“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 bears a son, 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 our peace when the Assyrians invade our land and march through our fortresses.
Have you ever said something deeply profound, but did not even comprehend fully what you said? This is most assuredly what many of the Old Testament prophets did in their day and age. Micah is no exception to this truth — especially in regards to his statements about a coming Messiah!
Micah is writing to the southern kingdom (those in Judah and Bethlehem) at roughly the same time that Isaiah, Hosea, and Amos are ministering. However, there are some unique things about Micah, like a new prophetic element about a future Messiah and Micah’s focus on justice. This passage in Micah chapter two sheds new light on a future “savior” of some sort. Imagine you know nothing about Jesus right now, and let us engage this prophetic passage.
This ancient One from Bethlehem will then return all of the people of Israel and will “shepherd his flock” (4) — which is an obvious reference to this Savior as a shepherd. He shall be great “to the ends of the earth” (5) and will be the One who is “peace” (6)! Notice this Savior does not bring peace, but rather, is peace.
2. Out of Bethlehem in Judah
3. From Ancient of Days
4. Shepherd of all Israel
5. Shall be great to the ends of the earth 6. Is peace
Therefore, Micah adds some of the greatest depth and understanding to who this future Messiah will be. This is describing Jesus in detail over 400 years before His birth!
Finally, it is important to note that when Jesus is referenced as from “ancient times,” there is a connection to Daniel chapter seven, where not only is God called the Ancient of Days, but one like a “son of man” is next to Him and rules from Heaven. Jesus the “Son of Man” (as He calls himself) is our Savior, and we are called to declare Him Lord of all!
THINGS TO CONSIDER
Why should we remember that Jesus was prophesied about long before He ever came to earth?
What does it mean to you that Jesus’ birth, purpose and death were foreshadowed and prophesied in an impressive amount of detail?
What does it mean that Jesus, who is first visited by shepherds at His birth, is meant to be our Shepherd? What does it mean for you to be a sheep in this season of your life?