Micah, chapter 5
“Now muster yourselves in troops, daughter of troops; They have laid siege against us; With a rod they will smite the judge of Israel on the cheek. But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Too little to be among the clans of Judah, From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, From the days of eternity.” Therefore, He will give them up until the time When she who is in labor has borne a child. Then the remainder of His brethren Will return to the sons of Israel. And He will arise and shepherd His flock In the strength of the LORD, In the majesty of the name of the LORD His God. And they will remain, Because at that time He will be great To the ends of the earth. And this One will be our peace. When the Assyrian invades our land, When he tramples on our citadels, Then we will raise against him Seven shepherds and eight leaders of men. And they will shepherd the land of Assyria with the sword, The land of Nimrod at its entrances; And He will deliver us from the Assyrian When he attacks our land And when he tramples our territory. Then the remnant of Jacob Will be among many peoples Like dew from the LORD, Like showers on vegetation Which do not wait for man Or delay for the sons of men. And the remnant of Jacob Will be among the nations, Among many peoples Like a lion among the beasts of the forest, Like a young lion among flocks of sheep, Which, if he passes through, Tramples down and tears, And there is none to rescue. Your hand will be lifted up against your adversaries, And all your enemies will be cut off. “And it will be in that day,” declares the LORD, “That I will cut off your horses from among you And destroy your chariots. I will also cut off the cities of your land And tear down all your fortifications. I will cut off sorceries from your hand, And you will have fortune-tellers no more. I will cut off your carved images And your sacred pillars from among you, So that you will no longer bow down To the work of your hands. I will root out your Asherim from among you And destroy your cities. And I will execute vengeance in anger and wrath On the nations which have not obeyed.”
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus…Absolute Authority.
Most of the people I love the most are dispensationalists. There is a huge difference between a dispensationalist and the dogmatic dispensationalists. The dogmatic dispensationalists argue against people like myself, calling us antisemitic and mockers and scoffers. Therefore I defend the ancient yet progressive faith in a formerly homless, Jewish, sovereign King who will return physically to earth, making it his eternal home.
We left off last time considering the words and wording of which Micah wrote previously to today’s text. I have not written recently about the first rule of reading an apocalyptic address, which is, apocalyptic addresses are not necessarily written chronologically. However, they can be. As always, we have to utilize a hermeneutical tool, such as the CAGED method, to ascertain if the author’s intent was to write chronologically, though almost all have sections of a chronological order.
- Context; cultural context as well
- Aspirations of author to his audience
- Examples from other Scriptural sources
- Divide rightly the words of God
Personally, I automatically assume that apocalyptic addresses are not written chronologically though some sections are. Recapitulation is rampant in Revelation, Isaiah and Ezekiel. Most apocalyptic addresses are not written completely chronologically but some of the shorter ones are, especially if the apocalyptic address is within a different genre, such as we see in Psalm 18 and Matthew 24. Even then though, the specific signs or situations can overlap or come to pass in a micro, quasi-chronological order. For example in Matthew 24; the disciple James was murdered before he saw some of the other signs. The apocalyptic address follows its own theme, and to see the theme, one must take the long view and consider the continuing context, like any other book. Chapters and verses were added later, the apocalyptic address is always meant to be read as a whole and the entire context is to be considered. This particular passage is one of the greatest examples of that principle. However we study it by chapters for ease of reference and for time’s sake. I encourage everyone to read Micah as a whole, unlike the scribes, because it paints an obvious picture.
Let’s look at what happened to the scribes who did not consider the continuing context. We see this in Matthew, chapter 2; “Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, ‘Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east, and have come to worship Him.’ And when Herod the king heard it, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And gathering together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he began to inquire of them where the Christ was to be born. And they said to him, ‘In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it has been written by the prophet, “AND YOU, BETHLEHEM, LAND OF JUDAH, ARE BY NO MEANS LEAST AMONG THE LEADERS OF JUDAH; FOR OUT OF YOU SHALL COME FORTH A RULER, WHO WILL SHEPHERD MY PEOPLE ISRAEL.”‘ Then Herod secretly called the magi, and ascertained from them the time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, ‘Go and make careful search for the Child; and when you have found Him, report to me, that I too may come and worship Him.’ And having heard the king, they went their way; and lo, the star, which they had seen in the east, went on before them, until it came and stood over where the Child was. And when they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. And they came into the house and saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell down and worshiped Him; and opening their treasures they presented to Him gifts of gold and frankincense and myrrh. And having been warned by God in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed for their own country by another way.”
