Scripture reading – Micah 5
In an earlier devotional I observed there are many well-known Messianic prophecies concerning the coming of the LORD, but few believers in my experience are aware of their context in the Scriptures (examples, Isaiah 7:14 and Isaiah 9:6-7). Today’s study in Micah 5 presents us with another example of a wonderful Messianic prophecy (Micah 5:2), that is often quoted, but seldom studied in its historical context. I invite you to open your Bible and consider with me Micah 5.
Micah 5:1, in my opinion, should be identified with the prior chapter (Micah 4), and its summary of the Assyrian invasion of Israel. We read, “1Now gather thyself in troops, O daughter of troops: He hath laid siege against us: They shall smite the judge of Israel with a rod upon the cheek” (5:1). The reference of “troops” [a band of men or raiders] is identified in various ways by Bible students. I am of the opinion it is referring to the soldiers of Babylon, and the siege of Jerusalem.
The “judge of Israel” is most likely a reference to a king, of whom two kings of Judah were taken into captivity (Zedekiah, whose eyes were put out, 2 Kings 25:7; and Jehoicin, who was taken away to Babylon, and was of Davidic lineage of Christ, 2 Kings 24:15).
In spite of the Babylonian captivity, Micah prophesied the Davidic line would return to Judah (5:2).
Micah 5:2 – The Birthplace of the Messiah
Micah 5:2 is a treasured prophecy of all believers, for here we are given not only the birthplace of the Messiah, “Bethlehem Ephratah,” but also His identity as divine: “Whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting” (5:2).
The future ruler of Israel would be born in Bethlehem, and a man who existed before His birth, for He is Eternal God, the Ancient of Days, “Whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting” (5:2).
Micah 5:4-6 – The Second Coming of Christ
When Christ comes the second time in all of His heavenly glory, He will be the Shepherd of Israel, and “shall stand [His authority] and feed [His provision] in the strength [His power] of the Lord, In the majesty [His glory]of the name of the Lord his God; And they [the children of Israel] shall abide: For now shall he be great unto the ends of the earth” (5:4). The LORD will rule the nations of the earth and “shall be the peace” [for He is the Prince of Peace, 5:5; Isaiah 9:6].
The mention of Assyria (5:5, 6) and “the land of Nimrod” [the founder of ancient Babylon, and identified in Genesis 10:8-12 as Babel] may in fact be representative of the nations of the earth at the end of the ages when Christ returns.
Micah 5:7-10 – The Remnant of Jacob
Though Israel would soon be captive, and Judah would follow after being assailed by Babylon, Micah prophesied the “the remnant of Jacob” would return to the land (5:8). The description of Israel’s victorious return, and the defeat of the nations of the world aligned against God’s people is still future (5:9-10).
Micah 5:9-15 – The Triumph of Israel
Micah promised the enemies of Israel would “be cut off” (5:9), and the nation would enjoy peace. There will be no need for the weapons of war (“horses…chariots”), or strongholds (5:10-11). Trusting the LORD alone, idols would be “cut off,” the groves of idolatry would be plucked up, and the cities with their altars and idolatry would be destroyed (5:14).
In that day, when Christ returns to save His people, the LORD “will execute vengeance in anger and fury upon the heathen [Gentile nations], such as they have not heard,” nor the nations ever seen (5:15).
Copyright © 2022 – Travis D. Smith