When I was a kid, I
couldn’t wait to be as big as my older brothers.  Being the youngest of three brothers wasn’t
easy.  Not only was I not the biggest,
strongest, or smartest, I was hopelessly outnumbered and it seemed everything
they could do was helplessly beyond my little reach.  Such is the life with brothers, I guess. 


I couldn’t wait until I was
bigger and challenge them.  I laugh at it
now because in the mind of a seven year old it made so much sense but now it’s
just silly…well, at least it’s childish thoughts.


Little Israel and Judah
faced challenges from “big brothers” who wanted to destroy them.  The land on which they sat was a valuable
passageway for trade and valuable in terms of military, strategic advantage. 


Israel and Judah weren’t
doing so hot.  Matter of fact, they were
doing terribly.  Making matters worse:
their Warrior Who had been protecting them was finally letting them get what they
wanted: life without Him.  When the Lord
backed off His protection, they didn’t stand a chance.  They got what they wanted.  Do you think they wanted what they got?


But there was hope.  There’s always hope.  Micah 5:1-4 promised a Messiah—a
Deliverer.  Yes, they were about to face
defeat but the Lord was still with them while they were on the receiving end of
God’s purging justice.


In Micah 5:5-15 we read:


And he will be our peace when the Assyrians invade our land and march through
our fortresses. We will raise against them seven shepherds, even eight
commanders, 6 who will rule the land of Assyria with the sword, the
land of Nimrod with drawn sword. He will deliver us from the Assyrians when
they invade our land and march across our borders.


The remnant of Jacob will be in the midst of many peoples like dew from the
Lord, like showers on the grass, which do not wait for anyone or depend on man.
8 The remnant of Jacob will be among the nations, in the midst of
many peoples, like a lion among the beasts of the forest, like a young lion
among flocks of sheep, which mauls and mangles as it goes, and no one can
rescue. 9 Your hand will be lifted up in triumph over your enemies,
and all your foes will be destroyed.


“In that day,” declares the Lord, “I will destroy your horses from among you
and demolish your chariots. 11 I will destroy the cities of your
land and tear down all your strongholds. 12 I will destroy your
witchcraft and you will no longer cast spells. 13 I will destroy
your idols and your sacred stones from among you; you will no longer bow down
to the work of your hands. 14 I will uproot from among you your
Asherah poles when I demolish your cities. 15 I will take vengeance
in anger and wrath on the nations that have not obeyed me.”


One day—eventually—their
enemies would be defeated (verses 5-6), a faithful remnant would be blessed (verses
7-9), and the nation would be purged of its sins (verses 10-15).  So much of the blogs on Micah have focused on
pain.  It’s not by my design, but the
Lord has something to teach us about how we cope with pain.  Sometimes the pain is caused by the
maliciousness of this fallen world and we are truly victims.  But sometimes pain is caused by us.


The northern kingdom of
Israel had fallen to the Assyrian army because of God’s punishment to them for
rampant idolatry and giving themselves to other gods.  Judah, the southern kingdom, was now in the
same boat.  They sold their birthright
for temporary pleasures and the Lord was about to show them what life without
Him really feels like.  What if your pain
is just like that?


Do you live in such a way
that tells God, “Hey, I don’t really need you right now.  I’m doing my thing.  When I get in a tight spot, I’ll be in
touch.”  Of course, most of us would
never just outright pray that but are we acting like that?  Do we move through our lives pursuing
everything under the sun except the Lord and then wonder why we keep getting
punished for it? 


I fear so much of our pain
is self-induced.


We want to live life without God and so He pulls back a little and gives us what we want.  Then we get what we want, but do we want what
we got?


On the other side of that
pain, however, is a purifying only God can do. 
When Israel was reassembled after the exile, idolatry was never a
problem again.  They learned that lesson
the hard way, but they learned it.  Yes,
things were about to change for the worse, but even in the punishment God had a
plan.  Eventually, things would change
from their punishment and the Lord would bring them back.


One day, dear friend, the
Lord will pull you from that pain and make you stronger in Him than you were
before.  I hope and pray you turn from
your “idols” and seek His face before He decides to let you have your way alone
but even if that’s what it takes…things will change.


If you’re in the middle of
that self-induced pain, perhaps the words of a recent Casting Crowns song might


Verse 1

I have what you need

But you keep on searching

I’ve done all the work

But you keep on working

When you’re running on empty

And you can’t find the remedy

Just come to the well


Verse 2

You can spend your whole life

Chasing what’s missing

But that empty inside

It just ain’t gonna listen

When nothing can satisfy

And the world leaves you high and dry

Just come to the well



And all who thirst will thirst no more

And all who search will find

What their souls long for

The world will try but it can never fill

So leave it all behind

And come to the well


Verse 3

So bring Me your heart

No matter how broken

Just come as you are

When your last prayer is spoken

Just rest in My arms a while

You’ll feel the change My child

When you come to the well


And all who thirst will thirst no more

And all who search will find

What their souls long for

The world will try but it can never fill

So leave it all behind

And come to the well


Verse 4

And now that you’re full

Of love beyond measure

Your joy’s gonna flow

Like a stream in the desert

Soon all the world will see

That living water is found in Me

‘Cause you’ve come to the well



And all who thirst will thirst no more

And all who search will find

What their souls long for

The world will try but it can never fill

So leave it all behind

And come to the well

 “The Well”

Mark Hall | Matthew West

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