In my missive, Born? In Bethlehem; Back to Burn Incense, I went into greater detail concerning the scribes and chief priests than I will today. Nevertheless, it is simply seen. Like our modern, mega-church pastors, they rip a verse out of context, not considering the incredible context and fulfillment of an apocalyptic address. They were correct, like a stopped clock is correct twice a day, but couldn’t be bothered because they had the idiomatic, bigger fish to fry. They completely missed the greatness of the situation and the fulfillment of prophecy, like the dogmatic dispensationalists. We cannot afford to make the same mistakes. We take the long view and strap on our sandals to see what the scribes should have seen. We also have to remember what we have already read. Let’s see if we can summarize the sublime string and the themes woven throughout.
- Destruction is going to come to Israel immediately and then in a similar fashion, to Judah. It is too late now to change course.
- The reason for this destruction is for the sins of the people in Israel and in Judah
- The priests and prophets are held to a higher standard because they are motivated by personal gain over the word of God. By nations no better than Israel and Judah, God will send them into captivity, in a reversal of what was said to Israel. It’s not because the nations are sinless or great, but because of God’s choice. The nations who come to carry them captive don’t understand that God is using them as a tool.
- God will rescue them from captivity and bring them back to the land.
- A time will come after the destruction, where in Jerusalem the word of God will go forth, out to all the nations.
- The Lord reveals how he will accomplish this. This is today’s text coupled to the previous passage.
“I will make the lame a remnant, And the outcasts a strong nation, And the LORD will reign over them in Mount Zion From now on and forever. And as for you, tower of the flock, Hill of the daughter of Zion, To you it will come— Even the former dominion will come, The kingdom of the daughter of Jerusalem. Now, why do you cry out loudly? Is there no king among you, Or has your counselor perished, That agony has gripped you like a woman in childbirth? Writhe and labor to give birth, Daughter of Zion, Like a woman in childbirth, For now you will go out of the city, Dwell in the field, And go to Babylon. There you will be rescued; There the LORD will redeem you From the hand of your enemies. And now many nations have been assembled against you Who say, ‘Let her be polluted, And let our eyes gloat over Zion.’ But they do not know the thoughts of the LORD, And they do not understand His purpose; For He has gathered them like sheaves to the threshing floor. Arise and thresh, daughter of Zion, For your horn I will make iron And your hoofs I will make bronze, That you may pulverize many peoples, That you may devote to the LORD their unjust gain And their wealth to the Lord of all the earth. Now muster yourselves in troops, daughter of troops; They have laid siege against us; With a rod they will smite the judge of Israel on the cheek. But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Too little to be among the clans of Judah, From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, From the days of eternity.” Therefore, He will give them up until the time When she who is in labor has borne a child. Then the remainder of His brethren Will return to the sons of Israel. And He will arise and shepherd His flock In the strength of the LORD, In the majesty of the name of the LORD His God. And they will remain, Because at that time He will be great To the ends of the earth. And this One will be our peace.
The theme we see in Micah and the flow, is not altogether chronological but it is logical. That has happened, this will happen, than that will happen and this is how that will happen. Rebellion against God, God removes the people, especially the leaders from the land, promises a good leader and then specifically states where the good leader will be born and how great he will be, and also we are given his age; eternal. Notice that even the scribes and chief priests knew exactly where the Messiah would be born. Micah is a relatively short book but it is packed with meaning and it is actually a pivotal book. Because it is small, it is rarely studied, especially because it mirrors much of Isaiah. Nevertheless, its size makes it easier to understand, whereas the much longer book of Isaiah is difficult to digest and divide rightly, because it is so large that makes it a bit cumbersome. Isaiah is difficult to navigate at times but Micah is fairly clear and concise, even for an apocalyptic address.
