Read - Micah 5:2-5a
Message - Alan Burke
They say hindsight is a wonderful thing, when one is able to look back at the difficult situation that one has faced and see how it has worked out for the best. But right in the midst of those difficult times all we want is relief from what we face. That may be how you are feeling today, you just want relief from what you are facing, maybe it’s the pandemic that we are in the midst off, or a broken relationship, an illness that we face, anxiety or depression, you may be facing any number of different things that life can throw at you. In Micah’s day the situation that the people of God faced was dire, the poor were oppressed, some of the religious leaders their priests were sexually promiscuous, justice was being bought and sold, the debauchery of the people was rampant, none of them could escape it. So God sent Micah to prosecute the covenant, that is to convict His people of their sinfulness, for even though God had remained faithful to them they had been faithless and now the Lord would act as the Judge, he would scatter his people for their transgressions and sins, because of their faithlessness, for their iniquity had reached its climax. He would allow them to be ravaged by their enemies in his divine judgment.
It may not sound like something you really want to hear in the midst of what your facing but keep reading, for in the midst of God telling his people what the result of their sin, he was also giving them good news. The Lord God according to his wise and holy counsel had purposed it and Saviour was coming, he wanted them to look beyond their past and present and look ultimately to him and his hope, the hope of every nation. Though judgment would fall, God was telling his people though Micah in today’s passage a ruler born in Bethlehem will redeem a faithful remnant (Micah 5:2). This coming ruler would shepherd his flock and they will live securely in him (5:4). The Messiah would come and has now come, this hope is in King Jesus who was born in Bethlehem (5:2). The Lord wanted his people to know that even though they suffered under the hands of occupiers, there was hope in what lay ahead, he wanted his people to look beyond their present circumstance to this truth of how he would act.
For all of us, it can be hard to know there is hope in what lies ahead, to look beyond our present circumstances to the truth of how God has acted and will act. We may not be facing what the people in Micah’s day faced but we all face the trials and temptations of this life, we experience the estate of sin and misery that the fall has caused, but today like every day, we need to look with hope, not at the fulfilment of this promise that has already come that Micah spoke off, but to look with hope at the future fulfilment of God’s promise of how Jesus, the promised ruler from Bethlehem will return and we will be glorified people (1 John 3:2), like him, like our Savior. Like Jesus, we will never have to die again (Rom. 6:8–9), unable to sin ever again (Phil. 3:11–12; 2 Tim. 4:8). This week as we think on this passage from Micah 5, keep the knowledge of this truth and hope in your heart, for even though we don’t face what the people did in Micah’s day, we don’t face being ravaged by our enemies in judgement this day we still face many things that can steel our joy, cause us to despair, lead us to doubt and in those times we need to look to that hope, not in how the Messiah would one day come but in how he will come again.
Q 33 What is justification?
Justification is an act of God’ s free grace, wherein he pardoneth all our sins, (Rom. 3:24–25, Rom. 4:6–8) and accepteth us as righteous in his sight, (2 Cor. 5:19,21) only for the righteousness of Christ imputed to us, (Rom. 5:17–19) and received by faith alone. (Gal. 2:16, Phil. 3:9)