A universal peace summit summons. Everyone is an emissary, ambassador of equal importance and independently appointed. The flight, drive or walk is not far, nor difficult. No sign warns of winter conditions, chains or traction devices required, bombing, fire and revolution across any wall. The magic mountain venue approaches all. A congress of compassion in unanimous agreement. No elevation is mentioned. Micah 4:1, “It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and it shall be lifted up about the hills; and peoples shall flow to it….”
Mountains in the northwest include Mt. Hood at 11,200 +/-, Mt. Rainer 14,000, and Denali (formerly called Mt. McKinley) at 20,310 feet, making it the highest in North America. The tallest, 29,029; Mt. Everest. These majestic mountains demand respect from people. Weather adjusting patterns of behaviors affecting sight beautiful joy of moisture formation and radiant reflection of a brilliant day. Yet ominous conditions can cripple even the most well-equipped, seasoned adventurers.
These natural wonders were formed from the earth's heart, destructive disruption on a massive level. David the Psalmist agonizes, "Out of the depths I cry to there from the heavens,” The Mountain venue has an anxiously anticipated agenda with one topic: Peace! It is a twist to realize when the Bible uses in English either LORD which means the personal, saving God, whereas the lower case Lord is more as the currently master description of God. It is with new eyes as this distinction is applied to our God who is the Chairman of this, His Mountain of peace.
“Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD. Oh Lord, hear my voice! Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my pleas for mercy! If you, O LORD, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? Israel, hope in the Lord! For with the Lord there is steadfast love, and with him is plentiful redemption. And he will redeem Israel from all his iniquities.” Psalm 130:1-3, 7, 8 + 4:12
“Let us go up that He may teach us his ways and we may walk in His paths. For out of Zion shall go out the Law of and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. He shall judge between many peoples, and shall decide for strong nations far away; and they shall beat their swords into plowshare and their spears into pruning hook; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war no more but they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree, and no one shall make them afraid, for the mouth of the LORD has spoken it.” Micah 4:3, 4
Among the many gardening tools of peace a current synonym may be programming controls on our electronic devices to block search engines for war and instead searching for peace. Tools of kindness, hope and love, replacing, discrimination, bullying any living creature of any ethnicity, religion, citizenship, alternative life style. Photographers, climbers and recreation enthusiast will no longer battle potential oxygen deprivation, hazards, weariness or fatal accident. All may boldly leap upon this Mountain!
Mary Gibbs Murray
was born in Cortland, New York. She attended the same parochial Adventist school she would later be principal and teacher. Academy included Union Springs and Shenandoah Valley. Although she attended Pacific Union and Andrews, she received a BA in Art and Elementary cum laude from SUNY Cortland, MA in Education Administration from AUC. Teaching included adjunct at the local Jr. college. She cherishes two adult children, Sarita and Dale Pickett and one grandson, Alexander the Great! Her artwork has won international acclaim in addition she derives great joy in volunteer positions in area hospitals. Her other passion is music and is involved in Gresham United Methodist Choir, Festival Chorale Oregon, Salem and seasonal Hood View Choirs. Marriage to her best friend, Rogers Murray has brought her to Boring to flourish.
Judgment on Israel and Judah
1 The word of the Lord that came to Micah of Moresheth in the days of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, which he saw concerning Samaria and Jerusalem.
The Coming Judgment on Israel
2 Hear, all you peoples!
Listen, O earth, and all that is in it!
Let the Lord God be a witness against you,
The Lord from His holy temple.
3 For behold, the Lord is coming out of His place;
He will come down
And tread on the high places of the earth.
4 The mountains will melt under Him,
And the valleys will split
Like wax before the fire,
Like waters poured down a steep place.
5 All this is for the transgression of Jacob
And for the sins of the house of Israel.
What is the transgression of Jacob?
Is it not Samaria?
And what are the high places of Judah?
Are they not Jerusalem?