I am destructive–always have been. To find out how things work I tear them apart. It’s how I moved from a defender of dispensationalist dogma to a non dispensationalist–I deconstructed my own arguments with Scripture. I have a curious mind and I will try to find answers to all of life’s questions by trial and error, mostly error. I never cared to learn what everyone else was learning like math or spelling, I wanted to know things such as whether or not I could set a pencil on fire with nothing more than light, a magnifying glass and the pencil. Long story short; yes. Micah is the magnifying glass, Jesus is the light and Genesis 3 is the pencil, metaphorically speaking. Actually, the reverse is also true, as are the other combinations. Jesus magnified Genesis and Micah, and so on and so forth. Micah is like a navigational beacon, a laser beam, a telescope, a microscope and a big bunch of other metaphors. Micah takes what we see in Genesis and projects the past, in the present, towards the future. What happens to Israel and Judah, typifies what happened in the garden of Eden. God says this, the leader looking for sordid gain says that, the people believe the lie and are expelled from the land, yet with grace and with a purpose and a promise–Jesus. For time’s sake we won’t read all of Genesis, three but I will sum it up and you can read it on your own to make sure my summary is not off base.
The serpent questioned the woman as to what God really said. Ironically she added to what God said. The serpent told the woman that God lied to them but that he was telling her the truth. Pause right here and think; really think, why would the woman believe a snake and not the Lord? Yes, the serpent was crafty and convincing, but why would she believe the serpent when God gave them everything except one, single, solitary food-source? They could eat from every tree except one, and death was promised to them if they ate from this tree. This was absolute paradise and everything that they needed was provided to them, including God, himself. Paradise! Why risk it? Despite the promise of God, the woman and the man ate and were kicked out of paradise; but with grace and a promise.
“Then the LORD God said to the woman, ‘What is this you have done?’ And the woman said, ‘The serpent deceived me, and I ate.’ And the LORD God said to the serpent, ‘Because you have done this, Cursed are you more than all cattle, And more than every beast of the field; On your belly shall you go, And dust shall you eat All the days of your life; And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel.’ To the woman He said, ‘I will greatly multiply Your pain in childbirth, In pain you shall bring forth children; Yet your desire shall be for your husband, And he shall rule over you.’ Then to Adam He said, ‘Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, “You shall not eat from it;” Cursed is the ground because of you; In toil you shall eat of it All the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you; And you shall eat the plants of the field; By the sweat of your face You shall eat bread, Till you return to the ground, Because from it you were taken; For you are dust, And to dust you shall return.’ Now the man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all the living. And the LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife, and clothed them. Then the LORD God said, ‘Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil; and now, lest he stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever’— therefore the LORD God sent him out from the garden of Eden, to cultivate the ground from which he was taken.”
We see the promise of a Savior from the seed of the woman. We see the promise of the devil being crushed by a suffering servant. We see them kicked out of paradise to plow the field and we see the grace of God who covered them with better clothes than fig leaves. But we see something else that is obscured by our preconceived notions and presuppositions. Adam and Eve believed the devil in paradise but believed God after they sinned and were removed from the land. It’s right there in the context but we gloss over it; a definition of which we miss. “Now the man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all the living.” Except that they had no offspring yet. By faith Adam believed God and his promise of a Savior to come from the seed of the woman, so that he named her “Eve.” We are told what Eve means, the mother of the living. Notice; it took sin and a promise for Adam to believe God.
I’ll write this again so that we are ensured to see, Adam and Eve didn’t believe God in the garden of paradise but after they sinned, they then believed in the promise. Paul writes in a similar manner concerning the Law of Moses. “What shall we say then? Is the Law sin? May it never be! On the contrary, I would not have come to know sin except through the Law; for I would not have known about coveting if the Law had not said, ‘YOU SHALL NOT COVET.’ But sin, taking opportunity through the commandment, produced in me coveting of every kind; for apart from the Law sin is dead.”
Micah tells a similar story through his apocalyptic address. We have seen people seduced by a lie from false prophets and priests searching for sordid gain. We have seen that they will be removed from the land but a promise of a Savior, the good shepherd and leader is prophesied. We clearly see the reverse of the curse. We have a simple prophecy in Genesis but an elaborate announcement in Micah. We are even told the town in which the Messiah will be born. A tiny town called Bethlehem, the house of bread. (Adam ate bread because of the curse.) But there were two Bethlehems and we are even explicitly told which one it would be. “But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Too little to be among the clans of Judah, From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, From the days of eternity.”
