“Therefore because of you, Zion will be plowed like a field, Jerusalem will become a heap of rubble, the Temple hill a mound overgrown with thickets.”
A number of years ago our Bible Study group was reflecting upon this text from the book of Micah. It comes at the end of a chapter in which the Prophet is issuing a message in which the people of Judah are convicted of their sin. They have turned to the worship of other things, all the while they have been holding on to the conceit that God will protect them, simply because He is their God. Micah boldly confronts them with the disastrous judgement which is about to come upon them. It is a judgement which is in agreement with the sin of the people of Judah, and which will certainly fall upon them unless they repent.
This text in Micah has the distinction of being one of the few passages in the Word of God which is quoted verbatim in another part of the Scripture. There we are given an understanding of the response that Micah received from King Hezekiah. In Jeremiah 26:17-19 we read, “Some of the elders of the land stepped forward and said to the entire assembly of people, “Micah of Moresheth prophesied in the days of Hezekiah king of Judah. He told the people of Judah, ‘This is what the Lord Almighty says: Zion will be plowed like a field, Jerusalem will become a heap of rubble, the Temple hill a mound overgrown with thickets.’ Did Hezekiah king of Judah or anyone else in Judah put him to death? Did not Hezekiah fear the Lord and seek His favour? And did not the Lord relent, so that He did not bring the disaster He pronounced against them? We are about to bring a terrible disaster on ourselves.””
Isaiah 37:14ff records the prayer of repentance which Hezekiah the King of Judah prayed to the Lord when he was faced with disaster. Out of an abundance of reverence for God Hezekiah prayed, and God delivered him from disaster. The message is clear for us. As Christians we are called to be people who reverence God. In great difficulty we are called to repent and to seek God’s intervention. Our lives must be marked by a lifestyle of repentance and prayerfulness. How easily we drift away from this reality. God’s grace constantly invites us to come back to Him.
In the book The Kneeling Christian we are reminded that at every key moment in the history of the Christian Church the one thing that turned the tide and brought revival and restoration into our life together once again was a fresh, Spirit imparted vision of the face of God. People, like Hezekiah and the people of Judah, began to prayerfully and reverently to seek the face of God once again. God answered by meeting their need and restoring their fellowship with Him.
It is to this prayerful seeking that we are called once again. Will you join me in praying for the revival of the Lord’s work once again? Nothing less will do.