Monday, November 28

Words of Praise
We shall find peace. We shall hear the angels, we shall see the sky sparkling with diamonds.  Anton Chekov

Micah 4:1-5
Micah envisions a time when Jerusalem and the God of Israel are put at the center of life.  All nations will turn toward Jerusalem and submit to the authority of the Hebrew God. When they are able to do this, then weapons will no longer be necessary and there will no longer be wars.

Interestingly,the book of Isaiah contains the same vision, and virtually the same words, as Micah uses here. For me the question of which prophet borrowed from the other is less important than the fact that they shared a hope for a future without war.

Micah and Isaiah wrote in the 8th century BCE. There have been thousands of wars, large and small, since that time, resulting in untold millions of deaths.

Their vision is an ideal that we may long for, but which seems impossible to achieve. In a world of many cultures and religions, it is a far-off vision that all will submit to the same God, or live in peace under any circumstances. Even Christians cannot agree on what God expects from us.

One “enemy” or threat is replaced by another. The impulse to fight is close to the surface. It is difficult to imagine the elimination of all weapons and all wars. The question, “If we give up our weapons, how can we defend ourselves?” is not going away.

And yet this prophecy remains a vision to be cherished and pursued. It represents the way life should be. Whether it can ever happen in this world, it stands as God’s goal for the future, which might, we hope with the prophets, influence our lives and actions in the present.

This Week’s Prayer

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