“But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days” (Micah 5:2).
Like Jonah, the prophet Micah called the people to repent because the judgment of God was at hand. Assyria would invade Israel and the entire northern kingdom would be conquered. Only the tribes of Judah and Levi, in the southern kingdom ruled by David’s descendants, would remain. Out of Judah, from the small clan of Bethlehem in the region of Ephrathah, God would raise up a king who would rule over Israel. Micah said this king would rule as a shepherd (gently leading his flock), not as a conqueror (taking charge by force).
The message of Micah was meant to bring hope. God had a plan to save His people, and He gave glimpses of what the coming Messiah would be like. But for the people of Israel, besieged and soon to be conquered by their enemies, this might have been a difficult prophecy. They needed a warrior king, not a shepherd! How could true peace come in such a strange way?
Prayer: May the peace of God, which passes all understanding, guard our hearts and minds through faith in Christ Jesus. Amen.
As We Wait: We cannot understand God’s ways, but we can trust Him because He has kept all His promises. Ask God to empower you by His Spirit to trust His faithfulness.