Micah 5 has our prophet looking much further into the future with this chapter’s prophecies. “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”. Bethlehem is well known as the hometown of David who was Israel’s greatest king, but it never rose to become a great city. That is, until God chose it as the birthplace of the coming Messiah, Jesus Christ.
This verse gets quoted by the chief priests when Herod was asking about the birth of the Messiah in Matthew 2. It became the place where God poured His grace out on us as He sent His only Son to earth to be born in a stable to become the Messiah and our Savior. Micah reminds us that while Christ was born as a baby in Bethlehem, His life did not begin there. He came forth from ‘old, from ancient days’. Jesus has always been, as part of the Trinity. His time on earth was God’s plan to save us from our sin and provide grace so we can spend eternity with Him.
God’s story of redemption continues as Micah talks about what is to come. “The rest of his brothers shall return to the people of Israel. 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”. Micah’s prophecy is about the reality that God’s people would be captured and spread, but in that day, they will be restored gloriously and Christ will stand as their protector and shepherd. God will be glorified and made majestic as His prophecy is fulfilled through the coming Messiah.
But before that day, things will be difficult. “The remnant of Jacob shall be in the midst of many peoples like dew from the Lord”. They will be scattered everywhere. They will have fallen prey to the evil of the world around them, and God will come and restore them to Himself, cutting off all the idolatries that Israel has indulged in. “I will cut off….your horses….the cities of your land….sorceries….carved images”. God is going to clean things up before he redeems His people. God expects obedience from all, and will punish those who do not obey. “And in anger and wrath I will execute vengeance on the nations that did not obey”. God has a plan. It is in motion. We need to line up with His Word and walk in obedience today!