There are no shortcuts
You will go to Babylon; there you will be rescued.
Do you have any regrets, things from your past that you struggle to let go of? Sit quietly and name them before God, and if appropriate pray a formal confession.
‘But if I don’t go to Babylon, I won’t need to be rescued!’ You shake your head in exasperation. But there are no shortcuts: God cannot ignore sin and forget the punishment.
On Monday we saw that God’s plan for his people was ‘disaster’; today Micah reveals that God’s final word is not ‘ruin’ but ‘rescue’ (v 10). The nations gloating over Israel don’t understand (vs 11-12); even through the punishment, God will restore his people.
Micah offers a glimpse of that future with the famous words: ‘Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war any more’ (v 3). God will gather his people together and rule over them from his holy mountain (vs 6-7), and their enemies will be destroyed (v 13). There will – at last – be peace.
But as the joy of a new-born baby can only come after the agony of childbirth (vs 9-10), so God’s people have to go through the pain of Babylon to reach that peace. There are no shortcuts, which is why Jesus had to go to the cross: the price had to be paid, the punishment received. God doesn’t ignore sin and its consequences; he renews, rescues and redeems his people.
It is only as we realise how serious is our sin that we become truly thankful for the gift of life in Jesus. We have heard a lot about sin this week: so today thank God for his gift of forgiveness, and receive his peace.