This message was part of the ‘God’s Plan, God’s People, God’s Purpose’ series on the book of Micah, preached by Alastair Barrie at Christ Church Manchester’s church in Manchester City Centre in early 2018. The full series included the following sermons:
This sermon was based on Micah 5.
The Ruler to Be Born In Bethlehem
1 Now muster your troops, O daughter of troops; siege is laid against us; with a rod they strike the judge of Israel on the cheek. 2 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. 3 Therefore he shall give them up until the time when she who is in labor has given birth; then the rest of his brothers shall return to the people of Israel. 4 And he shall stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God. And they shall dwell secure, for now he shall be great to the ends of the earth. 5 And he shall be their peace. When the Assyrian comes into our land and treads in our palaces, then we will raise against him seven shepherds and eight princes of men; 6 they shall shepherd the land of Assyria with the sword, and the land of Nimrod at its entrances; and he shall deliver us from the Assyrian when he comes into our land and treads within our border.
A Remnant Shall Be Delivered
7 Then the remnant of Jacob shall be in the midst of many peoples like dew from the Lord, like showers on the grass, which delay not for a man nor wait for the children of man. 8 And the remnant of Jacob shall be among the nations, in the midst of many peoples, like a lion among the beasts of the forest, like a young lion among the flocks of sheep, which, when it goes through, treads down and tears in pieces, and there is none to deliver. 9 Your hand shall be lifted up over your adversaries, and all your enemies shall be cut off. 10 And in that day, declares the Lord, I will cut off your horses from among you and will destroy your chariots; 11 and I will cut off the cities of your land and throw down all your strongholds; 12 and I will cut off sorceries from your hand, and you shall have no more tellers of fortunes; 13 and I will cut off your carved images and your pillars from among you, and you shall bow down no more to the work of your hands; 14 and I will root out your Asherah images from among you and destroy your cities. 15 And in anger and wrath I will execute vengeance on the nations that did not obey.
JESUS IS THE FULFILMENT OF GOD’S PROMISE
- Micah promised a ruler to be born in Bethlehem. This was fulfilled in Jesus.
- Throughout the Old Testament, God had been promising his people a King – and all of this is fulfilled in Christ.
- In both the Old Testament anticipation and in the fulfilment in Jesus, people reject God’s king for a human king (‘We have no other king but Caesar’).
JESUS PROMISES ULTIMATE VICTORY OVER SIN
- Trusting in Jesus enables us to have peace and rest securely in our forgiven status.
- There are no situations or sins that are beyond the reach of Christ’s kingship.
- We are empowered by the Holy Spirit to fight against sin and see victory.
JESUS GIVES GOD ALL THE GLORY
- Micah sees the idols in the hearts of the people as just as big a threat as the army that is ready to invade the country.
- That physical destruction was symbolic of the spiritual destruction to the people’s relationship with God.
- We must reject idols and instead give glory to God.