Waiting with Expectation–Reflections on Micah

“But thou, Bethlehem Ehpratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.”—Micah, prophet of the Lord in Judah,  ca. 700BC

Micah expected a Savior. Nearly 700 years before His advent, Micah heard from the Lord and proclaimed his word to the people, giving the exact town in which Jesus would be born.

Micah lived in an era of Israel’s history fraught with evil. The Northern Kingdom had turned utterly away from the Lord their God. The Southern Kingdom, also called Judah, waffled from King to King, experiencing years of incredible revival, only to fall into abject idolatry in the next generation. But a remnant remained faithful. Micah was among them, along with Hose, and Isaiah, Micah was a man who stood faithful to the Lord, serving as a mouth piece for God’s message to his people.

Micah saw the inconsistencies within his culture and his heart burned with indignation. He saw the injustices, how the strong preyed on the weak, the powerful demanding service from the poor. He saw the misuse of God’s gifts, the pride, the selfishness, the demands for more. He also witnessed political upheaval, as kings bargained with pagan regents and relied on outside sources instead of God for security.

All of this drove Micah to look to His God for answers.  And God revealed to Micah his plans for a day when His King would rule with justice. Micah expected a Messiah. God told him to. So he did.  And God used him to pen the prophecy of where that King would be born—which interestingly, was used as a guide for Eastern regents to find the infant King. Think of it, a prophecy written by a Jewish man in the midst of oppression under Eastern nations, about a King who would be the ultimate deliverer, provides a key for those eastern nations to find that King and worship him nearly 700 years later!

But Micah didn’t just pen this famous prediction about Jesus. He also wrote these powerful words of promise:

“Therefore, I will look unto the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me. Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy; when I fall, I shall arise;

when I sit in darkness, Yahweh shall be a light unto me. I

 will bear the indignation of Yahweh, because I have sinned against him,

until He plead my cause, and execute judgment FOR me;

he will bring me forth to the light, and I shall behold his righteousness!”

 You see, Micah didn’t just see the sins and shortcomings of his culture, his kings, or the neighboring nations. He saw his own sin. He felt the weight of his own shortcomings. Micah expected a Messiah, not just to heal his nation, or bring about justice for his fellow man, but to plead his cause, and bring him back into the light of God’s glory. Micah was waiting for redemption; Micah expected a Savior.

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