“The day for building your walls will come, the day for extending your boundaries. In that day people will come to you from Assyria and the cities of Egypt, even from Egypt to the Euphrates and from sea to sea and from mountain to mountain. The earth will become desolate because of its inhabitants, as a result of their deeds.”
There is no substitute for the reading of the whole of the Bible as a means of building ourselves up in the faith. To be sure we need the work of the Holy Spirit in our inner person to instruct us in the truth of God’s Word. When we become committed to the study of all that the Bible teaches we find ourselves discovering some of the rich treasures which it contains. Kenneth Wuest entitled one of his studies of the Greek New Testament Golden Nuggets from the Greek New Testament. In that volume Wuest explored the riches of the New Testament in its original language and in doing so he served generations of believers by showing them just how rich the truths of the New Testament really are. We make some of the same type of faith growing discoveries when we read all that the Word of God teaches.
Such is the result that comes from reading the verses from the final chapter of the prophetic book of Micah. As we are reading in the text quoted above we hear Micah’s description of the coming restoration of the Kingdom of God. God’s people have been humbled by being sent into exile. The day is coming when they will return from that exile. They will return to Jerusalem from all over the world. Micah sees that God’s people will be scattered into all of the lands around Judah. From all of those lands they will return. The books of Daniel, Ezra and Nehemiah all describe that return. It all happened historically in just the way that God had spoken through His prophets. As we read these things in the Old Testament we find our faith growing because we discover the faithfulness of God in accomplishing those things He has promised.
Our faith grows as well because in these prophesies we not only see historical fulfillment in Micah’s day, we also discover that these events are types, examples of future fulfillments. There will come a day when the Kingdom of God will break into this world in a powerful and a spiritual way through the Incarnation of the Lord Jesus Christ and the gift of the Holy Spirit. In Zechariah 9:9ff we read about this fulfillment in these words.
“Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your King comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. I will take away the chariots from Ephraim and the war horses from Jerusalem, and the battle bow will be broken. He will proclaim peace to the nations. His rule will extend from sea to sea and from the river to the ends of the earth.”
This Prophet looks into the distant future and sees the inauguration of a Kingdom that will be heralded by a Triumphal entry into a great city, and then established in the blood of the covenant, the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ. This coming Kingdom will be established among the very same conditions that brought people to Nehemiah’s Jerusalem. Listen to Luke’s description of the events on the day of Pentecost where the Church (the Kingdom of Christ) had its beginning. It is found in Acts 2:5ff,
“Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard them speaking in his own language. Utterly amazed, they asked: “Are not all these men who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in his own native language? Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs – we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues.”
If you locate these places on a map of the ancient world you will discover that they encircle the city of Jerusalem. On the day of Pentecost the three thousand who were saved were drawn out of all of these lands in fulfillment of prophesy. What a great God we serve. He knows the end of things from there beginning. What we are also led to understand here is that our vision of God’s Kingdom must match His description of it in its worldwide sweep and outreach.