Scripture Focus: Micah 4.3-4
3 He will judge between many peoples
and will settle disputes for strong nations far and wide.
They will beat their swords into plowshares
and their spears into pruning hooks.
Nation will not take up sword against nation,
nor will they train for war anymore.
4 Everyone will sit under their own vine
and under their own fig tree,
and no one will make them afraid,
for the Lord Almighty has spoken.
21 Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”
Reflection: Already But Not Yet
By Erin Newton
The Israelites were rebuked for their idolatry, injustice, envy, theft, false prophets, and sexual immorality. They were about to reap the consequences of their sin, but God did not leave them in despair. This window of hope is a glimpse into the mercy of God. They would need these words in the hard days ahead.
They were forced to be exiles. Suffering and warfare were before them. The mercy and love of God moved the prophet to declare that God will restore them in that day. The forecast of peace is a balm to those who know calamity is coming.
It is a vision of a heavenly future: fair justice, cessation of warfare, peace. Fear is abolished. People can rest and sleep under the trees. Weapons of war are turned into agricultural tools. It is a transition from death-dealing to life-giving activities.
In that day, peace will come. It was a future event, something for the Israelites to cling to as they persevered in suffering. It is sometimes called “The Day of the Lord” and usually depicts an apocalyptic time of worldwide peace and restoration under the reign of God alone.
It is good to hope for the future reign of peace. It can be a comfort in times of turmoil to know that the world will not always be full of injustice and war. Death will turn into life. That day will come with the full restoration of peace and justice that we see in the end of Revelation. Whispers of the future are scattered throughout the prophetic books. However, that day has not been entirely fulfilled.
Even though we long for that day, do we just sit around and wait for God to intervene? What do we do today? It is a day that is already but not yet, partially fulfilled in the coming of Jesus and his death and resurrection.
John 20 tells us how Jesus breathed on the disciples and they received the Holy Spirit. Just like the breath that gave life in the Garden of Eden, new life is given to the disciples. They are then commissioned to go and give life to others.
The commission of Christ demands that we cease combativeness and pursue restoration. We have an opportunity to bring a glimpse of this future peace into reality today. Jesus commands us to bring life now.
Divine Hours Prayer: The Call to Prayer
Praise God from whom all blessings flow; praise him, all creatures here below; praise him above, you heavenly hosts; praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. — Traditional Doxology
Read more about God Is The Hero, not Us
We are separated from God by our sins, yet he is with us and longing for us at the same time. The already and the not yet are side-by-side.
Read more about Restoration Begins
Restoration begins with repentance. Exile and slavery are not the end for God’s people. They’re more like a restart.