December 20 | Daily Devotion

Lectio Continua: a continuous reading of every verse

Lectio Semi-continua: shorter reading selections from the passages

Lectio Divina

“In the last days the mountain of the Lord’s temple will be established as the highest of the mountains; it will be exalted above the hills, and peoples will stream to it.”
~Micah 4:1


The prophets, as we have already learned, often tell about the near and the distant future. (Of course, from their perspective, it is all the future.) In this section, Micah tells of the day when Jerusalem will once again become the center of the world and Mount Zion the greatest mountain in the world.

Mount Zion’s name is derived from the Hebrew words for castle or tower and mountain. “Tower mountain” or “castle mountain” are fitting meanings for the place where the nations will come to worship and to learn about God. Yes, both worship and learning will continue on the new earth. Because God is infinite, there will never come a time when we will say, I have learned all there is to know about God and His world. Exploring God’s character and His creation will take forever.

According to Micah’s account, beginning at the time when Jerusalem is restored, there will be peace on earth. People will plant their vineyards and enjoy their homes without fear. Weapons of war will be broken down to make useful things. Nations will no longer battle because the king of the earth will settle all disputes. Who will this ruler be? Micah’s answer is detailed: He will be born in the obscure town of Bethlehem and face both rejection and outright violence to his body. However, this mysterious person born in a nondescript town has origins that are old and rooted in the most ancient of times. This new ruler will shepherd the people of God and bring peace to the earth.

He is the Christ, and we await His return even now.


A general outline of the future as it is revealed in Revelation looks something like this:
1) Difficult days or days of tribulation, a period that began in Jesus’ time and continues today;
2) The great tribulation, which is yet to come and will be marked by the rise of the Antichrist; and
3) The reign of Christ that begins in earnest sometime after the great tribulation.[1]

In John’s vision, the first five seals cover the first part of the outline—the difficult days. The sixth seal is the beginning of the great tribulation period, and in the midst of this a seventh seal is opened and prompts silence. Seven successive trumpet blasts follow. The final three are called “woes” because they are the worst of the blasts. The blow of the seventh trumpet coincides with the announcement that Christ is reclaiming all of creation. (But there is still more judgment to come.)

John does not tell the story of a kingdom that arrives overnight. God reclaims the world over a period of time (perhaps more than a thousand years). He will take his time invading planet Earth. It even appears that He will take His time setting up His kingdom on earth, but it will happen (Rev. 21). And when it does, He will judge the living and the dead—and reward His people (Rev. 11:18). So the church must persevere. Its people must remain true to Christ. Difficult days are ahead but so are good days! Those good days will last forever.

[1] See Mark 13 and Matthew 24 for this general outline plus additional details and support in 2 Thessalonians 2 and 1 Thessalonians 4.

Lectio Divina is written by F. Lionel Young III, who serves as the senior pastor of Calvary Church in Valparaiso, Indiana. He is the author of A New Kind of Missionary, a popular introduction to global Christianity.