Micah 4 starts with the inspiring words, “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, and many nations shall come, and say: ‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob, that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths’”. A wonderful picture – let us visualize this happening. In verse 7, we see how God declares, “I will make … those who were cast off, a strong nation; and the LORD will reign over them in Mount Zion”. This obviously refers to His nation, Israel.

As we imagine these events taking place, we are also conscious there is another side to this. Although “the LORD will reign” and “many nations” respond, God has to “judge between many peoples, and shall decide for strong nations far away” (verse 3). “For all the peoples walk each in the name of its god” (verse 5). There is no forced conversion among the mortal population. In Revelation 20 we see that when “the thousand years are ended” (verse 7) there is a rebellion, and those who rebel are destroyed. We note that verse 9 (Micah 4) should start a new chapter, the message relates to the prophet’s own times: but “the LORD will redeem you from the hand of your enemies” (verse 10). He did then, but they did not remain faithful.

Verses 11-13 are different again; these are a jigsaw puzzle, and often only unfolding events make it clear where they fit. Chapter 5:2 is the verse the men in Jerusalem identified for King Herod, so he could tell the wise men (Matthew 2:6) where “the king of the Jews” would be born.

May we “walk in his paths” (4:2) now so that when “the LORD … reigns” we will, through His grace, be there. May we “confidently say, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?’”. We read this today in Hebrews 13:6. We should “continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name” (verse 15). This will be preparation for doing this even more, in a wonderful setting, when “the LORD will reign”.