Some crises are so profound that hope for deliverance fades quickly. It is into such a crisis that God promised a complete change of circumstances through the coming of a Ruler who would bring lasting peace. Micah 5:1 moves from the blessed state of 4:9-13 to the turmoil surrounding the coming of this Ruler. His arising from obscurity illustrates the feature in Micah that the Lord provides for disenfranchised people, the people with no voice. This Ruler is eternal, and yet, He is to be born in little Bethlehem (5:2; Matt. 2:6). He will bring deliverance and gather the faithful (5:3). His loving care means He who personifies peace in Himself will bring lasting peace (shalom; 5:4-5a).
Micah speaks to his immediate generation about a current crisis. The Lord’s deliverance is not only available sometime in the distant future (5:1-5a), it is available in the present for the worst of situations. Crises will come, but faith expects greatness from God, so faith prepares to face any crisis (5:5b). God’s people united in faith believe no opposition is too large for faith. Still, they know faith depends on God alone, not on themselves individually or collectively (5:6).
With defeat of the Assyrian invaders comes the exaltation of the faithful. Judah will see victory, a victory that also casts forward to all the faithful. God’s people will be a blessing to others. Through them God will bestow blessings widely (5:7). His people will also participate in victory over their enemies (5:8). Victory will come – through God’s power (5:8).
Micah 5:10-15 concerns what the disobedient must change. “That day” alludes to the day of judgment from 5:7-9. Every nation is included; none is exempt, including Israel. The Lord will not countenance disobedience by anyone and will bring the full measure of judgment against them. Note “I will” in 10-15: “We are asked to stop at each point, to weigh each matter that is presented to us, and to consider each particular that is thus added and emphasized.” The Lord will eliminate sources of false security. He will eliminate prophets who mislead. He will eliminate idols. He will purge false worship (Jezebel worshiped Asherah, 1 Kings 18:19). Idolatry has changed forms through the centuries and become more subtle, but idolatry has never disappeared. It is as alive today as ever. The single criterion for judgment by the Sovereign God distinguishes obedience from idolatry (5:15).
Dr. David Moore is a Baptist preacher in Pampa and an online instructor in Bible and theology for Taylor University and Nations University. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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