Words of Praise
Blessed are you, Sovereign God of all,
to you be praise and glory for ever.
In your tender compassion
the dawn from on high is breaking upon us
to dispel the lingering shadows of night.
As we look for your coming among us this day,
open our eyes to behold your presence
and strengthen our hands to do your will,
that the world may rejoice and give you praise.
Blessed be God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
In contrast to God’s call for the destruction of weapons and the end of war, these verses in the same chapter depict a god of militarism and vengeance. Earlier, love and good feeling toward all people abounded. Here Micah reaches a climax of hate and vindictiveness against other nations, calling for their annihilation.
God had acted for their good during the bitterness of the Exile, rescuing his people from the hand of their enemies. (v.10) However, in the first century after their return from Babylon, the Jews in Jerusalem struggled for existence. The neighboring nations were determined there would be no substantial Jewish settlement there.
Israel’s enemies were unaware of one factor: God was going to have something to say about the outcome of this matter. “They do not know the thoughts of the Lord; they do not understand his plan.” (v.10) The Gentile nations would be beaten in pieces and their wealth would be devoted “to the Lord of the whole earth.”
God can use human intentions, whether for good or evil, to accomplish what God wills. God takes our human desires, out of good motives or bad, and works toward goals of justice, peace, and mercy. Human sin makes God’s task more difficult, but God’s intention is always toward the good.