And he shall stand and feed in the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God; and they shall abide: for now shall he be great unto the ends of the earth.Micah 5:4(KJV)
Although Micah is considered a minor prophet he thunders a powerful message to the nation of Israel, which contains important truths and significant lessons for all of us to learn.
Micah gives a chilling lament of approaching judgement.. outlining the inevitable dispersions that would shortly overtake both the northern and southern kingdoms of Israel. He identifies the sins of the people.. the oppression of the poor by the greedy.. and the gross apostasy into which the nation had fallen, as the reasons for the approaching doom and terrifying gloom.
But Micah's mournful message is tinged with hope as he announces God's promise of restoration: for out of Bethlehem in the land of Judah was to come a governor in Israel. God was to send the promised Messiah.. Whose outgoing hath been from the beginning, and have stretched from everlasting - for His origin is from from eternity to eternity.
And what a beautiful description Micah gives of the Lord Jesus, Who would arise and shepherd His flock in the strength of the Lord and in the majesty of God's powerful name. But this verse does not end with the first coming of Christ but reaches down centuries of time into His second coming, when Israel will remain in the land that was given to their forefather Abraham, in peace and security.. and Christ will be great, His kingdom shall rule over all - and His dominion will stretch to the ends of the earth, and into the eternal ages to come.
As both the root and stem of king David, the Lord Jesus alone is qualified to fulfil this eternal role as heavenly Shepherd of Israel, for we discover that a future adversary of the nation, will rise up in the end times - but he will be fully and finally defeated by Israel's Shepherd King and as promised to Abraham, David and His seed forever.
In His goodness and mercy Israel's transgressions will be pardoned by God and they will become a channel of everlasting blessing to all the nations, during the coming millennial rule of Christ in Jerusalem.
This beautiful story that started in the garden with fallen Adam and a damned and cursed race.. who are eternally separated from their Creator God, ends in the eternal kingdom of the great Shepherd-King of Israel - the last Adam and federal head of a new creation of humanity, seated on the throne.
We who have trusted in the finished work of Christ on Calvary's cross have already received reconciliation; redemption; the forgiveness of sin and life everlasting. We who have believed on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation have already been transferred from the old creation in Adam into the new creation in Christ.. and have a blessed hope and the promise of a heavenly home.
The good Shepherd of the sheep continues to be the coming hope and consolation of Israel.. and the day is fast approaching when He will return..with healing in His wings, to set up His eternal kingdom on earth. He will return in power and great glory to rescue His people from their enemies and redeem His people Israel.. for we read in Micah: You will remain true to Jacob, and merciful to Abraham, as You promised our ancestors.
But before that coming day when Israel as a nation will once again be reconciled to God.. we who have trusted Christ as Saviour will be taken to our heavenly home .. for the trumpet will sound and the dead in Christ will be raised incorruptible and so we shall ever be with the Lord. Praise His holy name, for we serve a God Who delights in mercy.
Heavenly Father, thank You for Your Word and the truth it contains. Thank You that You have not forsaken Your people Israel, even though they rejected You. Thank You that although I was far off from You and without hope in the world, You reached down in Your goodness and grace to be my good Shepherd as well.. so that by grace through faith in Christ I have received reconciliation; redemption; the forgiveness of sin and life everlasting. Praise You holy name, AMEN.