When I travel to a certain communist country in the Caribbean (highly unlikely this year), many people are learning English and want me to give them an extremely difficult word to pronounce in English so that they can hone their skills. My response is always the same–supralapsarianism. This is the belief that God decreed both election and reprobation prior to creation and then allowed the fall of man as a means of carrying out his divine purposes. It is opposed to infralapsarianism, which believes that God foresaw and permitted the fall of man and that after the fall he then decreed election as a means of saving some. Essentially, supralapsarianism is “before the fall” and infralapsarianism is “after the fall.” Now, if one has time to debate these things, one needs to reexamine one’s life. Honestly, who cares? But, there is always a but; God knows the beginning from the end, the fall of man didn’t catch the Lord by surprise, therefore he didn’t wait to come up with a plan. As I have mentioned, I like to deconstruct things. Picture the infralapsarianism approach, it requires something like the following: The Father says to Jesus and the Spirit, “I didn’t see that coming. Wait, I have an idea!” Then he looks at Jesus and Jesus replies, “I know what you are thinking, why me?” Ultimately the timing is irrelevant but we clearly cannot assume that God’s plan was a plan b. It never was, never is and never will be. Which came first, the chicken or the egg? The chicken–move on.
Moving on is exactly what God does, progressively revealing his plan and Micah is a microscope to that plan, pointing to a great leader, finally. Remember that in paradise, man sinned, listening to an illegitimate leader. In Israel and Judah, man sinned, listening to illegitimate leaders and that both were removed from the land. God’s first attempt to let man regulate himself failed, not because of God but because of man. His second attempt, the Law of Moses failed, not because of God but because of man–all part of the plan to progressively point to and see the need for Jesus Christ, the King of kings. God revealed the need for his ultimate plan, promised in the garden and elaborated in Ezekiel, Isaiah and Micah. The dogmatic dispensationalists argue that this will also fail, as according to their dubious dogma, the ecclesiastical church falls into apostasy. Problem; Genesis and Micah, and the others, make the promise that the Messiah will restore all things, crushing bad leadership. Not ironically we see that the leaders of Israel are unimpressed with the birth of the Messiah in Matthew, chapter two. In toilet paper we trust. I don’t want to make light of the seriousness of the situation concerning the Coronavirus. But it will pass, in the meantime we panic and act ironically. Personal contact is the best way to contract the virus, which came from China–we all flock together to hoard products made in China.
I have documented our behavior concerning this crisis and when it passes, I will tell many stories. I remember 9/11 vividly and y2k. I also remember reading about the fall of man and the fall of Israel and the fall of Judah and the fall of Assyria and the fall of Babylon and the fall of Judea and the fall of Rome. I remember the fall of the iron curtain and the Berlin wall. I remember the fall of Iraq, the fall of Saddam Hussein and Bin Laden. I remember the picturesque fall of 2013. I remember the SARS outbreak, which was a Coronavirus outbreak. I remember Zika and Ebola and still I suggest that we live in a world being restored because we see good falls and bad. We lost paradise because of our sin but Jesus paid the price of that sin, just as he promised Adam, Eve and the serpent. The world has fallen, and horrible things continue to happen but for a good reason. Look at Micah the microscope and telescope and see the promises made. But first, consider the dogma of dispensationalists and the worship of toilet paper.
God created man, man sinned, God gave the Law, man broke the Law, God gave his son and he died for the sins of man but parenthetically established a church to rapture so that they can reign with him for a thousand years after a great tribulation. But even during this reign of Jesus, with resurrected saints, sin reigns because a great battle ensues after the millenial kingdom. They see proof of this in the headlines because of the Coronavirus and the panic contained therein. But is it possible that God is sovereign over and rules the Coronavirus the same way he ruled Eden and the Law? Is it not our sin that revealed the need for Jesus? Is it not easier to see that history repeats itself and even as we approach the culmination of the new heavens and earth, we live in tumultuous times so that we will trust in the promise? Adam and Eve didn’t trust God in the garden but they did after the fall. The Jewish people didn’t see there sin through the prophets but only after the exile. Without accepting Jesus, it happened again. Nevertheless the promise is made, once again, in Micah.