6 “Therefore I will make Samaria a heap of ruins in the field,
Places for planting a vineyard;
I will pour down her stones into the valley,
And I will uncover her foundations.
7 All her carved images shall be beaten to pieces,
And all her pay as a harlot shall be burned with the fire;
All her idols I will lay desolate,
For she gathered it from the pay of a harlot,
And they shall return to the pay of a harlot.”
Mourning for Israel and Judah
8 Therefore I will wail and howl,
I will go stripped and naked;
I will make a wailing like the jackals
And a mourning like the ostriches,
9 For her wounds are incurable.
For it has come to Judah;
It has come to the gate of My people—
10 Tell it not in Gath,
Weep not at all;
In Beth Aphrah
Roll yourself in the dust.
11 Pass by in naked shame, you inhabitant of Shaphir;
The inhabitant of Zaanan does not go out.
Beth Ezel mourns;
Its place to stand is taken away from you.
12 For the inhabitant of Maroth pined for good,
But disaster came down from the Lord
To the gate of Jerusalem.
13 O inhabitant of Lachish,
Harness the chariot to the swift steeds
(She was the beginning of sin to the daughter of Zion),
For the transgressions of Israel were found in you.
14 Therefore you shall give presents to Moresheth Gath;
The houses of Achzib shall be a lie to the kings of Israel.
15 I will yet bring an heir to you, O inhabitant of Mareshah;
The glory of Israel shall come to Adullam.
16 Make yourself bald and cut off your hair,
Because of your precious children;
Enlarge your baldness like an eagle,
For they shall go from you into captivity.
Woe to Evildoers
1 Woe to those who devise iniquity,
And work out evil on their beds!
At morning light they practice it,
Because it is in the power of their hand.
2 They covet fields and take them by violence,
Also houses, and seize them.
So they oppress a man and his house,
A man and his inheritance.
3 Therefore thus says the Lord:
“Behold, against this family I am devising disaster,
From which you cannot remove your necks;
Nor shall you walk haughtily,
For this is an evil time.
4 In that day one shall take up a proverb against you,
And lament with a bitter lamentation, saying:
‘We are utterly destroyed!
He has changed the heritage of my people;
How He has removed it from me!
To a turncoat He has divided our fields.’ ”
5 Therefore you will have no one to determine boundaries by lot
In the assembly of the Lord.
6 “Do not prattle,” you say to those who prophesy.
So they shall not prophesy to you;
They shall not return insult for insult.
7 You who are named the house of Jacob:
“Is the Spirit of the Lord restricted?
Are these His doings?
Do not My words do good
To him who walks uprightly?
8 “Lately My people have risen up as an enemy—
You pull off the robe with the garment
From those who trust you, as they pass by,
Like men returned from war.
9 The women of My people you cast out
From their pleasant houses;
From their children
You have taken away My glory forever.
10 “Arise and depart,
For this is not your rest;
Because it is defiled, it shall destroy,
Yes, with utter destruction.
11 If a man should walk in a false spirit
And speak a lie, saying,
‘I will prophesy to you of wine and drink,’
Even he would be the prattler of this people.
12 “I will surely assemble all of you, O Jacob,
I will surely gather the remnant of Israel;
I will put them together like sheep of the fold,
Like a flock in the midst of their pasture;
They shall make a loud noise because of so many people.
13 The one who breaks open will come up before them;
They will break out,
Pass through the gate,
And go out by it;
Their king will pass before them,
With the Lord at their head.”
Wicked Rulers and Prophets
1 And I said:
“Hear now, O heads of Jacob,
And you rulers of the house of Israel:
Is it not for you to know justice?
2 You who hate good and love evil;
Who strip the skin from My people,
And the flesh from their bones;
3 Who also eat the flesh of My people,
Flay their skin from them,
Break their bones,
And chop them in pieces
Like meat for the pot,
Like flesh in the caldron.”
4 Then they will cry to the Lord,
But He will not hear them;
He will even hide His face from them at that time,
Because they have been evil in their deeds.
