07/14/2018 — the book of Micah
As customary, a bit of background — Micah’s prophecies were directed to Judah under the kings Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah (around 750 – 700 BC.) He therefore was a contemporary of Isaiah, Hosea and Amos.
We probably best know Micah best for the fulfillment of his prophecy referring to Bethlehem as the birthplace of the Messiah in Micah 5:2-4
2 “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.”
3 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.
4 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.
I have always found it interesting that the scribes and leaders of the Jews in the NT knew this prophecy — in Matt 2:5 the magi are sent to Bethlehem and in John 7:42 Bethlehem is referenced as the origin of the “Christ.” Yet these leaders did not believe.
A couple of other points: (1) in Micah 2:12-13 we have a promise of delivery of the faithful “remnant”
12 “I will surely gather all of you, Jacob;
I will surely bring together the remnant of Israel.
I will bring them together like sheep in a pen,
like a flock in its pasture;
the place will throng with people.
13 The One who breaks open the way will go up before them;
they will break through the gate and go out.
Their King will pass through before them,
the Lord at their head.
(2) And in Micah 7:18-20 Micah concludes his prophecy with a wonderful promise of redemption and forgiveness of the Lord:
18 Who is a God like you,
who pardons sin and forgives the transgression
of the remnant of his inheritance?
You do not stay angry forever
but delight to show mercy.
19 You will again have compassion on us;
you will tread our sins underfoot
and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.
20 You will be faithful to Jacob,
and show love to Abraham,
as you pledged on oath to our ancestors
in days long ago.