Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Promise of His Coming (18)

The promises we've looked at over the past few days may not have been just as familiar, but as we come to Micah 5, we're in very familiar territory! The people of God are under threat (yes, again!), facing a siege, but in the midst of the situation comes this great promise of a ruler to save his people.

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)

Bethlehem is the little town of David, the place where that great king was born, and from where this promised king would come. But this would be no ordinary ruler - his coming forth is from of old - long before David was born, this king existed, indeed, from ancient days, I am.

The coming king would, like his ancestor David, be a shepherd king:

And he shall stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God. And they shall dwell secure, for now he shall be great to the ends of the earth. And he shall be their peace. (Micah 5:4-5)

When the magi arrived looking for the new born king of the Jews, the religious leaders knew exactly where he would be found - how ironic, then, that the shepherds weren't told this message of the one who would shepherd his flock - this was the message for the magi. Notice too the greatness of this king to the ends of the earth - his fame spreads, his reign increases, so that all the earth is his.

From little Bethlehem, come, O great ruler.

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