Sermon #10 Micah Series
Title: “In the last days…”
Text: Micah 4:1-5:2
Subject: The Blessedness of this Gospel Age
Date: Tuesday Evening — December 13, 2011
Tape: Micah #10
Readings: Bob Duff and Merle Hart
Turn with me to the 4th chapter of Micah’s prophecy. The title of my message tonight is — “In the last days...” My text will be Micah 4:1-5:2. The third chapter of Micah is all darkness and gloom, judgment and sorrow, delusion and desolation. The chapter ends with Zion plowed as a field and Jerusalem in heaps and the mountain of the house of the Lord as a dark, desolate forest.
Many of God’s saints seem to always see nothing else. All they can see is destruction and misery. They always look for dark things. They seem to be incapable of seeing light or of anticipating good. That ought not be the case. Micah’s prophecy does not end in chapter 3. God’s Prophet was inspired to expose the sins of his people and to tell them of the sure judgment of God upon their rebel nation; and he did so faithfully. But he was also inspired to write of another, better day. As surely as God sent the nation into Babylon He would bring her out of Babylon and make her triumphant over Babylon.
And Micah goes far beyond the time of Israel’s Babylonian Captivity and her ultimate triumph over Babylon. Micah was inspired of God the Holy Spirit to describe the great blessedness and glory of God’s Church and Kingdom “In the last days.” We have his message and his description of things “in the last days” in Micah 4:1-5:2.
Notice that chapter 4 begins with the word “But.” That little word “But” is an adversative conjunction. An adversative conjunction is a conjunction that expresses the exact opposite of the thing previously stated.
Š Chapter three was all judgment. Chapter four is all mercy.
Š Chapter three was all darkness and gloom. Chapter four is all light and glory.
Š Chapter 3 is all about our sinfulness. Chapter four is all about God’s forgiveness.
Š Chapter three is all about us. Chapter four is all about Christ!
Proposition: “In the last days” the Lord God will gather all His elect out of all the nations of the world into one Body, His Church, Mount Zion, the City of God, and establish it as the Mountain of God in the top of the mountains. — That is to say, God will make all people to see that His Church is His Church and that our God is God alone!
Divisions: Let me show you five things in this portion of Holy Scripture.
1. The last days are described by Micah as a time of great blessedness (vv. 1-2).
2. The great blessedness of God’s Church and Kingdom is the peace that Christ gives us by His grace (vv. 3-5).
3. The great blessedness of God’s Church is the constant, super-abounding grace of our God to our poor, needy, sinful souls in Christ Jesus (vv. 6-10).
4. “In the last days” the Church and Kingdom of our God shall be triumphant over all the nations of the earth (vv. 11-13).
5. All this grace, and blessedness, and glory is sure because “in the last days” our mighty God and Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Ruler of Israel has come forth, “whose goings forth [have been] from of old, from everlasting.”
The Last Days
First, the last days are described by Micah as a time of great blessedness (vv. 1-2).
“1 ¶ But 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. 2 And 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.” (Micah 4:1-2)
What are these last days? That question would be redundant, were it not for all the false teaching that prevails in this world of religious foolishness about “prophetic things” and “end time studies.” If men and women would read the Word of God and ignore Hal Lindsay, Dallas Seminary, and the Scofield Notes in their Bibles, they would recognize immediately that “the last days” are the days of this Gospel Age. The last days began with the first advent of our Lord Jesus Christ and shall be concluded when our blessed Savior comes again in power and in great glory. — Micah’s prophecy about “the last days” is a prophecy about this Gospel Age and the wonders of God’s grace performed in this day of grace by Christ Jesus, the Ruler and King of God’s Israel, our dear Savior.
Š It is He of whom Micah speaks in our text (5:2).
“But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, [though] thou be little among the thousands of Judah, [yet] out of thee shall he come forth unto me [that is] to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth [have been] from of old, from everlasting.” (Micah 5:2)
Š John declares plainly that we are in the last time (1 John 2:18).
“Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.” (1 John 2:18)
Now, look at the blessings of Christ and His Gospel as they are described by Micah hundreds of years before the Lord Jesus Christ ever came into this world.
Š God’s Church shall be built and established by God as His High Mountain, exalted by Him above all the mountains of the earth (Matthew 16:18).
Š Men and women, God’s elect remnant from all nations shall come into God’s Church. — Jew and Gentile!
Š And each one who comes will bid others come with Him into the House of God. — “Ye shall be witnesses unto me!”
Š All who are born of God and taught of God know that God’s Church is “the House of the God of Jacob!” — He who is our God is the Savior of sinners, the God of Jacob!
Š God’s people come to God’s House seeking to be taught of God, taught His ways, that we may walk in His paths (Jeremiah 6:16).
“Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where [is] the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.” (Jeremiah 6:16)
God’s Church is God’s School House. God’s Church is the place where God teaches His children by His servants through the preaching of the Gospel (Ephesians 4:8-16). — “For the Law shall go forth of Zion, and the Word of the Lord from Jerusalem!”
Kingdom of Peace
Second, the great blessedness of God’s Church and Kingdom is the peace that Christ gives us by His grace (vv. 3-5).
“3 And 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. 4 But 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]. 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.” (Micah 4:3-5)
Peace is established in the earth as God’s Church is established in the earth. Apart from God’s Church, outside the Kingdom of Grace, there is no peace. But here, in Zion, peace reigns, for here the Prince of Peace reigns!
