?December 20, 2009
Fourth Sunday of Advent
Seven hundred years before the Spirit of God came over a certain young maiden named Mary so that she would become the mother of the Christ, that same Spirit of God gave prophetic insight to one of His spokesmen. Micah predicted the town of Bethlehem to be the place in which the coming ruler would be born. The Magi came from the East following a star. They went to the palace of King Herod to ask directions to the newborn King. Herod could hardly control his apoplexy as he called his scholars to research this matter. They went to the royal library and were not long in finding the answer written in Micah 5:2: “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 of old, from ancient times.”
With the star to lead them on and the word of prophecy to tell them where they were going, the Magi soon found the young child waiting in Bethlehem. And they soon learned that King Herod was a notorious killer of all rivals to his throne -even relatives.
Two principal questions find answers in Micah 5. First, who is this promised King, and second, what kind of King is He?
I. Who is this promised King (v. 2)?
The King has come, and this King is Jesus! Three prophesies in this passage identify the King as Christ the Messiah. First, He was born in Bethlehem (5:2). This small village had little to distinguish it before Christ came into the world. Yet that night:
… in thy dark streets shineth, the everlasting light.
The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.
Second, He was born according to divine purpose. Notice the phrase in the key text, “out of you will come for me” (5:2). It is for the eternal purpose of Jehovah that the Messiah comes.
Third, He was eternally pre-existent. He was born on a certain calendar date in history, but “his origins are of old, of ancient times” (5:2). Indeed, Christ is eternally begotten of the Father. There never was a time when He did not exist, though He had a definite beginning as a human baby boy that night in Bethlehem. There is no re-incarnation in the Bible, but there is incarnation.
Jesus eternally existed, but one day He became flesh and blood.
II. What Kind of King is He (vv. 3-4; see also vv. 9-13)?
For one thing, this King will provide for His flock (5:4). Some translations focus on the feeding of the flock. The NIV and others translate the term more broadly: “He will shepherd his flock.”
Also, He will protect His people (5:4). The kingdom will be peaceful because it is under the control of the Prince of Peace. A literal rendering of the Hebrew might be “and he will be this One peace.” It’s one thing to be a peace officer; it’s so much more to be peace personified.
In addition, He will purge His kingdom of all material trusts and root out false religions. In Micah’s day, nations trusted in chariots and horses and fortified cities. The Messiah promised to end all that. He will take the throne with His rod of iron when He returns in glory.
Do you see Jesus Christ as God’s promised King and Messiah? Do you anticipate eagerly His return to earth in glory? If you have not already done so, let this message of the coming King call your heart to accept Him now as your own Savior.