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Micah 5

A Promised Ruler From Bethlehem (5:1–15)

7–9 Micah speaks again about the remnant of Jacob (Israel); he uses the term “remnant” here to mean the restored spiritual Israel, the Church, which will ultimately become the strong nation of the Messianic kingdom (Micah 4:7; Revelation 20:1–6). This remnant, the Church, even now is like dew, like showers of spiritual blessing in the world (verse 7); these blessings come from God and not from man.

But the remnant of Jacob will also be like a lion in the midst of many peoples (verse 8). Under the rule of the Messiah, the remnant will achieve final victory over all the forces of evil (verse 9).

10–15 In that day—the day when the remnant is being restored and purified—the Lord will cleanse the remnant of all those things that undermine one's faith in God. Even those faithful Israelites who would become part of the remnant still needed to be purified.

What things would need to be “destroyed” in order to purify this remnant of Israelites? First, their reliance on their own strength, their own military might—horses and chariots and fortified cities (verses 10–11). Second, their reliance on false religion—witchcraft and images (idols) and Asherah poles (symbols of the Canaanite goddess Asherah); all this would have to be destroyed (verses 12–14). The remnant must rely on God alone.

In these verses, Micah also speaks to us today; we too are the “remnant.” And we too must not rely on power, wealth, education, technology, family name, or any other worldly “idol”; we must rely on God alone if we are to inherit His eternal blessing.

In verse 15, the Lord concludes with a general warning to all nations and people who choose not to obey His word; for them, there will be a final day of judgment.

Before we leave this important chapter, let us reflect on Micah’s amazing prophecy that Christ would be born in Bethlehem. Bethlehem was a tiny, insignificant town, and yet God chose it to be the birthplace of His beloved David and His beloved Son. Micah joins with Isaiah in having been given the most detailed vision of the coming Messiah: Isaiah knew that Christ would be born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23), and Micah knew that that birth would be in Bethlehem—seven hundred years before it happened.

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