Š In Christ race and nationality are irrelevant.
Š God’s people, rather than warring against each other, help one another. — We beat our swords into plowshares and our spears into pruning hooks.
Š Trusting Christ, we sit peacefully under our vine and fig, fearing nothing. — Christ is ours and we are His! — “And none can make them afraid!”
Š That is what it is to walk with God. — We walk without fear when we walk by faith (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.” (Micah 4:5)
These are matters of such great importance that God the Holy Spirit inspired Micah’s fellow Prophet, Isaiah, to give this word of prophecy in almost the exact same words (Isaiah 2:1-4).
“1 ¶ The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. 2 And 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. 3 And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. 4 And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.” (Isaiah 2:1-4)
Third, the great blessedness of God’s Church is the constant, super-abounding grace of our God to our poor, needy, sinful souls in Christ Jesus (vv. 6-10).
“6 In 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; 7 And 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.”
What sweet promises these are to the weak and fearful! Halting and the trembling souls, under the thoughts of being cast off are here promised grace sufficient and strength in weakness. Christ is our Strength and our Confidence. He will both plead our cause and undertake our cause!
Notice how often that sweet word “I” is mentioned. — “I” the Lord will assemble. — “I” will gather. — “I” will make her that halted a remnant. All is His work; and when God works who can hinder?
What a great and gracious God our God is! He not only blesses obedience and blesses when we follow Him, He promises to bless us when we fall! He blesses by recovering us from our halting and falling! And of all the tokens of grace, that is the most endearing which is manifested over the aboundings of transgression. We have a passage similar to this in Isaiah 43.
(Isaiah 43:22-26) “But thou hast not called upon me, O Jacob; but thou hast been weary of me, O Israel. 23 Thou hast not brought me the small cattle of thy burnt offerings; neither hast thou honoured me with thy sacrifices. I have not caused thee to serve with an offering, nor wearied thee with incense. 24 Thou hast bought me no sweet cane with money, neither hast thou filled me with the fat of thy sacrifices: but thou hast made me to serve with thy sins, thou hast wearied me with thine iniquities. ————— 25 I, [even] I, [am] he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins. 26 Put me in remembrance: let us plead together: declare thou, that thou mayest be justified.” (Isaiah 43:22-26)
Where sin abounds, grace much more abounds! — Read on.
(Micah 4:8-10) “And 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. 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. 10 Be 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.” (Micah 4:6-10)
The word “Tower” in verse 8 means “Bethlehem,” the very place where the Jewish shepherds were keeping their flocks by night when the angels announced to them the birth of Christ (Luke 2:8-9). God’s Church is Christ’s flock, and Christ Himself as our Tower of defense (Zechariah 9:12; Ezekiel 34:31).
“Turn you to the strong hold, ye prisoners of hope: even to day do I declare [that] I will render double unto thee;” (Zechariah 9:12)
“And ye my flock, the flock of my pasture, [are] men, [and] I [am] your God, saith the Lord GOD.” (Ezekiel 34:31)
These last days and Christ’s Kingdom began when our Lord Jesus was born in Bethlehem King of the Jews (Matthew 2:2).
I want you to see clearly what our God asserts here about His wise and gracious purpose in all things. — “Thou shalt go even to Babylon; there shalt thou be delivered; there the Lord shall redeem thee from the hand of thine enemies!” The only reason Babylon existed was that it might serve as an instrument of good to God’s chosen. Israel could never have known God as they did after their Babylonian Captivity had they never known the bitterness of that horrible bondage. —— So it is with us and the Fall of our father Adam.
Fourth, “in the last days” the Church and Kingdom of our God shall be triumphant over all the nations of the earth (vv. 11-13).
“11 Now also many nations are gathered against thee, that say, Let her be defiled, and let our eye look upon Zion. 12 But they know not the thoughts of the LORD, neither understand they his counsel: for he shall gather them as the sheaves into the floor. 13 Arise 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.” (Micah 4:11-13)
The Church is the envy of the world. Therefore, God’s Kingdom of Peace is constantly under attack by the world. But there is no cause for alarm When Christ’s enemies and ours seem to triumph their boasting is but momentary. Our Lord is, by all that they do, hastening their destruction. ——— When Babylon’s king profaned the holy vessels of the sanctuary to the insult of God’s Israel and the blasphemy of God’s name, that same night he was slain by the God he mocked (Daniel 5:2-30).
Robert Hawker wrote, “What holy triumphs await the Church in the end. It is not enough that Jesus will drive out all the enemies of His people before them; but He will bring all their enemies under them. Satan shall not only be bruised, but bruised under the feet of the poor timid followers of the Lord Jesus Christ. The song hath been already sung in heaven, in the assurance of those events; and ere long, the same song shall be sung by all the redeemed upon earth. ‘Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ; for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night; and they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb’ (Revelation 12:10-11).”
Fifth, all this grace, and blessedness, and glory is sure because “in the last days” our mighty God and Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Ruler of Israel has come forth, “whose goings forth [have been] from of old, from everlasting” (5:1-2).
“1 ¶ Now gather thyself in troops, O daughter of troops: he hath laid siege against us: they shall smite the judge of Israel with a rod upon the cheek. 2 But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, [though] thou be little among the thousands of Judah, [yet] out of thee shall he come forth unto me [that is] to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth [have been] from of old, from everlasting.” (Micah 5:1-2)
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