Study of the Prophets #24: Micah (Cont.)

                    Study of the Prophets #24: Micah (Cont.)

We left off last week with Micah describing how Yahshua; described not as Yahshua directly, but as One leading with the strength of HaShem, One who will be a ruler over Israel, as One whose origins will be from early times, from days of old. He will save His people in the End of Days. It is a blessing for Messianic believers to have the information provided in the B’rit Chadashah that enlightens us to such truths that were unknown to the prophets and so many others. Through their description we can understand how G-d used the prophets to foretell the future in language that may be compared to a code to believers who would come after their time.

We pick up at Chapter 5 verse 6-11: “The remnant of Jacob will be in the midst of many peoples like dew from HaShem, like raindrops upon grass, which is not hoped for from man and not awaited from a human being. And the remnant of Jacob will be among the nations, in the midst of many peoples, like a lion among the animals of the forest and like a lion’s whelp among the flocks of sheep, who, when he passes by, tramples and tears apart, and there is no rescuer. Your hand will be raised over your enemies, and all your adversaries will be eliminated. It will be on that day- the word of HaShem- I will eliminate your horses from your midst and I will destroy your chariots. I will eliminate the [walled] cities from your land and I will tear down all your fortifications. I will eliminate witchcraft from your domain, and there will be no diviners among you.”

The remnant of Jacob is interpreted as the righteous believers who will survive the sufferings of the exile and will be among the cohorts of Gog when he will converge upon Jerusalem (Radak; Abarbanel). * Recall that Magog was originally the son of Yefet, the grandson of Noach (Gen 10:2). Magog has since been associated with various places, mainly concentrated in Asia and Mongolia; all associated with being enemies of G-d. It has even been associated with Russia due to the similarity in the sound of Meshekh, another son of Yefet, and Moscow. I encourage you to research Gog and Magog for your continued learning.

