READ: Micah 4-5
THINK: Many people long for peace in the world, and that's a noble desire. But this hope becomes misguided when it expects some kind of political process, social system or an influential individual to bring lasting peace. Even the most well-intended worldly ideals can never resolve the worlds conflicts, unite all people and bring tranquility to earth-let alone bring tranquility to the soul. Only one plan-God's-and only one Person-Jesus Christ-can bring true, lasting peace. The first time Jesus came to earth, He made the way for souls to find rest through a relationship with God. Only when Jesus returns to defeat the end-time forces of evil and rule the world for a thousand years will people experience the kind of peace they've dreamed of. For God's people, that peace will carry on for eternity.
RESPOND: What time period does Micah refer to at the beginning of chapter 4, what will this time be like, and when will it begin? (See 4:1 note.) What do you think it means to "walk in the name of the LORD" (4:5), and how should this affect your life? (See 4: 5 note.) How does Micah's focus transition in 4:9, what does he tell his people (4:10), and what's amazing about the timing of this prediction? (See 4:9-13 note.) Who is the Ruler that would come out of Bethlehem (5:2), and what does it mean that His "origins are from of old, from ancient times"? (See 5:2 note.) What does it mean that God would abandon Israel until that time, and why would He do this? (See 5:3 note.) How did Micah and other prophets often relate descriptions of Jesus' first and second comings? (See 5:4 note.) How did Jesus' first coming bring peace, and in what way will His final return to earth bring peace? (See 5:5 note.) What kinds of practices, which had become common at the time, will the Lord eventually wipe out?
PRAY: Pray that you'll live in a way that's worthy of associating with Jesus and representing Him. Thank Jesus for the spiritual peace He brought by His first coming and the worldwide peace He will bring when He returns.
ACT: Stay steady in your attitude-whether things are going well or not-by demonstrating God's peace and patience. Give other others a break when they do things that might normally bother or offend you. Help and encourage individuals who seem to be frustrated or lacking peace.
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