Micah 4:2, 10 Many nations will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD , to the house 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. … … Writhe in agony, O Daughter of Zion, like a woman in labour, for now you must leave the city to camp in the open field. You will go to Babylon; there you will be rescued. There the LORD will redeem you out of the hand of your enemies.
These words from Micah may have been written 2,800 years ago, but they are very relevant and comforting to us today, for a number of reasons.
Firstly, they remind us that the LORD God is for ever sovereign over all his Creation, and he remains faithful to all the promises to his Covenant People. We can therefore know, and look forward to, a coming Day when every knee will bow before him and acknowledge him as the only God and King, and his revealed truth and ways will be seen universally, by all nations, as the best way to live and walk. As is clear from the whole Bible, the Old Testament prophecies that refer to the future of Israel/Jerusalem/Zion have their ultimate fulfilment in the Church of the ‘LORD’ Jesus Christ, the Covenant People whom he purchased with his own precious blood.
Secondly, they reveal to us that the ‘path’ to this final consummation of all things (when Jesus Christ returns in power and glory) will involve times of difficulty and suffering. This accords with what we see in 1 Peter 5. We might feel more and more today that we are ‘in the hand of [y]our enemies’, but God assures us that we will be ‘rescued/redeemed’ from the ‘Babylon’ in which we now live and serve. It is comforting to know that whatever happens to us never takes God by surprise, and he knows how to look after us – and will.
Thirdly, just as the LORD gave his covenant people clear instructions as to how they were to respond to their years of exile in Babylon, so we can apply the same advice to our own times of difficulty in a sinful world: “Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease. Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper” (Jeremiah 29:5-7).
– Bruce Christian