthians 15:24


v.6In that day, saith the LORD, will I assemble her that halteth, and I will gather her that is driven out, and her that I have afflicted;”


            Now the prophet holds out a promise to those to whom he is writing directly.  Israel, all of Jacob’s children, would be scattered, or taken into captivity, driven out of their promised homeland, afflicted because of her sin and degradation.  But as we have studied in the works of the other prophets “IN THAT DAY”, in the day of the coming of the Messianic Kingdom even those who have been afflicted and cast out of corrupt Israel will be allowed the opportunity to return to God, to restore their relationship with God.  Symbolically in the kingdom of Christ, the church of Christ:




v.7And I will make her that halted a remnant, and her that was cast far off a strong nation: and the LORD shall reign over them in mount Zion from henceforth, even for ever.”


            Just as Micah had written earlier in our study of his prophecy:


I will surely assemble, O Jacob, all of thee; I will surely gather the remnant of Israel; I will put them together as the sheep of Bozrah, as the flock in the midst of their fold: they shall make great noise by reason of the multitude of men. Micah 2:12


Here he continues to emphasize God’s promise to restore the remnant of Israel to a relationship very similar to that of Israel of old.  Not as a physical kingdom headquartered in Jerusalem but as part of the Messianic Kingdom when the gospel of Jesus Christ is made available to all men.  We can look at the preaching of Philip in Samaria (Acts 8) as the beginning of God’s fulfilling that promise.  Why? Because the Samaritans were at least partly descendants of Jacob or Israel.

            When this kingdom is established the Lord will reign over this kingdom forever as we see in prophecy in both the Old and New Testaments:


Daniel 7:14And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.”


Revelation 11:15And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.”


v.8And thou, O tower of the flock, the strong hold of the daughter of Zion, unto thee shall it come, even the first dominion; the kingdom shall come to the daughter of Jerusalem.”


            The prophet now uses some language that may not be very familiar to us.  The “TOWER OF THE FLOCK” was simply a high spot or a an actual tower built by the shepherd to be better able to look over and see the needs of his flock.  Likewise Jerusalem, Zion, was frequently pictured in scripture as being a watchtower over the nation of Israel, God’s flock under the old covenant.

            Jesus is indeed seated in a “TOWER OF THE FLOCK”, howbeit a different kind of tower, because he is the one:


“Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.” I Peter 3:22


Read Micah 4:9-13 – Back to Jerusalem


v.9  Now why dost thou cry out aloud? is there no king in thee? is thy counsellor perished?  for pangs have taken thee as a woman in travail.”


            When Israel is carried into captivity and disbursed among the nations, when Judah is carried into captivity in Babylon she will suffer as any conquered people.  They will serve as slaves, servants and chattels of Assyria, Babylon, Media and Persia or Rome.  They had rejected God as their king, demanded men as kings and then allowed evil men to rule over them, lead them into their current depraved state.  These painful realities will come to them in their affliction:


Isaiah 13:8And they shall be afraid: pangs and sorrows shall take hold of them; they shall be in pain as a woman that travaileth: they shall be amazed one at another; their faces shall be as flames.”


Here we almost have the impression that God is mocking them in their troubles.  Why are you crying out?  You have done this to yourselves in spite of numerous warnings you were given in the book of Deuteronomy.  Where is your king that would lead and protect you?  Where are the counselor’s, the false prophets that you heard rather than the prophets of God?


Jeremiah 8:19-20Behold the voice of the cry of the daughter of my people because of them that dwell in a far country: Is not the LORD in Zion? is not her king in her? Why have they provoked me to anger with their graven images, and with strange vanities? 20The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.”

The spring of their refreshing is gone, the summer of their delight is past, now will come the harvest of anguish, pain, sorrow, shame and the crushing knowledge that God has abandoned them.


v.10Be in pain, and labour to bring forth, O daughter of Zion, like a woman in travail: for now shalt thou go forth out of the city, and thou shalt dwell in the field, and thou shalt go even to Babylon; there shalt thou be delivered; there the LORD shall redeem thee from the hand of thine enemies.”


