“Marshal your troops, O city of troops, for a siege is laid against us. They will strike Israel’s ruler on the cheek with a rod. “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 from of old, from ancient times.” Therefore Israel will be abandoned until the time when she who is in labor gives birth and the rest of his brothers return to join the Israelites. He will stand and shepherd His flock in the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the name of the LORD His God. And they will live securely, for then his greatness will reach to the ends of the earth. And He will be their peace.” Micah 5:1-5
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: MTB is a husband, father and grandfather and life-long follower of Christ. He serves as a Elder at a Reformed Church in Hudsonville, MI and has served on a variety of ministry teams. He is an avid bowhunter and enjoys spending time with his wife and grandkids.
Many times when life gets seemingly out of control or I am faced with something I know I can’t just blow through without the obvious leading of God, I’ll read through the writings of the OT prophets. It seems like a lot of times they’ll focus on current events, calling people to a walk with or a return to God but usually they’re given some pretty specific insight into God’s plans. Otherwise I guess we wouldn’t think of them as being prophets. (duh) These prophets don’t come to the table with any apparent skill or talents but the Lord just seems to share with these common people a specific part of His intentions.
As Micah describes God’s plan for the coming “Shepherd”, he shares that this person will eventually come from David’s home town of Bethlehem. It must have sounded crazy to the people of Micah’s day to hear that this future “messiah” would come from a place like Bethlehem. But, that’s exactly what happened. Beyond vs. 5 of this passage, Micah eventually goes on to describe the ministry of this coming leader.
From a practical perspective, can you imagine all the events, circumstances and common everyday tasks that had to occur to make this event unfold? As that time period from Micah’s prophecy to Christ’s birth took place, there were a lot of events that had to come together to make it happen and most of the time the people involved, from one moment to the next, probably never knew they were part of this divine plan. They just did what they had to do from one day to the next and eventually God’s predicted, divine and ordained plan unfolded.
As time goes on and our own lives unfold, in general, some days seem to be organized and thought out – everything falls into place. But occasionally, even our best laid plans, hopes and dreams can unravel fast and seem to us as though there isn’t anything “divine” or planned at all in this thing we call “life”.
In this passage, we find God using Micah to tell the people of his day about something He had planned for 700 years down the road! I wonder could He possibly be using what seem to be the terribly “un-spiritual” and so very practical, mundane and even chaotic events in our lives in the same way? Am I willing to believe, like Micah, that God has something good planned for us despite how crazy and chaotic things seem? I do!
Do I think God is going to allow an “accident” to happen in my life? No – I know He is sovereign and more than that, I know He loves me. He showed it by sending His Son in order that I might have eternal life. Wouldn’t it make sense to be more aware of and think more about the accomplishments we read of in scripture? None of them happened by accident. They were all part of a master plan and God used a lot of different people and circumstances – good and bad – to bring them about!
Take heart. The Lord has specific plans for our lives. He’s sovereign! Do we dare to believe that within the context of the day to day events in our lives, especially when things don’t go as planned? Yes. The same God who could plan for and use the circumstances of life in the lives of the people of Micah’s day and beyond is the same God we know and knows us. He’s got it ALL right there in the palm of His hand.