Glorious things are here spoken of the remnant of Jacob, that remnant which was raised of her that halted in ch.4:7, and it seems to be that remnant which YHVH/ Yahshua shall call (Joel 2:32), on whom the Ruach HaKodesh will call out to ultimate salvation, Rom. 9:27. G-d’s people are but a remnant, a small number in comparison with the many that are left to perish, a little flock; but they are the remnant of Jacob, a people in covenant with G-d, and in his favor. Now concerning this remnant, it is here promised, that they shall be as a dew in the midst of the nations, v.7. God’s people, spiritual Israel that includes some biological Jews, Gentiles, and fellow travelers who are grafted in to the covenants of Israel through obedience and love of G-d’s Torah, are dispersed all the world over; it is in the midst of many people, as gold in the ore, wheat in the heap. Israel according to the flesh dwelt alone, and was not numbered among the nations; but the spiritual Israel lies scattered in the midst of many people, as the salt of the earth, or as seed sown in the ground, here a grain and there a grain, Hos. 2:23. Now this remnant shall be as dew from the L-rd. 1. They shall be of a heavenly extraction; as dew from the L-rd, who is the Father of the rain, and has begotten the drops of the dew, Job 38:28. They are born from above, and are not of the earth, savoring the things of the earth. 2. They shall be numerous as the drops of dew in a summer’s morning. (Ps. 110:3: Thou hast the dew of thy youth). 3. They shall be pure and clear, not muddy and corrupt, but crystal drops, as the water of life. 4. They shall be produced silently and without noise, as the dew that distils insensibly, we know not how; such is the way of the Ruach. 5. They shall live in a continual dependence upon G-d, and be still deriving from him, as the dew, which tarries not for man, not waits for the sons of men; they shall not rely upon human aids and powers, but on divine grace, for they are, and own that they are, no more than what the grace of G-d makes them every day. 6. They shall be great blessings to those among whom they live, as the dew and the showers are to the grass, to make it grow without the help of man, or the sons of men. Their doctrine, example, and prayers, shall make them as dew, to soften and moisten others, and make them fruitful. Their speech shall distil as the dew (Deu.32:2), and all about them shall wait for them as for the rain, Job 29:23. The people among whom they live shall be as the grass, which flourishes only by the blessing of G-d, and not by the art and care of man; they shall be beneficial to those about them by drawing down G-d’s blessings on them, as Jacob on Laban’s house, and by cooling and mitigating G-d’s wrath, which otherwise would burn them up, as the dew preserves the grass from being scorched by the sun; so  they shall be mild and gentle in their behavior, like their Master, who comes down like rain upon the new-mown grass, Ps. 72:6. II. That they shall be as a lion among the beasts of the forest, that treads down and tears in pieces, v.8. As they shall be silent, and gentle, and communicative of all good, to those that receive the truth in the love of it, so they shall be bold as a lion in witnessing against the corruptions of the times and places they live in, and strong as a lion, in the strength of G-d, to resist and overcome their spiritual enemies. The weapons of their warfare are mighty, through G-d, to the pulling down of strongholds, 2 Cor. 10:4; 2 Cor. 10:5. They shall have courage which all their adversaries shall not be able to resist (Lu.21:15). When infidelity is silenced, and all iniquity made to stop her mouth, when sinners are convinced and converted by the power of the gospel, in the doctrine of its ministers and the conversation of its professors, then the remnant of Jacob is like a lion. This is explained, v.8, Thy hand shall be lifted up upon thy adversaries; Israel shall have the upper hand at last of all that oppose her. Her enemies shall be cut off; they shall cease to be enemies; their enmity shall be cut off. Israel’s enemies depended upon their strongholds then and will again, v. 9-10. However, G-d will take care that they be demolished (v.10) “ I will cut off the cities of thy land; I will throw down thy strongholds”. After the war of Gog and Magog, Israel will never again need horses and chariots because peace will prevail (Radak; Ibn Ezra).  Rashi suggests that horses symbolize assistance from Egypt, jupon which Israel depended for its supply of horses. Alternatively, during these wars they would not be saved through their horses and chariots but though the help of G-d (Abarbanel; Metzudos). Another interpretation proposes that G-d will destroy the horses and chariots of Israel’s enemies. In verse 10, there will no longer be a need for walled or fortified cities, for peace will prevail and G-d will be their (our) protector and deliverer. Interestingly, Radak notes that living in an unwalled city is healthier than living in a walled city because the air is cleaner! In verse 11 we learn that there will no longer be anyone practicing witchcraft as there were during Micah’s prophecy and in our time. When the people realize G-d’s Divine Providence is upon them, there will be no need to seek the future through such people. After all, it would be like an artist trying to sell his paintings in heaven or NASA trying to sell trips to the moon! J

Verse 12-14: I will eliminate your graven idols and your pillars from your midst, and you will no longer prostrate yourselves to your own handiwork. I will uproot your Asherah trees from your midst, and I will destroy those who hate you. And with anger and wrath I will carry out revenge against the nations, because they did not listen.”

The people will realize that G-d is the One True G-d and they will no longer prostrate themselves before man-made images. An Asherah tree is a tree designated for worship. It was a tree that was imagined to be under special protection of a god whose presence and influence could be obtained by tending and looking after it; so the people who worshipped it believed. G-d said that this idolatrous practice will be eliminated. We see many examples of such practices today such as statures and other images that people set up in their homes, yards, and are even present in the Catholic church and other religious organizations. I am sure you can think of several if you take a minute to consider what you may have seen in your own experiences. The most sobering statement is found in the last verse in this chapter. G-d will pour forth His anger upon the nations/people who refuse to obey the teachings of His Torah. This is reiterated in the book of Revelation many times (Rev. 17; 19:15-21; 20:7-15; 22:15). May all who believe that man is no longer personally accountable for his actions and that he is forever instantaneously saved through a non-existent gospel of profession, consider the words of G-d himself through Micah and even more so through Yahshua who is G-d. If we are considered friends of G-d/Yahshua, we must strive to keep His commandments out of love and a reverent fear. There is no other way (John Chapter 14-15; the seven-fold witness in Revelation).

Next week we will begin at Chapter 6.

Shalom v’brachas,

Rabbi Tamah Davis