Writhe in agony, O Daughter of Zion, like a woman in labor, for now you must leave the city to camp in the open field. You will go to Babylon; there you will be rescued. There the Lord will redeem you out of the hand of your enemies.
But now many nations are gathered against you. They say, “Let her be defiled, let our eyes gloat over Zion!” But they do not know the thoughts of the Lord; they do not understand his plan, he who gathers them like sheaves to the threshing floor. Micah 4:10-12
As I have been reading through Micah this week, I was really drawn to this short passage in chapter 4. As the first few chapters depict God’s judgment on Israel and Judah and the ways that they have strayed and defiled Him, chapter 4 turns around and shares God’s plan to ultimately restore His people and deliver them from the consequences of their rebellion. His father-heart is on full display as we see Him condemn and judge social injustice and false prophets; yet, even in His anger, restoration is His ultimate intention.
There’s a theme in these verses that I want to draw attention to, and that’s the theme of being sent out in order to be rescued.
You will go to Babylon, there you will be rescued.
There the Lord will redeem you….
…they do not understand His plan, he who gathers them like sheaves to the threshing floor.
God, in His sovereignty, will at times do the same with us. His desire is our restoration, deliverance, and receipt of His inheritance. But in order for us to receive that, sometimes we have to be sent out. Sometimes He walks us into a place that isn’t what we planned or hoped for, in order to gather the faithful and usher them into what He has promised. Sometimes, we are sheaves to the threshing floor.
Which, if you didn’t know, makes us grain being trampled by oxen to reveal that which is good and valuable and that which is chaff and can be discarded.
When the grain is separated, it becomes something that gives life and has purpose and usefulness, but until it endures the threshing floor it can do no good.
As un-threshed sheaves, we often see what could be and what we believe God has for us and run passionately towards those things. What we forget is the threshing, the separating, that has to take place before we can walk as the life-giving, purposeful beings we desire to be.
So let’s not resent the separating, the being “sent out,” the lonely times and the confusion. Let’s recognize the seasons of threshing and in them we can trust in who we know God to be. And we know that in our season, He will allow us to enter into the fullness of His purpose for us.