Tue Dec 5 The Ruler From Bethlehem

Micah 5:2-5 (CEB)

As for you, Bethlehem of Ephrathah,
    though you are the least significant of Judah’s forces,
        one who is to be a ruler in Israel on my behalf will come out from you.
    His origin is from remote times, from ancient days.
Therefore, he will give them up
        until the time when she who is in labor gives birth.
        The rest of his kin will return to the people of Israel.
He will stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the Lord,
        in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God.
        They will dwell secure,
        because he will surely become great throughout the earth;
        he will become one of peace.
When Assyria invades our land and treads down our fortresses,
        then we will raise up against him seven shepherds and eight human princes.


The Old Testament prophecies, found in scripture, remind us that an everlasting ruler would come from Bethlehem. Matthew chapter 2 tells us that when King Herod learned from the magi that there was a  newborn king of the Jews he asked where he was born, and he was told Bethlehem of Judea just as Micah prophesied over 700 years earlier. King David was also born in Bethlehem.

Centuries passed and despite the promise a new Shepherd did not come. Something said over 2,700 years ago is hard for us to grasp as having great meaning, isn’t it? When we consider that King David died only a couple of centuries before, and the prophets words were influential, perhaps it is easier to see that Micah’s proclamation was indeed bold and God designed the news of this birth to be spread with confidence. Jesus is described as a ruler coming from God whose origins are from ancient days even then.

One author’s comment, “Curious believers and dreamers alike must have lived with great anticipation. What will this King be like? What wisdom, they might have wondered, will he bless us and then carry us out of exile? How would this king make himself known when he finally did come?”

Jesus’ nature is to be in the role of a shepherd who offers protection, strength, and safety. A guide for us, showing the way to go rather than our needing to determine the best path. Aren’t we all prone to wander off the safe path? Micah 5:4 assures us of the holy safeguard Christ will bring and his greatness throughout the earth.

As Jesus’ sheep, we have been given peace, protection, strength, and prosperity.

Perhaps these words from verse 4 are worth pondering?He will stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God.”    

by Clarence Beverage

For Pondering & Prayer

Does the humble character of Jesus challengean understanding of God’s plans for us?

Can seeing Jesus as our shepherd transform our daily lives and relationships?

Just how majestic is the strength of the Lord?

Prayer: Lord, thank you for being with us as we travel these days of Advent. Help us to prepare our hearts for the birth of Christ in this world as it is today. Help us to find hope and peace leading to joy and love in you. Amen.

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