Here in America the possibility of a foreign invasion is hard to relate to. It has happened twice in larger memory: 1) On December 7, 1941 when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor; and 2) on September 11, 2001, when nineteen Al Qaeda hijackers used four passenger planes as guided missiles on key American targets. Each of these were stirring events, but they still weren’t the same as a foreign army storming New York or Los Angeles – or even as the multiple Nazi bombing raids on London during World War II.
It was different back in the Old Testament era. Micah prophesied in the face of tremendous threats in the middle of the 8th century B.C. They came from the Assyrian empire, coming out of what is now the northwestern part of Iran. It was an empire nation, going on crusades throughout the ancient near-eastern world. They would conquer one city-state after another – usually killing their king, enslaving their populace, and taking their goods (including the women, who were treated just like property back then). They left a trail of devastation everywhere they went.
Micah saw these dangers coming. Twice he spoke of a land invasion as an imminent threat (in Micah 5:5-6). It was not a matter of “if” but of “when”.
How do you make it when you face that kind of a future? The situation can feel hopeless, but it helps to remember where God is taking you, and how He does it. Micah’s prophesies on what choices will come…
Micah also famously prophesied of a Messiah to be born in Bethlehem (in 5:2); it’s a famous passage that is often read at Christmas. In course of time that happened. Jesus was born in a manger, not in a golden crib. He came to inspire people greatly when He fed the masses, healed the sick, and taught a path of blessedness that is far different from how the world purses it. He also taught of a kingdom that is more powerful that any kingdom the world has to offer. He inspired many – which made it all the more difficult when the worldly powers seized Him, tortured Him, and put Him to a violent and gruesome death. But of course that wasn’t the end. Jesus rose from the grave, and the experience of conquest and defeat gave way to the experience of victory. And we live in the train of that victory to this very day.
God bless you,
Andrew McHenry, Pastor
First Congregational Church
The blog of Andrew McHenry, Pastor of First Congregational Church of Emporia, Kansas.