The Old Testament Presents... Reflections of Christ
by Paul R. Van Gorder
- Micah was a contemporary of Isaiah. Very little is said of the man except that he was a Morasthite, from a town near the Philistines. He prophesied in Judah, although his message mostly concerned Samaria. His cry was like that of a watchman upon the night air. He brought both the voice of warning and the voice of expectation.
- OUTLINE OF THE BOOK--
- A Note of Warning (ch. 1)
- The rapidly approaching doom of Samaria, the capital of the 10 tribes, is announced.
- A Note of Wrath (ch. 2)
- A cause of the overthrow is traced to the covetousness and worldliness of God's once highly favored people.
- A Note of Threatening (ch. 3)
- Princes and popular prophets are rebuked. Because of them, Jerusalem was to become rubble, and Zion would be plowed as a field.
- A Note of Promise (ch. 4)
- When the Son of God appears, Jerusalem will shine in glory. Zion will become the meeting place for the millennial nations (v.1).
- A Note of Announcement (ch. 5)
- The place of Messiah's birth was prophesied (v.2). He will become the peace of His people. He will deliver them from Antichrist, the Assyrian of the last days, and make the remnant of Jacob strong (a young lion) among the Gentiles.
- A Note of Instruction (ch. 6)
- A tender pleading and upbraiding, by Jehovah, warns the children of Israel that they must suffer for their iniquities.
- A Note of Hope (ch. 7)
- In the midst of Jehovah's rebuke and indignation, the hope of the Lord's coming shines like a star in the dark sky. The prophecy closes with great joy and with eager anticipation of that day when God will cast Israel's sins into the depths of the sea.
- PROPHECIES OF CHRIST--
- Few prophets have had more to say about the coming of Christ than Micah.
We will consider some of the main elements.
- Micah Saw the Place of His Birth (5:2).
- The ''Highway of the Seed'' begins in Genesis and continues through the Old Testament until Christ is born.
- In Genesis 3:15 we read of the seed of the woman;
- in Genesis 17, of Abraham and his seed after him;
- in Genesis 49:10, of the tribe of Judah;
- in 2Samuel 7, of the line of David;
- and here in Micah 5:2, in Bethlehem Ephrathah.
- Many cities had this popular name [Bethlehem], meaning ''house of bread,'' but the prophet pinpointed it to be in Judah. Follow again the New Testament story about the way God fulfilled this promise by bringing Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem [Luke 2:1-7]. When Herod asked the chief priests and scribes where Christ should be born, they quoted the words of Micah the prophet to him, ''In Bethlehem of Judea; for thus it is written by the prophet, 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'' (Mat 2:5,6).
- Micah Saw His Humanity (5:2).
- ''Out of thee,'' Micah wrote. He did not say, out of heaven, though indeed that was where our Lord came from. But just like thousands of other men and women, He was born in Bethlehem. This One born in Bethlehem was to be ''a ruler'' over Israel. The Word was to be made flesh.
- Micah Saw His Deity (5:2)
- ''...whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.'' This is the same truth that Isaiah saw in chapter 9 of his prophecy, a truth that was later unfolded in the New Testament by Christ and the apostles:
- ''I and My Father are one'' (John 10:30).
- ''Glorify Thou Me... with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was'' (John 17:5).
- ''Before Abraham was, I am'' (John 8:58).
- ''In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God'' (John 1:1).
- ''The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us (and we beheld His glory...)'' (John 1:14).
- Micah saw the deity and humanity of Christ, as few are privileged to see them.
- The Nature and Character of His Reign (4:1-7).
- Peace will never be realized for our world until it is found in a person -- and that person is the One of whom Micah spoke. He predicted:
- Where the kingdom shall be established (4:2).
- That the kingdom shall be supreme in power (4:1-3) (see Daniel 7:13,14).
- That the kingdom shall be peaceful (4:3).
What a day, when nations will learn war no more!
- That it will be a time of universal learning (4:2).
Discrediting the Word of God has been the cause of all the world's ills. It began in the garden of Eden, and has continued to this present time. But a day is coming when there will be universal knowledge.
- That universal prosperity will come (4:4).
The inequality in the present age will not diminish. We may talk of a ''war on poverty,'' but poverty will never be abolished. Many of the ideals men are trying to bring about into this age really belong in the next [age].
- That there will be universal worship (4:5).
The prophet did not foresee the church. It was hidden from him. But he did look down the corridor of centuries to a time of universal worship in the kingdom. Another rendering of this verse may give a clearer meaning: ''For all the people do now walk in the name of their god, but as for us, we shall walk in the name of the Lord, our God, forever and ever.''
- Who the ruler of the last days will be (4:6,7).
The Lord of glory will put down rebellion and establish His righteous reign upon the earth. He taught His disciples to pray, ''Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven'' (Mat 6:10). This is the day of which Micah prophesied. Oh, what a day, when Christ reigns over this entire earth!
See the Book Notes on Micah for a verse by verse study of this book.
Return to table of contents for ''The Old Testament Presents... Reflections of Christ,''
written by Paul R. Van Gorder, Copyright 1982 by RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI.
Used by permission [within The Book from thebookwurm.com].
Further distribution is not allowed without permission from RBC.
For another brief look at this book of the Bible,
see the related chapter in Christ in All the Scriptures, by A.M. Hodgkin.
Go to The Book opening page.