5 Thus says the Lord concerning the prophets
Who make my people stray;
Who chant “Peace”
While they chew with their teeth,
But who prepare war against him
Who puts nothing into their mouths:
6 “Therefore you shall have night without vision,
And you shall have darkness without divination;
The sun shall go down on the prophets,
And the day shall be dark for them.
7 So the seers shall be ashamed,
And the diviners abashed;
Indeed they shall all cover their lips;
For there is no answer from God.”
8 But truly I am full of power by the Spirit of the Lord,
And of justice and might,
To declare to Jacob his transgression
And to Israel his sin.
9 Now hear this,
You heads of the house of Jacob
And rulers of the house of Israel,
Who abhor justice
And pervert all equity,
10 Who build up Zion with bloodshed
And Jerusalem with iniquity:
11 Her heads judge for a bribe,
Her priests teach for pay,
And her prophets divine for money.
Yet they lean on the Lord, and say,
“Is not the Lord among us?
No harm can come upon us.”
12 Therefore because of you
Zion shall be plowed like a field,
Jerusalem shall become heaps of ruins,
And the mountain of the temple
Like the bare hills of the forest.
The Lord’s Reign in Zion
1 Now it shall come to pass in the latter days
That the mountain of the Lord’s house
Shall be established on the top of the mountains,
And shall be exalted above the hills;
And peoples shall flow to it.
2 Many nations shall come and say,
“Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
To the house of the God of Jacob;
He will teach us His ways,
And we shall walk in His paths.”
For out of Zion the law shall go forth,
And the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
3 He shall judge between many peoples,
And rebuke strong nations afar off;
They shall beat their swords into plowshares,
And their spears into pruning hooks;
Nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
Neither shall they learn war anymore.
4 But everyone shall sit under his vine and under his fig tree,
And no one shall make them afraid;
For the mouth of the Lord of hosts has spoken.
5 For all people walk each in the name of his god,
But we will walk in the name of the Lord our God
Forever and ever.
Zion’s Future Triumph
6 “In that day,” says the Lord,
“I will assemble the lame,
I will gather the outcast
And those whom I have afflicted;
7 I will make the lame a remnant,
And the outcast a strong nation;
So the Lord will reign over them in Mount Zion
From now on, even forever.
8 And you, O tower of the flock,
The stronghold of the daughter of Zion,
To you shall it come,
Even the former dominion shall come,
The kingdom of the daughter of Jerusalem.”
9 Now why do you cry aloud?
Is there no king in your midst?
Has your counselor perished?
For pangs have seized you like a woman in labor.
10 Be in pain, and labor to bring forth,
O daughter of Zion,
Like a woman in birth pangs.
For now you shall go forth from the city,
You shall dwell in the field,
And to Babylon you shall go.
There you shall be delivered;
There the Lord will redeem you
From the hand of your enemies.
11 Now also many nations have gathered against you,
Who say, “Let her be defiled,
And let our eye look upon Zion.”
12 But they do not know the thoughts of the Lord,
Nor do they understand His counsel;
For He will gather them like sheaves to the threshing floor.
13 “Arise and thresh, O daughter of Zion;
For I will make your horn iron,
And I will make your hooves bronze;
You shall beat in pieces many peoples;
I will consecrate their gain to the Lord,
And their substance to the Lord of the whole earth.”
Waiting for the Redemption of the Lord
A Song of Ascents.
1 Out of the depths I have cried to You, O Lord;
2 Lord, hear my voice!
Let Your ears be attentive
To the voice of my supplications.
3 If You, Lord, should mark iniquities,
O Lord, who could stand?
4 But there is forgiveness with You,
That You may be feared.
5 I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
And in His word I do hope.
6 My soul waits for the Lord
More than those who watch for the morning—
Yes, more than those who watch for the morning.
7 O Israel, hope in the Lord;
For with the Lord there is mercy,
And with Him is abundant redemption.
8 And He shall redeem Israel
From all his iniquities.