            Jerusalem would cry aloud unto God as a woman in the travail of childbirth.  They would be carried out of their city as captives.  They would dwell in open fields, with no shelter along the way and led into captivity by Babylon.  This end of Jerusalem was also told to Hezekiah by the prophet Isaiah:


II Kings 20:17-18Behold, the days come, that all that is in thine house, and that which thy fathers have laid up in store unto this day, shall be carried into Babylon: nothing shall be left, saith the LORD. 18And of thy sons that shall issue from thee, which thou shalt beget, shall they take away; and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.”


            Another observation related to this verse is that is contains the prophecy of God about Babylon.  Micah is writing during the time of the kings of Judah named Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah.  At this time in the history of mankind Babylon is but a small city kingdom or tribal headquarters of no significance in the world and, in fact, a province of Assyria.  The world power is Assyria and would remain so for another 100-150 years before God raises up Babylon to overthrow them.  This further confirms that Micah is writing the Word of God, only God would know that this little insignificant group of people called Babylon would be the people that would capture Jerusalem and bring Judah into slavery.


v.11Now also many nations are gathered against thee, that say, Let her be defiled, and let our eye look upon Zion.”


            The nations looking over Judah are eager for her to be destroyed.  They have long memories of the destruction that the armies of God brought to Canaan.  Any time one nation becomes weaker, others begin to act like the hyenas and jackals of the jungle, looking to feast off the leavings of others.  Just as a buzzard sails in the summer skies looking for signs of death her enemies were looking to the opportunity to pick her bones:


Lamentations 2:16All thine enemies have opened their mouth against thee: they hiss and gnash the teeth: they say, We have swallowed her up: certainly this is the day that we looked for; we have found, we have seen it.”


In the words of Micah in a later chapter, Jerusalem will be defiled as something stomped into the mire of the street:


Micah 7:10Then she that is mine enemy shall see it, and shame shall cover her which said unto me, Where is the LORD thy God?  mine eyes shall behold her: now shall she be trodden down as the mire of the streets.”


v.12But they know not the thoughts of the LORD, neither understand they his counsel: for he shall gather them as the sheaves into the floor.”


            In his vision Isaiah tells Judah:


For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.” Isaiah 55:8


Israel and Judah under King Ahaz had abandoned God and God will abandon them, just as he did the northern kingdom of Israel.  Why did they not know the thoughts of the Lord nor understand his counsel?


Hosea 4:6My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.”


They had forgotten the Law of God, they had rejected knowledge, true knowledge and wisdom that comes only from what source?  And what is the beginning of knowledge?


The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Proverbs 1:7


v.13Arise and thresh, O daughter of Zion: for I will make thine horn iron, and I will make thy hoofs brass: and thou shalt beat in pieces many people: and I will consecrate their gain unto the LORD, and their substance unto the Lord of the whole earth.”


            The commentators disagree concerning the meaning of this verse.  Some relate it to the destruction of the army of Sennacherib before Jerusalem when the angel of God destroyed 185,000 Assyrian soldiers; others to the overthrow of Babylon and the return of Judah from captivity; still others to the time of the Maccabean rulers who brought Judea a measure of independence before Rome conquered her again.  But that seems to apply prophetic language to a physical situation, not an uncommon occurrence, even among Bible scholars.  We read in:


Daniel 2:44And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.”


The language of Micah more likely is a referral back once again to the beginning of the ultimate kingdom of God, the church of the living God, the kingdom of Jesus Christ.  The kingdom that arose as the stone that King Nebuchadnezzar saw in his dream:


Daniel 2:34-35 “…a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. 35Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.”


We will also see in chapter five that the prophet is going to continue his prophecy of the kingdom of Christ.


William L. Schwegler, Sunset church of Christ, Shreveport, LA; January 11, 2009