“I will make the lame a remnant, And the outcasts a strong nation, And the LORD will reign over them in Mount Zion From now on and forever. And as for you, tower of the flock, Hill of the daughter of Zion, To you it will come— Even the former dominion will come, The kingdom of the daughter of Jerusalem. Now, why do you cry out loudly? Is there no king among you, Or has your counselor perished, That agony has gripped you like a woman in childbirth? Writhe and labor to give birth, Daughter of Zion, Like a woman in childbirth, For now you will go out of the city, Dwell in the field, And go to Babylon. There you will be rescued; There the LORD will redeem you From the hand of your enemies. And now many nations have been assembled against you Who say, ‘Let her be polluted, And let our eyes gloat over Zion.’ But they do not know the thoughts of the LORD, And they do not understand His purpose; For He has gathered them like sheaves to the threshing floor. Arise and thresh, daughter of Zion, For your horn I will make iron And your hoofs I will make bronze, That you may pulverize many peoples, That you may devote to the LORD their unjust gain And their wealth to the Lord of all the earth.”
This is indicative of the incarnation and increase of the reign of Christ. It doesn’t come all at once but begins with a baby born in Bethlehem. It’s like a little leaven a woman put in dough. It’s like a mustard seed which starts small but gradually grows. It’s like the small rock in Daniel that becomes a great mountain, crushing all other rule and authority. Again, because I know that you all love Christmas, it begins with the birth of a baby boy born in Bethlehem–Talk about starting small! Look at the promise of how the Lord will accomplish this, even in the great sin of his people, he promised perfection and gave grace. Even though other nations would come to destroy their homeland, he will send his son to their homeland. Isaiah, chapter nine is your favorite promise of Christmas and it reads; “For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, On the throne of David and over his kingdom, To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness From then on and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this.”
To this the dogmatic dispensationalists would place a pause in the increase of his government during the parenthetical plan for the church. They see things like the Coronavirus and say that they are the signs of the times, to which I would agree. But their interpretation of the sign is that the rapture is nigh. My interpretation is that the world is moaning in birth pangs because we still don’t see our sin or the promise. The dogmatic dispensationalists argue that we are in the days of Noah. I would argue that we are in the days of Adam, Noah, Israel, Judah, Babylon, Egypt, the wilderness and the like because we are not believing in the promise, figuratively speaking. We are much better off than they were. Hoarding toilet paper and hand sanitizer means that we have toilet paper and hand sanitizer. Many countries lack these things because they have doubled down on communism, believing in the promise of government but not the promise of God. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?
“‘But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Too little to be among the clans of Judah, From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, From the days of eternity.’ Therefore, He will give them up until the time When she who is in labor has borne a child. Then the remainder of His brethren Will return to the sons of Israel. And He will arise and shepherd His flock In the strength of the LORD, In the majesty of the name of the LORD His God. And they will remain, Because at that time He will be great To the ends of the earth. And this One will be our peace.”
Genesis is projected through Micah and Jesus is the result. Born under the Law, born of a woman, born in Bethlehem. Even John the Baptist said, “I must decrease but he must increase.” The dogmatic dispensationalists and the rest of the world think things are getting worse, but I, in the middle of a world-wide pandemic, claim that things are getting better. I see the Coronavirus as proof. Life is still very fragile in this world but it is for a reason and every Christian everywhere knows this: people don’t call on the Lord in paradise but in turmoil. Nevertheless, I have some explaining to do through expository exegesis because the claim is made in Micah and Isaiah, that we will turn our swords into plowshares.
