Reflections on the prophet Micah 5

We come to Micah, chapter 5.

The early verses (from 2 through 4) speak of the coming Messiah. The words prophecy that one will come from Bethlehem, from the tribe of Judah and will become the ruler of Israel. Interestingly Micah also recognises or speak that this ruler is “from the days of eternity”.

Verse 4 is worth quoting in full:

And He will arise and shepherd His flock In the strength of the LORD, In the majesty of the name of the LORD His God. And they will remain, Because at that time He will be great To the ends of the earth. (Micah 5:4 from the NASB®)1

This verse contains some great imagery: Of shepherding, of doing so in the strength of the Lord, of his flock remaining or abiding - dwelling with him under his care and protection.

There are many distinct characteristics of this person concerning not only his birth and ancestry but also of his nature and character that are only fulfilled in Jesus.

Verses 5 and 6 pronounce judgement on the Assyrians who exiled the northern kingdom of Israel in 722BC.

Verses 7 through 9 shift gear from the past to the future and speak of a time when the remnant of Jacob will be scattered through the nations “among many peoples” and “among the nations” and this remnant will be triumphant and vindicated. This is a future event. It provides few details but just puts this image in the hearts and minds of God’s people.

But verses 10 through 15 point to some conditions or events that need to occur for this to happen. Israel’s strongholds (10, 11) and sorceries (12) and carved images (13) and idols will need to be removed (14). The people of God need to be refined and purified before their strong evangelistic influence can be felt.

In many ways these words of Micah are a reflection of the second commandment from Exodus 20:4-6

“You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.

  1. Scripture quotations taken from the NASB. Copyright by The Lockman Foundation. ↩︎