Talk about dramatic impact in this transition! Micah places these verses, which are almost identical to verses in Isaiah 2, right here after speaking of the destruction of Jerusalem. We know that Isaiah and Micah are contemporaries speaking to the same audience. Did God choose to give them both the same message, or do you think Micah is quoting Isaiah? Micah doesn’t say.
We have clearly jumped far into the future when God will reign over all. The people of Judah see indication of a bright future as Micah designates Jerusalem. Do you think the people could fully grasp what this meant having not experienced the exile yet?
Where do you look when you need a little encouragement? This portion of Paul’s letter to the Philippians gives them exactly that so they don’t lose heart. It takes work to be positive amidst struggle, ridicule, and, for the Philippian church, to be new Christians living among Jews who thought they were crazy.
We may take some of the same kind of heat for our own faith. I think that’s why we often keep our mouths shut when the opposite is more appropriate for the situation. We worry about what people will think of us. We worry we won’t have the right words to say. We certainly don’t want to ever do anything to bring shame to Jesus with our blunders.
Jesus is not going to leave his disciples (or us) alone as orphans. Our reading today kicks off our new theme of “The Holy Spirit & Prayer.” We see exactly when and where Jesus promises the Holy Spirit to his disciples. It was during his last meal with them. He was dropping a lot of truth bombs on them that night. Jesus was cramming some important stuff into this time with them.
You know how it can be when you’re getting ready to leave after a visit. You think of all the things you wanted to say the whole time but either didn’t find the right time to say or simply ran out of time. Either could be happening here. But clearly the disciples are starting to get a little nervous. The things Jesus was saying that night must have left them with more questions than answers.
I was just thinking today about how many things had to fall into place to put Mary and Joseph in Bethlehem at the right time. When Micah declared these words, did he realize he was predicting the birthplace of the Messiah hundreds of years later? What a marvelous orchestrator God is! How can we ever doubt him!
The promised eternal king in David’s line would come to live as a man. He will “stand to lead his flock with the Lord’s strength, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God.” This prophecy was referred to by Herod’s advisors when he was greeted by the wise men of the east after Jesus’ birth. This small, obscure little town has made history and will forever have a place on the map!
Peace. What does that mean to you? I know that’s a big question. When is the last time you really felt peace? I mean, really felt it?
This is one of my favorite passages from Isaiah. There is so much to cling to here, one could get lost in these words for days. Perhaps, if you haven’t felt full of peace or peaceful recently, you can spend some extra time with these verses and just let the breadth of each word strengthen you, refresh you, and bring you peace.