Micah 5:1-5 (NIV) 1 Marshal your troops, O 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 gives birth 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 their peace…
On verses 1-5a: Here Micah sees a dichotomous, two part vision: on one hand he sees Israel being besieged and struck by its enemies (v1). On the other hand, Micah also sees that out of Bethlehem is coming a very special ruler for Israel, one “whose origins are from of old, from ancient times” (v2). Micah is talking about the Messiah (Saviour King) that he sees coming. “Until the time when she who is in labor gives birth” (v3), meaning until this Messiah is born, Israel will be abandoned and without a shepherd. The fact that this ruler’s “origins are from of old” suggest that this ruler is divine, and yet the fact that he is born (v3) suggests that this ruler is also human, a Messiah (Saviour King) who is both divine and human at the same time.
In verses 4 and 5 we learn that this Messiah will be a shepherd to His people, leading in God’s strength and in God’s majesty (v4). His leadership will cause people to live securely, His greatness will reach to the ends of the earth (v4), and He will be their peace (v5a).
Of course, the one Micah is describing is the one and only Jesus Christ, the Messiah.
Micah 5:5-9 (NIV) 5 …When the Assyrian invades our land and marches through our fortresses, we will raise against him seven shepherds, even eight leaders of men. 6 They will rule the land of Assyria with the sword, the land of Nimrod with drawn sword. He will deliver us from the Assyrian when he invades our land and marches into our borders.
On verses 5b-6: Micah describes the first effect the Messiah will have on His people: when the enemy attacks, God’s people will have leaders to stand up against that enemy (v6). Not only will these leaders defend their people’s land when the enemy attacks (v5, 6b), but they will even take over the enemy’s land (v6a – “They will rule the land of Assyria”). Some scholars believe that this is a description of what will happen in the end days when Jesus leads his people to defeat the world dictator known as the antichrist in the book of Revelation. Under this theory, “the Assyrian” here is a reference to the antichrist.
What can we learn from this? When Jesus is King over us, not only will He protect the land He has given us from the enemy, but even more He will use us to take over the enemy’s territory. It’s a picture of Jesus leading His church to storm the gates of hell, “and the gates of hell will not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18).
Micah 5:7-9 (NIV) 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 man or linger for mankind. 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.
On verses 7-9: Here we learn a second effect of the Messiah’s reign, which is that “the remnant of Jacob” – that is, those who are preserved and saved by the Lord – will not be isolated and separated from the world. Rather twice Micah says that this remnant – the Messiah’s people – will be “in the midst of many peoples” (v7, 9). The Messiah’s people will be refreshing like dew on the grass (v7), and a powerful force to be reckoned with, like a young lion among flocks of sheep (v8). The Messiah and His people will be completely victorious over their enemies (v9).
I learn two lessons from this:
God made His people not to be separated and isolated from the world, but to be right “in the midst of many peoples”, bringing a refreshing and powerful influence (v7-8).
When Jesus is reigning over my life, there is great and substantial victory in my life over the enemy (v9).
Micah 5:10-15 (NIV) 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 carved images 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 and demolish your cities.
On verses 10-14: In verses 10-14, Micah talks about a third effect of the Messiah reigning: idolatry and witchcraft will disappear from among God’s people. What can we learn from this? When we truly let Jesus be Lord of our lives, Jesus helps us to clean house, to rid our land of idol worship.
Micah 5:15 (NIV) 15 I will take vengeance in anger and wrath upon the nations that have not obeyed me.”
On verse 15: Here is a fourth effect of the Messiah reigning: those who rebel against Him will be defeated and punished in the end. When Jesus is on the throne of our lives, He will ensure in the end that He is victorious over every potential rival.
Lord Jesus, You are the Messiah my heart has been waiting for, my Saving King. Thank You that when You are reigning over us, we have protection from the enemy, we become a refreshing and powerful influence to the world around us, idolatry goes away, and Your enemies are defeated. Come and reign over me today. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!