Micah prophecies of a time when many nations will turn toward the God of Jacob. They will desire to go up to the mountain of the Lord for God to teach them his ways so that we all may walk in his paths. Could such peace be possible in our time, in our world?
2 Many nations will come and say,
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
to the temple of the God of Jacob.
He will teach us his ways,
so that we may walk in his paths.”
The law will go out from Zion,
the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
3 He will judge between many peoples
and will settle disputes for strong nations far and wide.
They will beat their swords into plowshares
and their spears into pruning hooks.
Nation will not take up sword against nation,
nor will they train for war anymore.
4 Everyone will sit under their own vine
and under their own fig tree,
and no one will make them afraid,
for the Lord Almighty has spoken.
5 All the nations may walk
in the name of their gods,
but we will walk in the name of the Lord
our God for ever and ever.
13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15 by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, 16 and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. 17 He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near.
We have a ways to go, don’t we? We are not there yet. We are not living in a time in which many nations are turning to God. I might say to the contrary that this generation is turning away from God and toward their own ways – toward the gods of their own making.
It’s difficult to fathom that these nations will coalesce to seek the Lord. It’s difficult to imagine that many knees bowing to the Lord, and also the resulting peace of nations. Swords will turn into plowshares, and spears into pruning hooks. Fear will disappear because the Lord Almighty has spoken. His word will rule, and nations will not threaten other nations.
Even though this is hard to imagine, we should not be surprised, because this is why Jesus came. This is the fulfillment of Jesus accomplishment in dying and rising from the dead. In his victory, Jesus brings us all together as one new humanity. He has destroyed the barriers of hostility to bring peace. Shalom.
This is our future, yet this isn’t our present. It seems that Micah understands we are midway down this important road. He recognizes that all nations may walk in the name of their gods, yet he raises the banner of Israel: we will walk in the name of the Lord our God for ever and ever.
Time after time in Scripture we see this illuminated. There are gods in all nations, yet the Lord God of Israel is the true creator God. We see it when Old Testament characters interact with their neighbours. We see it when Paul is in Athens on Mars Hill, when he brings a focus on Jesus as the one true God the Greeks seek to know yet cannot name.
For now, we co-exist and live in harmony and dialogue. One day, however, the nations will come. Notice they will not be beaten into submission. This isn’t Crusade talk. They will come to the Lord. Until that time, we walk in the name of the Lord, which means that we embody the love and mercy and grace of Jesus in our world each day.