Micah: Justice and Redemption

On December 4, 1959, the government of the U.S.S.R. presented to the United Nations a bronze sculpture entitled “Let Us Beat Swords into Ploughshares.”  The sculpture is of a man holding a sword in one hand and a hammer in the other by which he is beating his sword into a plowshare.  Evgeny Vuchetich was the sculptor and his intent was to capture mankind’s longing to put an end to war and to convert the means of war into creative, life-giving tools for the benefit all of mankind. The sculpture stands in the North Garden of the UN headquarters.  

In his book on heaven, Randy Alcorn observes that “The unifying testimony of the human heart throughout history is belief in life after death.  Anthropological evidence suggest that every culture has a God-given, innate sense of the eternal – that this world is not all there is.”[1] We might call this a racial memory of Eden, that is, a memory of the Garden of Eden that resides in the souls of all members of the human race.  We not only believe that there is life after death, but we long for life where there is no more sickness or sorrow or suffering or death; we long for the time when “nations shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore” (Micah 4:3). 

Along with that longing for what we would call heaven, is a yearning for justice, where truth is affirmed and lies are exposed, where right is rewarded and wrong is punished.  Micah’s vision and message from the Lord speaks to both the reality of ultimate justice and to the fulfillment of our longing for heaven.  These alternating messages call for more than intellectual affirmation; they call us to shape our lives by them.  Application is the challenge. 

Pray:  Before we dive into the Word of God we need to ask the God of the Word to open the eyes and ears of our hearts to see and hear what He would say to us by His Spirit, and then ask Him for the will of our hearts to apply what He shows us and tells us.  “Sanctify them by the truth, your word is truth” – Jesus, John 17:17.

Read:  Read the entire prophetic book this week and focus your attention on chapters 3-5.

Meditate:  As we noted last week, Micah is composed of three sections of alternating messages of judgment and hope.  Chapters 3-5 comprise the second of the three.  The questions below are given to assist us in thinking more deeply about this text and help lead us to applying these messages. 

[1] Randy Alcorn, Heaven (Eternal Perspectives Ministries, Tyndale.  2004), p. xvii.