A Voice in the
Wilderness

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Re: The Man Sitting in front of His House (Micah 4:4)

"But everyone shall sit under his vine and under his fig tree, And no
one shall make them afraid; For the mouth of Jehovah of Hosts has
spoken." (Mic4:4)

Over the past couple of months the people moved out of the rental house
across the street from me, the owners cleaned and painted, and next
thing I knew, with no "For Rent" signs ever appearing in the yard, it
was already re-rented right away.

After a week or more, there was finally occasion that I met the man. A
rather nice-seeming elderly retired man. In visiting, it became known
that while they had just moved in, all their belongings were yet
sitting back over in Wisconsin, from whence they had moved. Half-way
across the country. Now, as neighbors can obviously see each other when
they are outside, particularly in the warmer summertime, I would also
see him over their 'trying to' putter around at this and that... but,
mostly just 'pacing'.

Now, within the past couple weeks, they finally made the trip back to
haul all their belongings over in a rental truck. It took them a few 
days to get the truck all unloaded, and moved into their house. Doing
as I would do...doing it all themselves...no 'professional' movers.

The other evening I finally knew the man was feeling "at home" in his
new digs when I came home from work, and then went for my daily walk.
He was out there, in front of the house, 'sitting' in his patio/lawn
chair. Remember two paragraphs earlier I said he had previously been
"trying to" putter. Never really 'doing' anything, but pacing back and
forth at this and that.  He wasn't really "home" yet, then.  But now,
with all his belongings in place, sitting in front of 'his' home. The
"lord" of his castle. A look of contentment and peace. A look of
"belonging".

Now, if the front of the house were to have a tree or grape arbor, the
picture of our opening passage would be complete. In this country many
older houses used to have porches, where people could sit under an
extended roof, when the day's work was done, to relax; or visit with
friends and enjoy refreshments.  Where I grew up as a child in Japan,
out our back door was a rather extended grape arbor, set up not at all
unlike the roof of a porch, with the grape vines growing through the
trellis.

Why is God making a point to prophesy that this "will be" the case for
Israel? Because Jerusalem will have been in a state of having been
"plowed as a field". (Mic3:12) As we know from many other passages,
Israel will have undergone a time of utter horror as all the nations
gather together to fight against God, against Israel. God will have
refined her in the "refiners fire" (Mal3:2-3) It is such a time that it
is asked, "But who can endure the day of His coming?" (vs2a) "Alas!"
The "..time of Jacob's trouble" (Jer30:7) And indeed, as we have
observed in the past, when all is said and done, "two parts in it shall
be cut off [and] perish, but the third shall be left in it" (Zech13:8b)

And so, the scenario where they are sitting under the trees and vines
is after God has fully restored them, where He will have "rebuked the
strong nations" and people are no longer learning "war any more"
(Mi4:3) Where the people of the nations are streaming to Jerusalem to 
learn of God, "..He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His 
paths" (vs2)

But Israel is obviously not there today. It is getting to the point 
where almost daily someone dies at the hands of Israel's enemies. And 
her leadership seems loathe to take the necessary steps to quash it; 
and if they begin to take steps, her primary benefactor [USA] says,
"Dont"; so they don't.  I expect that that, too, is waiting for the
"right moment", as is the rest of the world for their anti-christ
'hero' to emerge. The media doesn't tell us how Arafat goes so far as
to issue commands which bring about open gunfire on children-laden
school busses. Yes, indeed! The PLO are commanded to purposely shoot at
Israeli children! (Such 'brave' warriors they [PLO] are!!) He tells
those under him, "Don't pay any attention to what you hear me say on
TV" [where he speaks of 'peace talks', and 'cease fires'] but rather,
"these" are your orders..!

Today's scenario has people ducking around under cover. Always keeping
an eye open for quick shelter in which to hide when the fighting
erupts. Children are whisked here and there in armored bullet-proofed
busses. Many agencies are raising funds to pass out bullet-proof vests
for Israel's common citizens and children. They all have their gas
masks at the ready, to guard against poisonous gas weapons. Today's
scenario is -NOT- Micah 4:4..! And it -will- get worse in the coming
months.

Remember how Jesus used the example of the woman in labor, giving
birth, how the sorrow comes first, and then she has "joy that a person
has been born" (Jn16:21) Here is how God promises Israel's future: "A
roaring sound from the city! A sound from the temple! [It is] the sound
of Jehovah repaying retribution to His enemies. Before she travailed,
she brought forth; before pain came to her, she delivered a male child.
Who has heard [a thing] like this? Who has seen [things] like these?
Shall the earth be brought forth [in] one day? Shall a nation be born
in one step? For Zion travailed and also brought forth her sons. Shall
I bring to the birth, and not cause to bring forth? says Jehovah.
Surely I cause birth, and hold back, says your God. Rejoice with
Jerusalem, and be glad with her, all who love her. Rejoice a rejoicing
with her, all who mourn for her..." (~Is66:6-10)

Yes, the situation in Israel will get worse before it gets better. She
will have victories. But then, towards the end, just before Christ
returns with His "saints with [Him]" (Zech14:5) she will be in
desperate straits as she will be on the brink of annihilation. But
those who turn to Him and "call upon the name of the Lord" (Joel2:32)
can put their trust in God's promise to deliver them. And this is one
of those promises of Israel's future in peace.

Those the nations were making Israel outcast, but God says, "I will
assemble the lame, I will gather the outcast, and those whom I have
afflicted" as their Messiah, "Jehovah will reign over them in Mount
Zion" (Mic4:6-7)

The children who are now shuttled around in armored vehicles?  While 
the "old men and old women [are] sitting in the streets of Jerusalem; 
and each man with his staff in his hand because of great age" in that 
day, the "streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing
in its streets." (Zech8:4-5)  They will be secure/safe and happy.

Just like my neighbor sitting in front of his house...

"Thus says Jehovah of Hosts: Behold, I will save My people from the 
land of the rising [sun] and from the land of the sunset. And I will
bring them, and they shall live in the midst of Jerusalem. And they
shall be My people, and I will be their God, in truth and in
righteousness." (Zech8:7-8)

Amen!