Exalted Lord Jesus, the King of Glory, one day I will live and reign with You. I look forward to that day.
Read Micah 5:1-15
 Marshal your troops now, 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 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. We will raise against them seven shepherds, even eight commanders,  who will rule the land of Assyria with the sword, the land of Nimrod with drawn sword. He will deliver us from the Assyrians when they invade our land and march across our borders.  The remnant of Jacob will be in the midst of many peoples like dew from the LORD, like showers on the grass, which do not wait for anyone or depend on man.  The remnant of Jacob will be among the nations, in the midst of many peoples, like a lion among the beasts of the forest, like a young lion among flocks of sheep, which mauls and mangles as it goes, and no one can rescue.  Your hand will be lifted up in triumph over your enemies, and all your foes will be destroyed.  “In that day,” declares the LORD, “I will destroy your horses from among you and demolish your chariots.  I will destroy the cities of your land and tear down all your strongholds.  I will destroy your witchcraft and you will no longer cast spells.  I will destroy your idols and your sacred stones from among you; you will no longer bow down to the work of your hands.  I will uproot from among you your Asherah poles when I demolish your cities.  I will take vengeance in anger and wrath on the nations that have not obeyed me.” Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWho might this ruler from Bethlehem be (2)?
Micah is probably writing around the time of Hezekiah, during the siege of Sennacherib, 701 BC. (2 Kings 19). This confounding chapter is about a number of different events occurring at different times: the coming of Christ, the immediate rescue from Sennacherib, the return from exile, and the Day of Judgment. From the most insignificant village will come the One who will save God’s people. Bethlehem is so small that Joshua doesn’t even mention it when he lists the towns of the Promised Land (Joshua 15). The people need to learn to trust in God, not in their own armies and defenses (5,6). Salvation is not just from outside enemies (the Assyrians) but from inner enemies: witchcraft, idolatry and immoral practices (12-15). God will provide a Savior from a place most people didn’t even know existed. God did rescue his people from Sennacherib. And he did bring them back from exile. But God’s conquest of the world comes by sending his people out into it (7-9), a prophecy that is still being fulfilled today. It’s a task which is urgent because the day of God’s anger is still to come (15).
What needs to be cleared from your life so you can be a more effective witness for God in the world?
Lord God, raise up people with clear, strong voices to call people in my generation to turn and follow You.
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