The Siege Before Christmas (Micah 5:1)

Now muster yourselves in troops, daughter of troops; They have laid siege against us; With a rod they will smite the judge of Israel on the cheek. (Mic. 5:1 NASB)

Before we get to Bethlehem (Mic. 5:2), we must stop and hear this oracle against Jerusalem (vs.1). If you were a Hebrew reader of Micah’s prophecy, the moment you heard “Now” (Heb. attâ), you might have gotten another ‘lump in your throat.’ That word had been used previously to introduce prophetic glimpses of situations Judah wouldn’t have exactly looked forward to (4:9, 11), and this one wouldn’t be the desire of the nation either. First, the call, “Now muster yourselves in troops, daughter of troops,” wasn’t an inspirational, pre-battle call-to-assembly. It is likely an ironic call to futile preparations. The Hebrew verb in that expression can connote either ‘slashing’ or ‘gathering.’ In the case of the former, some translations have opted for ‘You have slashed yourself in grief’ (HCSB). But most opt for the latter – a call to marshal the troops. Interestingly, when you look at how the word for “troops” is used, it most commonly refers to ‘bands’ or ‘raiders,’ and so the irony may be something like this – Israel is besieged by an army and all they can muster is the comparative equivalent of a band of raiders. 

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Why Am I Here? (The Answer) – Part 3

In our previous Why Am I Here? (The Answer) daily teaching we saw how, according to to the Genesis account, mankind was created to image God (Gen. 1:26a). But there’s still plenty more to see. So, as we make our way to the ultimate reason for man’s existence we will first continue to survey the opening chapter of God’s Word, looking back to the initial revelation of man’s creation to understand why we are here. We pick up today in the second half of Genesis 1:26.

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Why Am I Here? (The Answer) – Part 2

An Early Explanation for Man

26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”


Thankfully, very early on in the inspired text of Scripture we are told why God created man. That reality in itself, the fact that the uncreated God is the creator of all creation, and particularly the creator of man, is not to be taken for granted. Man’s origin is inextricably connected to his purpose; and here we see that man did not grow out of rocks like the ancient Greeks believed, nor was man the result of primordial ooze being supercharged by electricity, mingled together with the variables of time, motion, and chance, as naturalistic evolution teaches. Man was created by God as the crown of His creation. 

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Why Am I Here? (The Answer) An Introduction

There Must Be More Than This

Some years back 60 Minutes did a piece on Tom Brady, the Super Bowl winning quarterback of the New England Patriots, entitled “Tom Brady: The Winner.” The idea of the segment was that he would discuss both his career as well as other aspects of his life. At one point during the interview, the CBS News correspondent prefaced a portion of his forthcoming video interview by saying,

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Why Am I Here (On Earth)? The Vanity of Wisdom (Eccl. 1:12-18; 2:12-17)

Imagine that you just graduated from a Masters’ degree program and received a promotion at work as a result, and someone asked you, ‘What does it matter?’ with reference to your graduation and promotion. You might be taken back by the brashness of their question but you’re a polite person so you respond by saying, ‘Well, it helped to equip me to do my job better and now, as a result of taking a position of greater responsibility, I take home more money to benefit my family.’ You think you hit their underhanded, off-speed, softball pitch of a question out of the park. But they don’t. Unmoved, they unleash a series of existential questions with more than hint of nihilism to boot: ‘So what? What does it really matter if you do your job a little better and bring home a little more money? So you make someone’s day potentially a wee bit brighter? Eventually darkness will set in and your ‘momentary brightness’ will be eclipsed and forgotten by the pain of life’s tragedies. And what exactly does a little bit more money do for your family? Add a little bit more activity, entertainment, and comfort to your fleeting life? You won’t even remember 1% of it when you’re on your deathbed and neither will those you spent that time with.’ It’s at this point you realize why this person doesn’t have many friends. He lacks a filter but he is asking questions that demand an answer. In the final analysis, what profit is there in wisdom – whether it be intellectual or moral?

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