Read micah 5
A Promised Ruler From Bethlehem
5 Marshal your troops now, city of troops,
for a siege is laid against us.
They will strike Israel’s ruler
on the cheek with a rod.
2 “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
though you are small among the clans of Judah,
out of you will come for me
one who will be ruler over Israel,
whose origins are from of old,
from ancient times.”
3 Therefore Israel will be abandoned
until the time when she who is in labor bears a son,
and the rest of his brothers return
to join the Israelites.
4 He will stand and shepherd his flock
in the strength of the Lord,
in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God.
And they will live securely, for then his greatness
will reach to the ends of the earth.
5 And he will be our peace
when the Assyrians invade our land
and march through our fortresses.
We will raise against them seven shepherds,
even eight commanders,
6 who will rule the land of Assyria with the sword,
the land of Nimrod with drawn sword.
He will deliver us from the Assyrians
when they invade our land
and march across our borders.
7 The remnant of Jacob will be
in the midst of many peoples
like dew from the Lord,
like showers on the grass,
which do not wait for anyone
or depend on man.
8 The remnant of Jacob will be among the nations,
in the midst of many peoples,
like a lion among the beasts of the forest,
like a young lion among flocks of sheep,
which mauls and mangles as it goes,
and no one can rescue.
9 Your hand will be lifted up in triumph over your enemies,
and all your foes will be destroyed.
10 “In that day,” declares the Lord,
“I will destroy your horses from among you
and demolish your chariots.
11 I will destroy the cities of your land
and tear down all your strongholds.
12 I will destroy your witchcraft
and you will no longer cast spells.
13 I will destroy your idols
and your sacred stones from among you;
you will no longer bow down
to the work of your hands.
14 I will uproot from among you your Asherah poles
when I demolish your cities.
15 I will take vengeance in anger and wrath
on the nations that have not obeyed me.”
After a series of oracles pronouncing judgment followed by promises of hope, Micah 4 leaves with the establishment of the “mountain of the Lord” (4:1) and the collection of a “remnant” (4:6) that will become a “strong nation” (4:7). Micah 5 brings us to the tiniest of places, Bethlehem, where a ruler will come who will shepherd the flock “in the strength of the Lord” (5:4). This new hope, and for the whole world, comes by means of a new David. The influence of the nation over other nations is described in verses 7-9. Finally, after all we have seen and read through the Old Testament, especially in Judges, the remnant will remove all of the idols that have been an affront to God.
The link between King David being born in Bethlehem, only to be followed by Jesus who is born in the same place is not just a fulfilling of prophecy, It sets the stage for the introduction of “a better David”, who will shepherd the flock and become their security and peace (5:6). Not only these things, but this king, Jesus, will be their “deliverer”. This ruler goes beyond saving the Israelis in the remnant but also the Gentiles who live among the many nations (5:8). After this time of deliverance, Micah explains how after the delivery of grace for all those who choose to follow this new ruler that “vengeance and wrath will be executed on the nations that did not obey” (5:15). The words that follow in chapter 6, tell the importance of hearing what the Lord says. The Lord wants us to listen so we can be in perfect restoration with Him.
How should we respond to this in the area of salvation? God has not only saved us for ourselves but in order to reach out to the rest of the world. The prophecies proclaimed during this time by Micah, and even Isaiah, lead us to the Messiah and the command to spread the good news of the gospel both near and far. When we are saved, God can use us to allow Him to save others in the future. When God gives us grace, He allows for a restoration of the covenant where we can demonstrate faith through our use of love, justice, and mercy for those around us.
- How can we listen for God’s voice and use His wisdom to influence those around us to become Christ-followers?
- What do we need to remove in the way of idols that will restore our relationship with God?
- Where aspect of our life can we identify as a refusal to embrace God’s purpose?
Heavenly Father, thank You that in Your grace You have told us the end from the beginning, for Your word is true and Your promises stand fast for ever and ever. Forgive me for the times when my faith falters and fails or when foolish thoughts fluctuate in my mind, causing unfounded doubts and fears within. Thank you for showing me the false gods in my life, so we can focus our on you, the one true God
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