4:1-5:15 THE IDEAL KINGDOM
Shame replaced by glory (4:1-5:1)
Previously Micah recorded God’s promise that the people of Israel would come from captivity back to their land (see 2:12-13). He now looks beyond that to the greater day when God’s ideal king reigns and Jerusalem is the religious centre of the world. People of all nations desire to worship God and learn his law, with the result that there is universal peace and contentment (4:1-4). This future hope encourages Micah and his few fellow believers to be more faithful to God now (5).
Micah sees the people in captivity as a flock of sheep that have been attacked, injured and scattered. The remains of this flock will be gathered again, healed, and brought back to their own land to become a strong nation once more (6-8). The prophet then pictures the siege of Jerusalem and the suffering of its inhabitants. They will be taken captive to Babylon, but after a period God will bring them back (9-10).
Another illustration of the triumph of God’s people is given in the form of a vision where the prophet sees the overthrow of a great army that besieges Jerusalem. The army is composed of soldiers of many nations, who await their chance to break down the walls and plunder the city. They scoff at the people and dishonour the king, not realizing that God has brought them together so that he might destroy them the more easily – all in one place at one time. They will be punished by God’s almighty power, crushed as the grain on the threshing floor is crushed under the hoofs of the oxen (11-5:1).
(There was in the time of Micah a siege of Jerusalem similar to the one described here. On that occasion Assyria was the nation that besieged Jerusalem and mocked God, but God miraculously saved the city, preserved his people and destroyed the attackers; see 2 Kings 18:13-19:37.)