“Oh, that I had a thousand lives and a thousand bodies! All of them should be devoted to no other employment but to preach Christ.”

Robert Moffatt

TODAY’S READING: Micah

The prophets foretell (speak to what will happen in the future) and forth-tell (speak to what we should be doing in the present), both in the light of God’s heart for His own glory among all peoples of the world. Micah is no exception. A contemporary of Isaiah, Micah pointed out that the Messiah would come from the line of David, and his foretelling of all nations streaming to the mountain of the Lord in Micah 4:1–3 mirrors that of Isaiah 2:2–4.

I love a phrase that Christopher Wright used when commenting on this Micah passage. He says, “It is the indefatigable mission of God—a mission in which he invites our participation—to bring such universal worship of the nations to joyful reality” (emphasis mine).[1] “The indefatigable mission of God” which we are invited to participate in! How marvelously put! And how wonderful that God allows us to join our small strength to His untiring vision, to the priceless vision that all nations will joyfully bow before His throne. Interestingly in ancient times kings employed professional prophets, those who would help him divine what to do on a daily basis through cultic ritual. Micah thundered against this type of prophet who accused him of ecstatic prattling (2:6, 3:5–7). There is a constant tension between the futurists who speak the probable and those, who despite the apparent facts, call the people of God to the mission of God. We are not missionary logically or pragmatically—we are missionary by obedience. To be missionary is to be full of power by the Spirit of the Lord (3:8), to attempt the illogical, to believe for the impossible. The missionary spirit of God in His people resounds with the global and the eternal—our eyes fixed on all the nations and all of time. We do not restrict the King of kings to one people or one period.

Universal and eternal perspective is critical for missionary living, especially when interpreting the message of Micah. If you ask any Christian to quote a verse from Micah, they will almost inevitably quote Micah 6:8, not 4:1–2. While it is absolutely correct to do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with God, we cannot interpret those verses as a call to social activism without reference to the missionary theme of the book, the prophetic reminder that God’s indefatigable mission is that all nations glorify Him by repenting and believing the gospel.  Social justice is a means, not an end. We do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly along the road of mission. Justice, mercy, and humility are how we lift our voices and proclaim the gospel to every unreached people; they are not means in themselves. The goal is not to be just, merciful, and humble; the goal is that every tongue declares Jesus is Lord and every knee bows before the King. It is toward this priceless goal that we must work, untiringly and indefatigably.

[1] Wright, Christopher J. H. The Mission of God: Unlocking the Bible’s Grand Narrative. IVP Academic.  Downers Grove, IL. 2006. 489.

Prayer Focus: Cote d’Ivoire (36 UPGs)

Today’s Unreached People Group: Hausa
Population: 1,035,000
Language: Hausa
Primary Religion: Islam
Evangelical: 0.0%
Estimated Workers Needed: 2

[Source: Joshua Project]

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