Swords to Plowshares and the Unafraid

bigbibleMicahContinuing along similar lines that Nancy posted here a few days ago…

Micah 4 looks ahead to a day in which Yahweh rules and distributes justice for all nations (in great contrast to the injustices spoken against by the prophet elsewhere in the book!). The passage quoted in the picture is perhaps best known for the image of repurposed swords and spears (cf. Isaiah 2:4). And a powerful image it is.

What I find particular striking, however, is the image that follows in verse 4 of peace and leisure: every person under their vine, fig tree. And: “…no one shall make them afraid.”

No one shall make them afraid. The one who has peace is unafraid.

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The peace Micah envisions in the eschatological Rule of God might seem a long way off in light of current world crises. But Jesus preached the nearness of the Kingdom. And to his disciples he said,

For all the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you.

Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

(Luke 12:30–34 ESV)

This is why biblical scholars and theologians like to talk about the Kingdom as already and not-yet, affirming that, on the one hand, the Kingdom is here and can be experienced in Christ, and on the other hand, its consummation is still future.

To bring both passages into view: The Christian can experience the peace about which Micah speaks. One can be unafraid. Such peace is found in the Kingdom, entered through faith, as expressed in Jesus’ commission of Paul:

‘…to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me [Jesus].’

(Acts 26:18 ESV)

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