This section of Micah combines both hope and warning. The hope shines even more brightly against the dark backdrop of the story of coming judgment. Bad times are in the foreground, but in the distance good times are coming. Beyond the pain of banishment (like that of childbirth, verse 10) there lies the blessing of restoration and triumph. Defeat will be transformed into conquering, rampaging victory: I will transform the battered into a company of the elite. I will make a strong nation out of the long lost, A showcase exhibit of GOD’s rule in action, as I rule from Mount Zion, from here to eternity…But for right now, they’ve ganged up against you, many godless peoples, saying, ”Kick her when she’s down! Violate her! We want to see Zion grovel in the dirt.” These blasphemers have no idea what GOD is thinking and doing in this. They don’t know that this is the making of GOD’s people, that they are wheat being threshed, gold being refined. On your feet, Daughter of Zion! Be threshed of chaff, be refined of dross. I’m remaking you into a people invincible, into God’s juggernaut to crush the godless peoples. You’ll bring their plunder as holy offerings to GOD, their wealth to the Master of the earth. The Message.
God does some of His best work on us and in us during hard times. One of the most meaningful messages we received following the death of my mum made reference to these words: You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand. (John 13:7). At that time (and from that time onwards) Romans 8:28 took on a bright, shiny new meaning for me: And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Underlining mine). Today you may be facing a situation that looks hopeless. It may be something you have contributed to yourself. Or it may have visited your door uninvited. But realise, if you are a Christian, that the Sovereign Lord is in it, and He is on your side. He is working for your good in every situation, and there will be something positive, for your benefit, amidst this negative stuff. The Lord turns things around.
A song by Jamie Owens-Collins states: ‘The hard times make you strong.’ I would qualify that by saying they can. But there is nothing automatic or inevitable about it. We have to co-operate with God in what He is doing; with what He wants to bring about, and submit to His will. Then we will see what He will do with it. He makes delicious meals with unpromising ingredients.
Prayer: Help me Lord to really know in the depths of my heart that you are in control. Enable me to believe my beliefs.