Google+ 02/16/13 Pruning Hooks and Plowshares!

Micah 4:3-4


The Lord will mediate between peoples and will settle disputes between strong nations far away.
They will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks.
Nation will no longer fight against nation, nor train for war anymore.
Everyone will live in peace and prosperity,

Enjoying their own grapevines and fig trees, for there will be nothing to fear.
The Lord of Heaven’s Armies has made this promise!


Is it possible that "nation will no longer fight against nation?"  God told the prophet Micah that this would certainly be the case, in the "last days."  Micah, the Morasthite, as he was identified in Chapter 1 of this small but important book in the Old Testament, was not a popular prophet among the people of Judah.  Why, you ask?  Micah prophesied against his own city!  Yes, Micah listened to God and gave big warnings to the people of Moresheth-gath about their behavior and practices.  Micah's prophesy was held in such high regard, and so accurate to the Word of God, that it has been dubbed the sister book of Isaiah, or "Isaiah in shorthand!"  Micah says that there will be no need for swords, which the people will hammer into plowshares.  Ok, what's a plowshare?  Because most of us are no longer "agricultural experts," I will help out in this area.  The "plowshare" is the sharp part of the blade that would do the cutting of the land on a plow.  So, the metaphor leaves us believing that men will become much more productive using what used to "cut" men, often times resulting in death, for what will "cut" and plow the ground.  The dangerous spears are going to be turned into pruning hooks.  Once again, instruments of destruction are turned into instruments of peace.  Finally, Micah tells us we will all live in peace, and enjoy our own fig trees and grapevines.  How is all this accomplished?  God's Heavenly armies ordain it!  So, bloodshed is necessary for peace?  The Bible tells us that many times the answer to this question is "YES."  When should we fight?  When God ordains it for His Kingdom.  Sometimes it is not about running into a situation with our "sword" drawn.  Peter tried that in the Garden of Gethsemane and Jesus stopped him, reversing the damage Peter had done.  Jesus told Peter that "He that lives by the sword, dies by the sword."  The key here is "Living" by the sword.  Jesus and Micah are trying to tell us that our "swords" are not the answer to every problem.  Look around your daily environment.  I believe you will find that almost everyone's "sword" is drawn.  Before we are even aware of what is happening, someone's ear gets cut off!  This reminder from Micah to his people is what made him so unpopular.  So too, with me as a minister on many occasions!  My admonition to you today is to "sheath your sword" and leave it there until God calls for it.  What God, Micah, and I are trying to tell you, is that if you keep your "sword sheathed," you will eventually find that you don't need it to protect your fig trees or grapevines!  On that day when God delivers us from our enemies, we too can hammer our useless swords into plowshares and turn our spears into pruning hooks.  I don't know about you, but how I long for that day!