Now muster your troops, O daughter of troops;
siege is laid against us;
with a rod they strike the judge of Israel
on the cheek.
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.
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.
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.
And he shall be their peace. – Micah 5:1-5a (ESV)
R. Reed Lessing and Andrew Steinmann write:
Micah envisions a new David coming from Bethlehem who will “be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times” who “will stand and shepherd His flock in Yahweh’s strength.” Micah juxtaposes the Messiah’s compassion as a Shepherd with His strength as a mighty King. In the wilderness, Yahweh attended to Israel’s needs with the same mercy and might, and the synthesis of Shepherd and Soldier occurs in other texts (e.g., Isa 40:10-11). Yahweh combines toughness with gentleness. There is an authenticity about the gentleness of a tough person as well as an attraction to the toughness of a gentle person. This combination reaches its fulfillment in Christ Jesus. As true Man, He demonstrates solidarity with the weak when He weeps, bleeds, and dies. As true God, Jesus has authority over every evil that threatens His church – including finally His defeat of death.
Christ is also foreshadowed in the book of Micah through the promise of peace. The Savior promises peace (John 14:27) and imparts it as one of the fruits of His resurrection (John 20:19, 21, 26).
MEMORY WORK – Shorter Catechism Q/A 17
Q. 17. Into what estate did the fall bring mankind?
A. The fall brought mankind into an estate of sin and misery.