Micah 2:12, 13
Not only must we have a Biblical ministry in the church (a point emphasised yesterday), but it must also be a balanced ministry. We often find in the prophets that following strong and even severe words about judgment, you get others bringing comfort, encouragement and hope. These two verses look to a time in the distant future when God’s people will return to the land from exile. However, the word remnant reminds us that judgment is a terrible reality. Of those taken into captivity, only some (those who remained faithful to God) would return.

  • Following scattering there will be gathering (12; see also Isaiah 10:20-23): You can feel the tenderness and loving desire in these words. God wants His people back home. The Shepherd of Israel longs for the sheep to be in the safety of the fold. There is a certainty about what is going to happen. Look how the word surely is repeated. Beyond the dark night of judgment the sun will rise and a new day will dawn. This prophecy began to be fulfilled in a preliminary way when the exiles returned from Babylon, beginning in 538 B.C. However, the promise in verse 12 would only be completely accomplished in the Messianic age. (Consider, for example, John 10. It is being brought to pass through the coming of Jesus, and all that it means will gradually unfold.).
  •  Following reduction there will be expansion and growth (12b): …the place will throng with people. (a milling throng of homebound people! The Message. )
  • Following their King there will be breakthrough (13): ”…Then I, GOD, will burst all confinements and lead them out into the open. They’ll follow their King. I will be out in front leading them.” The Message. The key to breakthrough in every situation is to look to the Lord as your head; keep your eyes on Him and follow Him. He goes before (x2). He is the One who breaks open the way so that you can break through the gate. He is the One who will lead you out of captivity and bondage and into true freedom. But you have to let Him go before you. Your King will be your Shepherd. The mind of the prophet conceives of the people as captives in a foreign city, surrounded by lofty walls and frowning gates. Like impassable barriers, these lie between them and liberty. There seems no hope of their being able to break forth; but all suddenly a Breaker appears, who, summoning them to follow, breaks through the opposition of armed men and of mighty bulwarks. With resistless might, He breaks his way through; and they that follow Him are described as having broken forth, and passed on to the gate, and gone out thereat. First the Lord, then their king, and then hosts of men. No finer description could be imagined of the resurrection, which we celebrate as the first day of every week recurs…”The Breaker is gone up” before his redeemed ones. See! They too are breaking forth, and passing on through the gate – their King passing on before them. This is also true of every new era of time and novelty of circumstance. Circumstances, like prison walls, may confine us; but our Breaker is always preceding us, breaking down opposition and strong ramparts of apparently impassable difficulty…Keep close beside Him, as the armour-bearer behind Jonathon. Let there be no perceptible interspace. The iron gate of the city will open of its own accord, through which you shall pass into perfect liberty. F.B. Meyer: Great Verses through the Bible, p.351.

Prayer: Lord you know how badly I need a breakthrough. Help me to look to you with complete trust for what only you can bring about.