Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the three-year lectionary.
The Bible paints a fascinating picture of God’s power at work. The creator, sustainer, and redeemer of all, the one who is all-powerful, is also the one who works in humility. Actually, if we think about it, humility gives an honest assessment of one’s character and qualifications. It would be perfectly humble for God to spend all eternity proclaiming his greatness and destroying everything that doesn’t correspond to him. But that isn’t at all how the Lord uses his power.
In our Old Testament passage from Micah 5 we see that God’s kingdom is unassuming. The little town of Bethlehem, one of the lesser places in Judah, is the place where the ruler identified in ancient times would arise. I’ve heard Bethlehem referred to as “a wide place in the road where the bus doesn’t stop unless you flag it down.” A quick check of census data shows that it’s around 20,000 people, which, in my reckoning is more than a wide place in the road. But it’s not that large, and wasn’t very large in the time of Christ’s birth. It could easily be seen as a place of obscurity, making the coming ruler someone from very humble surroundings. Yet this is the ruler who, in Micah 5:2, had an origin from antiquity.
God’s plan often seems obscure to us. It often seems delayed. If God had planned to raise up a redeemer, why did he wait? What was going on? The fact is, we don’t know. People have often speculated, but it’s just speculation. The Scripture doesn’t say, though in Paul’s letter to the Galatians it says that the birth of Christ was at just the right time.
In his time, God gathers his people together. The shepherd who seemed idle was actually at work (v. 4). Everything was moving along just fine. Like a flock of sheep under the care of a good shepherd, God’s people are secure, even if the shepherd doesn’t seem to be doing anything. His greatness protects them even from enemies such as the Assyrians, mentioned in verse five.
In the face of fearful enemies, God is able to care for his flock. Again, Micah uses the language of a shepherd getting to work, thoguh here in verse five it is seven shepherds and eight leaders of men. These may seem like insignificant forces, especially against an opponent like the Assyrians. But once again, God’s care for his people arises from humble surroundings.
Micah tells us that God is able to take care of his people. This is great good news. Though he may not seem to be busy, we can trust that the almighty Lord is on the job and that his people will be just fine.
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