A Vision to Cherish
Father, on this Ash Wednesday I begin my annual journey to the Cross. Teach me new lessons on how I can be a faithful Jesus follower.
Read Micah 4:1-13
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
The appalling gloom of the previous chapter (see 3:12) is matched in chapter 4 by the glorious prospect of what God intends to do in the future. We serve a turn-a-round God.
The vision of the Jerusalem Temple as a beacon or lighthouse on a high mountain (1) is a reminder that the preceding vision of the Temple’s destruction is not ultimate. Here is the vision of what the Temple should be: a place attractive to people near and far who will come to seek the truth about life, a truth that will overcome disputes and make people turn their energies from destructive fighting to making tools for settled life and growth, in settings where life can be enjoyed without fear (2-4).
What should we do with such a vision? If it never seems to be realized, one can easily become cynical: “nice idea, but the real world’s not like that.” We are given a guide in v. 5. Even if nations generally have not looked to the Lord’s word but persist in old ways and traditional allegiances, that is no reason to give up on the vision. Whatever others may or may not do, the vocation of God’s people is to live faithfully, and sustain hope in the ultimate triumph of God’s ways. In a Christian frame of reference, we now think of Jesus rather than the Jerusalem temple as the attractive lighthouse of truth, but we still live with a world that is generally heedless, and there remains a corresponding challenge not to lose heart, but to be faithful to our Lord. Even if others do not care about our exalted Lord, we do.
The rest of the chapter offers less ultimate visions of Jerusalem in both exile and restoration. The key is in vs. 11 and 12: people may despise a Zion that looks weak, if they do not understand that the Lord’s ways defy conventional expectations; weakness may become strength (13).
Read the passage again and single out several, wonderful promises. Write them on a card, carry it with you, read it during the day, and claim the promises.
Gracious Lord, I thank You for the wonderful promises in Your Word. I praise You for what the promises give: strength, hope, direction and challenge. I love Your Word.
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