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                              Micah 4:1-3


1. One of many Messianic prophecies is found in Mic 4:1-3, in which we
   read that...
   a. The mountain of the Lord's house will be established
   b. The Word of the Lord will go forth from Jerusalem
   -- Fulfillment of this wonderful age began with the spread of the
      gospel and establishment of the Lord's church, or kingdom - cf.
      Lk 24:44-47; He 12:18-24,28

2. Those willing to come to the mountain of the Lord's house...
   a. Will be taught concerning the Lord's ways and walk in His paths
      - Mic 4:2
   b. Among the things they will learn, is not to use war anymore - Mic

3. While the ancient kingdom of Israel often resorted to war, such would
   not be the case with the kingdom of the Messiah...
   a. Its kingdom would be spiritual, not advanced or defended by the
      use of force - Jn 18:36
   b. Its citizens would learn a new way to respond to evil and handle

[In the words of Micah (and Isaiah, cf. Isa 2:1-4), "Neither Shall They
Learn War Anymore". In what way do we see this fulfilled?  One way is in
the teaching of Jesus concerning...]


      1. The Avenger:  retaliates with force with the objective to
      2. The Defender:  uses force only for the sake of self-
      3. The Passive Resister:  resists without the use of force, daring
         the evil person to harm an unarmed person (e.g., Ghandi,
         Martin Luther King, et al)
      4. The Runner:  flees from abuse, seeking to escape
      5. The Helpless:  unable to flee or defend, passively allows
         others to mistreat them

      1. Consider the words of Jesus and His apostles - Lk 6:27-31; Ro
      2. When we examine these verses carefully, we note the
         a. We are not being taught to:
            1) Be a Passive Resister (contrary to Ghandi, King, et al)
            2) Be a Runner (though Jesus does teach the principle of
               fleeing elsewhere - cf. Mt 10:23)
            3) Stand Helpless
         b. We are being taught to:
            1) React to evil in a positive way
            2) To overcome evil with good
      3. Jesus taught the principle of "responding to active evil will
         with active good will"
         a. Someone does us evil, we are to react with good
         b. Note the examples used by Jesus:  when someone...
            1) Curses you, bless them
            2) Spitefully uses you, pray for them
            3) Strikes you, offer the other cheek
            4) Takes your cloak, give them your tunic
            5) Ask for something, give it to them
            6) Take something from you, don't ask it back
            -- In each case, one reacts to evil with active good will
               (i.e., love)

[Thus Jesus teaches us another way to deal with conflict and respond to
evil abuse:  not by using instruments of war, nor by simply remaining
passive or necessarily fleeing, but by reacting to evil with positive
expressions of good will towards the offender!  Why does Jesus teach us
to do this...?]


      1. It is human nature...
         a. To show good will only to friends
         b. To react to enemies as:
            1) Avenger
            2) Defender
            3) Passive Resister
            4) Runner
            5) Helpless
      2. We are called to be partakers of the divine nature - cf. 2 Pe
         a. Putting off the old man, with its typical reaction to abuse
            - Co 3:5-9
         b. Putting on the new man, reacting to abuse in a new way - Co
      -- As we do so, we become more like Christ, which leads to the
         second reason...

   B. TO BE LIKE GOD - Lk 6:35-36
      1. God is described as:
         a. Kind, even to unthankful and evil men - cf. Ro 5:8
         b. Just, as will be manifest one day - cf. Ro 2:5-6
      2. God expects His spiritual kingdom to demonstrate His mercy
         a. By proclaiming the gospel of mercy - 1 Pe 2:9-10
         b. By demonstrating mercy in our lives - Lk 6:36
      3. God expects earthly governments to exercise His vengeance
         a. They are His ministers to which we are to submit - Ro 13:1-3
         b. They are to execute wrath on the evil doer - Ro 13:4
      4. Unless we are proper representatives of the government, it is
         not our place to administer justice to evildoers
         a. We must leave vengeance (justice) to God - Ro 12:19
         b. We must let His governmental agents execute wrath - Ro 13:4
         -- With the exception of "church discipline" - cf. 1 Co 5:1-13;
            2 Th 3:6-15
      5. As "sons of the Highest", our duty is to show mercy, or active
         good will
         a. Showing kindness to our enemies - Ro 12:20
         b. Refusing to be overcome by evil (i.e., brought down to their
            level) - Ro 12:21
      -- As we respond to evil with mercy and goodness, we are more
         likely to obtain our third reason for reacting to evil in this

   C. TO OVERCOME EVIL - Ro 12:21
      1. How can we best hope to overcome evil and change the evil
         a. If we react as:
            1) Avenger, defender or passive resister
            2) We only convince the opposition that might makes right
         b. If we react as:
            1) Runner or helpless
            2) We may only confirm the opposition's view that we are
               cowardly or weak
      2. The most likely way to both overcome evil and change the evil
         person is by reacting with active good will!
         a. Is this not how God sought to change the world? - Ro 5:8; Jn
            3:16; Ro 2:4
         b. Is this not how Jesus sought to change the world? - 1 Pe
      3. Certainly Jesus' example demonstrates a better way to handle
         conflict and evil...
         a. His humility and sacrificial love has motivated many to turn
            from sin
         b. And we are called to walk in His steps!
      4. Those who do often follow Jesus' example make a powerful impact
         on others:

         "Kim Joon-gon has seen 2,000 out 20,000 people on Chunnam
         Island murdered by the Communists.  They dragged his family
         to a spot where 160 people from two villages had gathered to
         beat the Christians.  There Kim's father and wife were beaten
         to death and Kim was left for dead.  When he revived and sought
         safety at an acquaintance's house, he was turned over to the
         Communists.  Only the sudden appearance of an American ship off
         the island coast saved him this time, for the Communist
         soldiers hurried away to battle.

         He hid out in the countryside until the South Korean army
         captured the island.  The Communists who had killed his wife
         and father were arrested.  Because it was wartime, the police
         chief had authority to execute without trial.  But as the chief
         prepared to kill the men, Kim pleaded, "Spare them.  They were
         forced to kill."

         The police chief showed great surprise.  "It was your family
         they killed!  Why do you now ask for their lives?"

         Kim replied quietly, "Because the Lord, whose I am and whom I
         serve, would have me show mercy to them."

         The Communists were spared execution because of Kim's plea.
         News of his action spread among other Communist supporters in
         the area.  When Kim later ascended a mountain to preach to
         Communists hiding out, he was not killed.  Many of the
         Communists became Christians, and when Kim finally left the
         island there was a flourishing church of 108 members."

                                 - Dictionary Of Illustrations, p. 188


1. We may never be called upon to manifest the power of responding to
   evil with good in such a remarkable way...
   a. We can begin by how we respond to personal abuses we often receive
      from others
   b. We can react to evil treatment even on a small scale with active
      good will
      1) Showing that we are different from sinners
      2) Demonstrating that we are trying to be sons of the Highest
      3) More likely to overcome evil and convert the sinner

2. Reacting to evil with good will does not always convert the
   a. Jesus was crucified on the cross, enduring hostility by sinners
      - He 12:2-3
   b. In such cases we must commit our cause to God, as did Jesus - 1 Pe
      2:21-23; 4:19

3. While physical government may step in and exercise the judgment of
   God, our duty as citizens of the spiritual kingdom is to show mercy:

     "Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful"

Whenever we show mercy (or active good will)  in response to evil, we
fulfill one of the many promises of the Messianic age:

                "Neither shall they learn war any more."

Speaking of mercy, have you accepted the invitation of God to respond to
His loving mercy through obedience to the gospel...?
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