But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah,
who are too little to be among the clans of Judah,
from you shall come forth for me
one who is to be ruler in Israel,
whose coming forth is from of old,
from ancient days.
– Micah 5:2 –
Prophet Micah prophesied about the imminent judgment of God on His people due to their centuries of rebellion. Instead of leading the people to worship and obey God, their kings have been leading them astray. Instead of shepherding and caring for the people, their leaders have been greedily devouring their own people. Therefore, God has pronounced exile as the punishment on the nation of Israel.
However, the prophets declared good news in the midst of the ‘bad news.’ Micah, for example, prophesied that despite the grim outlook, God would bring forth a ruler. This new ruler will come from the clans of Judah and will be born in Bethlehem. However, although this new ruler is from the clan of Judah (fulfilling Gen 49:10), the origin of this ruler is actually from ‘of old’ or from ‘ancient days,’ which really testifies to the divinity of this ruler. In the following verses of Micah 5, it is said that this ruler will ‘shepherd the flock in the strength of the LORD,’ and His flock will dwell securely in peace.
It is a portrait of a righteous ruler that the nation is longing for. It is a vision of a reign that everyone is happy to live under. In fact, it is a picture of a kingdom that every man would flock to eagerly. Hundreds, and even thousands, of years of human history have shown, including the modern ones, that human governments are never perfect. When we think we have the right king, the right emperor, and when we think we have chosen the right president, the right prime minister, the right leader, soon enough, they let us down. And we must not berate them, because none of us can carry that heavy a burden to lead a nation, let alone the whole humanity. We are all corrupt in our nature to begin with. That’s why what we are longing for is the righteous ruler that is great enough to lead the whole humanity but is down-to-earth enough to care and shepherd His people. What we need is whom Micah is prophesying about. We will be restless until we find Him.
However, we shall be restless no more. That king has arrived, two thousand years ago, in a manger, beneath that star. That king was born in Bethlehem as prophesied, and that king is none other than Jesus Christ. His miraculous birth in Bethlehem, His perfect life on earth, His atoning death on the cross, and His triumphal resurrection from the dead have shown that Christ is indeed the KING that we are longing for. So, let us look forward to Christmas knowing that Christmas is not just about the birth of a Saviour. Christmas is about the arrival of the KING of kings who will make everything right again. Let us yield our lives to Him.