30 Days in the Bible, Day 29: Micah 4:1-3
Many teachers and churches today are trying to find ways to make the Bible’s teachings more attractive to unbelievers. This isn’t just trying to find relevant ways to present the Biblical message, which is a process that has been going on for almost 2000 years now. These teachers want to ignore certain passages, emphasize others, and maybe even outright reject certain teachings as old-fashioned or outdated.
In today’s passage Micah looks forward to the time when the Lord will be directly judging the earth. He will be teaching His ways to all the people, and the result will be peace and righteousness. This won’t just be for Israel, or some limited earthly kingdom. This will be a rule and a judgment for all the nations of the earth.
The prophets of the Old Testament often preached a message that the Lord’s love and mercy wasn’t only for Israel. There weren’t many Jews who accepted that. They thought that God worked through His people, and that to follow Him you had to become a Jew first. Even some groups of Christians in the early years of the church taught that you had to become a Jew before becoming a Christian. The vision of a worldwide people of God took a while to catch on.
Micah sees this time as one when the message of the Lord is so attractive to everyone on earth that they “stream to it.” The picture we have here is not of a coerced bowing down before the judgment of the Lord. Rather, the way of the Lord is something sought out by people who are willing to do whatever it takes to hear His Word.
There is a certain truth to the statement that people are not attracted to the message of the Bible, especially the gospel, in our culture today. Then again, there never was a time when the truth of Scripture didn’t offend people. The Bible tells us we are all sinners, that we can’t help ourselves, and that there is only one way of salvation. It teaches us what God expects of humanity, and tells us that going our own way is wrong. These messages will never attract people who are sinful by nature, living for themselves.
But when the Holy Spirit moves, the Word is seen for what it is: God’s communication of His love, grace, and mercy to us even though we are sinners and rebels against His laws. This shows us just how attractive the gospel message is, and how powerful the teaching of Scripture can be in helping us become the people God created us to be.
While we do want to communicate the truth of God’s Word in ways that people in our society understand, we don’t need to make the Bible more appealing to people. If they choose to live for themselves, they will reject it without any concern for what it says. If they are led by the Spirit, they will be drawn to its message. While the day Micah foresaw has not happened yet, we can be sure that the Word of the Lord will continue to draw people of all nations, races, languages, and cultures to Him as they heed the leading of the Holy Spirit.