Micah stands out in his proclamation of hope – that a day will come when war will be such a distant memory that weapons will be made into something more useful – swords made into ploughshares, spears into pruning hooks. It’s part of a wider vision where the Temple mount will draw all peoples, coming to learn the ways of God.
It’s a rich and powerful image, and it’s one of a unity which doesn’t come through force but through attraction and example. Micah has denounced the injustices of the rulers of Israel, kings, priests and prophets, who have been concerned only for themselves at the expense of others.
It’s hard to avoid the impression that in Micah’s eyes, one of the things that will draw the nations to the Temple is that it will be the heart of a new, just society.
If we are to be a temple which draws in the peoples of the world, it will not be through force or persuasion but as God works through us to build a new, renewed society. And in the meantime, while we wait for him to do his bit, we do ours, regardless of what’s happening around us.
I love the strength of Micah 4:8 –
For all the peoples walk, each in the name of its god,
but we will walk in the name of the LORD our God for ever and ever.