Journey Through The Scriptures

The Prophecy of Micah

Lesson 5: A Promised Ruler

(Scripture to Read: Micah 5:1–15)

This chapter of Micah contains another portion of the glorious prophecy of Israel’s future restoration, although verse 1 actually continues the prophet’s description of the suffering that will precede Israel’s blessing. Micah 5:1 in the English Bible is 4:14 in the Hebrew Bible, so that chapter 5 begins with the prophecy of Messiah’s coming. The reference to Bethlehem points immediately to King David, whose father was “Jesse of Bethlehem” (1 Samuel 17:58). That Messiah will be from the Davidic line is a frequently repeated theme in Scripture, for God promised David that he would have an heir on the throne of Israel forever.

The righteous rule of Messiah contrasts strongly with the ruler of 5:1 who is smitten and humiliated. This was the puppet King Zedekiah of Judah, who was captured and led to Babylon in disgrace as Nebuchadnezzar completed Judah’s conquest and destruction. Whereas Zedekiah was weak and ineffective, Messiah will accomplish wonderful things for Israel. He will reunite and restore the nation; He will care for the people as their shepherd; He will destroy Israel’s enemies; He will rid Israel of her dependence on military power; He will cleanse the nation from all false worship; and He will judge the nations that have opposed God and His people.

Study Questions

  1. Why do you think Micah mentioned the obscurity and seeming insignificance of Bethlehem?
  2. Like his ancestor David, Messiah will also "stand and shepherd his flock" (v. 4). What benefits does a good shepherd provide for his flock?
  3. Why would the prophecy of verse 9 be a special encouragement to the people of Israel as their enemies pressed in upon them?
  4. Why will Messiah destroy even Israel's dependence on the weapons and fortifications of a military state?

Something to Think About

There is an important lesson for us in the point being made in Micah 5:1011. Our dependence may not be on military might, but we misplace our confidence when we put it in anything other than the Lord and the strength of His might.