Daily Devotional Wednesday 21st December 2022by William Moody
The Ruler to Be Born in Bethlehem
5:1 1 Now muster your troops, O daughter2 of troops;
siege is laid against us;
with a rod they strike the judge of Israel
on the cheek.
2 3 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.
3 Therefore he shall give them up until the time
when she who is in labor has given birth;
then the rest of his brothers shall return
to the people of Israel.
4 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.
5 And he shall be their peace.
When the Assyrian comes into our land
and treads in our palaces,
then we will raise against him seven shepherds
and eight princes of men;
6 they shall shepherd the land of Assyria with the sword,
and the land of Nimrod at its entrances;
and he shall deliver us from the Assyrian
when he comes into our land
and treads within our border.
A Remnant Shall Be Delivered
7 Then the remnant of Jacob shall be
in the midst of many peoples
like dew from the LORD,
like showers on the grass,
which delay not for a man
nor wait for the children of man.
8 And the remnant of Jacob shall be among the nations,
in the midst of many peoples,
like a lion among the beasts of the forest,
like a young lion among the flocks of sheep,
which, when it goes through, treads down
and tears in pieces, and there is none to deliver.
9 Your hand shall be lifted up over your adversaries,
and all your enemies shall be cut off.
10 And in that day, declares the LORD,
I will cut off your horses from among you
and will destroy your chariots;
11 and I will cut off the cities of your land
and throw down all your strongholds;
12 and I will cut off sorceries from your hand,
and you shall have no more tellers of fortunes;
13 and I will cut off your carved images
and your pillars from among you,
and you shall bow down no more
to the work of your hands;
14 and I will root out your Asherah images from among you
and destroy your cities.
15 And in anger and wrath I will execute vengeance
on the nations that did not obey.
Micah speaks of a time of siege (v1). This could be from the Assyrians or Babylonians. The striking of ruler speaks of defeat and subjection. But then there comes hope from Bethlehem (v2-5a). This was from an unexpected source as Bethlehem was an insignificant place (v2). Also, unexpected source as this future ruler is from ancient days which means He is eternal.
This promised King will come after the return from exile (v3). He will be majestic in how he shepherds (v4-5a).
The seven shepherds and eight princes (v5b) speak of the days of Hezekiah and Sennacherib and glorious deliverance from Assyria (2 Kings 19).
Next Micah speaks of God’s people in Exile (v7-9) and the phrase ‘like dew from the Lord’ (v7) speaks of the exiles being a blessing to the nations. The phrase ‘like a lion among the beasts’ (v8) speaks of the fight remaining in God’s people. They are not destroyed but still by God’s grace a mighty force and one day victory will come (v9)
Due to God’s faithfulness, exile will just be for a while and God’s purposes in exile will be fulfilled which include destruction of the defences they rely on (v10-11), the destruction of witchcraft (v12) and idolatry (v13-14) and finally the destruction of their enemies (v15). The great purpose of the exile is to purify God’s people. We can regularly underestimate how seriously God takes the purity of His people.
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