Lord Jesus, Good Shepherd, You are my Shepherd, my Guide and Friend. I’m glad to be with You now.
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 Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWho do you think Micah's prophecy refers to (2-5)?
The opening verse of this chapter refers to the besieging of Jerusalem (more than once!) before its final demise and exile in 586 BC. But then, in v. 2, attention moves from Jerusalem to Bethlehem, and from the failed and faithless kings of Judah to a new shepherd-king (4), God’s own representative, whose reign will reach “to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). Not surprisingly then, Herod’s advisers told the Magi that Bethlehem was where they should begin their search for the newborn Messiah (Matt. 2:3-8; compare with John 7:42). For awhile, the remnant must survive in hostile territory (7-9). Then, “in that day” (10), the Messiah will rule over a purified people, finally subduing those who have not responded to the call to obey God’s voice and rule (15; 4:2-5). The earliest Christians saw themselves as living in exile as they awaited Christ’s return and their final deliverance. They looked forward, as we still do, to “that day” on which Christ will appear, deliver his faithful people, defeat evil, and begin his eternal and universal reign. This is our living hope, secured by the resurrection of Jesus (see 1 Pet. 1:3-9).
Read 1 Peter 1:17-25. How are we to live out our lives as we wait for Christ to appear?
Lord God, I, too, share the sure hope of Your coming to establish Your reign. Show me how to live that way.
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