Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Looking for a Leader (Part 2)

Study passage Micah 5:2-9 (See Monday devotional)

As Micah the prophet spoke to the people about God’s promise to raise up a leader, he presented characteristics of the one God would provide to set bring the nations to power and victory.  We recognize that these are the qualities of our Lord. 
  1. God’s leader would have impressive credentials. (Micah 5:2-3)
But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, from the days of eternity.  Therefore He will give them up until the time when she who is in labor has borne a child. Then the remainder of His brethren will return to the sons of Israel.
Micah compared the new leader with the King David.  Yet, according to Micah, this new leader would be Israel’s Messiah and possess much more impressive credentials than King David.  Such credentials would stagger the mind of the people of Judah and Israel.  The family tree was really what it was all about!  Kings came from lineage and had to be able to prove their heritage or establish a new throne from their own.
The Message states the passage, But you, Bethlehem, David's country, the runt of the litter-- From you will come the leader who will shepherd-rule Israel. He'll be no upstart, no pretender. His family tree is ancient and distinguished. 
Micah established a whole new family tree for royalty when he stated that the new ruler would originate, not from the ages of man, but from eternity...from God.  Such qualifications would be hard to better!  The expression “goings forth” in verse 2 comes from one word that means “origin.”  It describes a child originating in the loins of his father.  God’s ruler would have impressive credentials, for he would come from the heavenly Father.  Strangely, though this man with such royal heritage would come from Bethlehem.
God has always worked in unexpected ways according to the wisdom of the world.  Consider 1 Corinthians 1:25-29  Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before God.
God has often raised up leaders from improbable places and backgrounds.  Bethlehem was certainly the least likely place for God’s ruler to originate, yet Micah prophesied that God would raise up a ruler from the little town.  In the eyes of the people, Bethlehem held little prominence, but in the purpose of God this was the place of origination for the King of all Kings. 
Not only would this new ruler originate from God, He would also radiate the character of God.  New vitality would spring out of the dead state of the Judean monarchy.  Micah and the nations longed for a ruler who would be a godly person like David. (v. 3)  Several words in verses 2-3 disclose the unique character of the new ruler.  The word ruler suggests more than an earthly king.  Perhaps Micah reserved the title for one who would be a unique Messiah.
Scripture to claim:

And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, art not the least among the princes of Judah: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.  Matthew 2:6

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