We cry out over the Coronavirus, run to get toilet paper like the world but abortion keeps us silent and sidelined. Why? Because we are learning to fight violence with peace and prayer. Only the gospel will change their minds. We are turning our swords into plowshares because God said so. We are learning to be peaceful and to oppose war. Christians are learning war no more. We actually are progressing–We don’t use violence anymore. In fact, you will see, if you look hard enough because the mainstream media won’t cover it, Christians will be out and about, handing out toilet paper and food. It’s in our DNA of the Spirit. Christ came to us as a baby but departed with all authority and he sits on his throne in heaven. He is sovereign over everything, including the Coronavirus. The gospel will go forth because of this. But also know this; if the mega-church pastors, the dogmatic dispensationalists, the charismatics, the methodists, the baptists, the presbyterians, the lutherans, the postmil, amil and premil, all stood together with one voice and cried out to God to stop the Coronavirus, and God did, we would return to fighting the very same day. I don’t want to fight with the dogmatic dispensationalists but I do want them to stop saying that the world is going to hell in a handbasket. It escapes their notice that when they say these things they magnify themselves and degrade young people. If you want to know why young people are leaving your church and flocking to the seducing of Bethel or Hillsong, look at what you are saying to them. This is right out of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the Foot Clan. Sorry, I forgot who I was dealing with. This is right out of Oliver Twist. This is the Crips and the Bloods. We are alienating the youth with our proclamations of pestilence befalling our nations. “This is your fault because you hate hymns.” That’s what we are saying without showing them how hymns have changed the culture. History repeats itself but the only thing we have learned from history is that we don’t learn from history. There was a time when hymns were heretical. There was a time when translating the Bible was heretical. Huss died a heretic. There was a time, not so long ago that blacks and whites wouldn’t be caught dead worshipping together. Unfortunately, to the aging, dogmatic dispensationalist, these were the “glory days” of the church. This is my question to the dogmatic dispensationalists (though I already know the answer because they say it constantly); what was the pivotal point in America when we went from durable doctrine into deep delusions? The answer is always the same; “when the younger generation began taking over my generation;” when “church” changed for them–when they lost their personal preferences.
“Russell P, you’re on a ridiculous rant against the rapture and on an attack against its adherents! This has nothing to do with the context of Micah.” History repeats itself. It’s ironic to me how the gospel makes great gains up until one’s leadership is transferred. Essentially they are saying to the youth, “everything was going great until you got your dirty, little hands involved.” But then, out of the other side of their face they accuse them of not getting involved. They actually don’t believe that the rapture is nigh because of the Coronavirus, wars, rumors of wars, earthquakes or famines. The true reason why they believe that the rapture is nigh is because of bad leadership. The irony is that they don’t realize that it was their leadership that has led to the ruin of many churches. They put the idiomatic cart before the proverbial horse, preaching dubious dogma above the gospel. One will usually hit that at which they aim. If one sees that an apostasy appears, an apostasy appears. It is nothing new, really. “Hey Adam, this talking snake says that we will be like God, knowing good and evil, if we eat this fruit.” “Cool, the woman, it does look delicious. We’d be killing two birds with one stone.”
Kierkegaard said that “life can only be understood backwards but must be lived forwards.” While insightful it is not necessarily true for us, though it was for Adam and the woman (I am sorry but I only recently realized that Adam named Eve after the fall; it’s funny what we gloss over); we have redemptive history from which to learn and we have the promise of a real ruler sitting on his throne in heaven. And in the lives of the beleiver, we have the exact representation of the ruler present in our lives. We are not living in a parenthetical period of a parenthetical plan but in the promise of progression prophesied by the prophets, of whom history all but ignored. Why can’t we learn from history? Christianity was once spread by the sword. But now it is spread under the sword. The 20th century was the century of the martyrs. I don’t think that they died in vain so that the Lord will rescue a spoiled spouse, but rather, that we would follow in their courage and boldness. I am preaching to myself. We have a ruler who speaks in the following manner:
“When the Assyrian invades our land, When he tramples on our citadels, Then we will raise against him Seven shepherds and eight leaders of men. And they will shepherd the land of Assyria with the sword, The land of Nimrod at its entrances; And He will deliver us from the Assyrian When he attacks our land And when he tramples our territory. Then the remnant of Jacob Will be among many peoples Like dew from the LORD, Like showers on vegetation Which do not wait for man Or delay for the sons of men. And the remnant of Jacob Will be among the nations, Among many peoples Like a lion among the beasts of the forest, Like a young lion among flocks of sheep, Which, if he passes through, Tramples down and tears, And there is none to rescue. Your hand will be lifted up against your adversaries, And all your enemies will be cut off. ‘And it will be in that day,’ declares the LORD, ‘That I will cut off your horses from among you And destroy your chariots. I will also cut off the cities of your land And tear down all your fortifications. I will cut off sorceries from your hand, And you will have fortune-tellers no more. I will cut off your carved images And your sacred pillars from among you, So that you will no longer bow down To the work of your hands. I will root out your Asherim from among you And destroy your cities. And I will execute vengeance in anger and wrath On the nations which have not obeyed.'”
Jesus is sovereign over every molecule and every galaxy, we have nothing to fear. I am preaching to myself.