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The Scriptorium

The Beginning of the End

The promised Ruler will come. Micah 5.2

The Shepherd King: Micah 5 (2)

Opening Prayer: Psalm 79.6-9
Pour out Your wrath on the nations that do not know You,
And on the kingdoms that do not call on Your name.
For they have devoured Jacob,
And laid waste his dwelling place.
Oh, do not remember former iniquities against us!
Let Your tender mercies come speedily to meet us,
For we have been brought very low.
Help us, O God of our salvation,
For the glory of Your name;
And deliver us, and provide atonement for our sins,
For Your name’s sake!

Sing Psalm 79.6-9
(Passion Chorale: O Sacred Head, Now Wounded)
Pour out, O Lord, Your wrath on all who deny Your Name;
who trust You not nor seek You, bring down to deepest shame!
For they have with great rancor Your precious saints devoured;
Lay waste their habitation at this late dreadful hour.

Read Micah 5.2

Preparation
1. What will happen from Bethlehem of Judah in the last days?

2. When was this One appointed for His rule?

Meditation
The destruction of Jerusalem and the temple, together with Israel’s captivity in Babylon, marked the end of the beginning of God’s redemptive work on behalf of His people. No king would take the throne once the Jews had returned to Jerusalem. The nation and the world went into a period of waiting (Lk. 2.25).

No sooner did Micah foresee the end of the Davidic kingdom on earth than he was shown the beginnings of its heaven-on-earth genesis. From Bethlehem of Judea, little (צָעִיר, tsa’ir – little, insignificant, mean) among the cities of the post-exilic nation, a Ruler of all Israel would come, One from the dynasty of David, and with Whom that dynasty would end (Gen. 49.8-11). This One is Shiloh, Him for Whom the Kingdom has been prepared, “And to Him shall be the obedience of the people”, literally, “the peoples”, that is, all nations (Gen. 49.10).

This promised Ruler would have an eternal pedigree. His “goings forth are from of old, from everlasting.” His coming inaugurates the last days and God’s last days project. His appearance is the beginning of the end – the end times, the end of Satan’s rule, and the end or fulfillment of God’s redemptive plan. That this Ruler was long expected is clear from Matthew 2.3-6.

That this long-expected Ruler was Jesus is the message of the entire New Testament.

Treasure Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
This long-expected Ruler King Jesus is the message of the entire New Testament, and of so many hymns from our historic heritage of believers. Charles Wesley penned a most beautiful tribute to our King Jesus:

“Come Thou long expected Jesus, Born to set Thy people free;
From our fears and sins release us; Let us find our rest in Thee.
Israel’s strength and consolation, Hope of all the earth Thou are;
Dear Desire of every nation, Joy of every longing heart.”

Born Thy people to deliver, Born a child and yet a king.
Born to reign in us forever, Now Thy gracious kingdom bring.
By Thine own eternal Spirit Rule in all our hearts along;
By Thine all sufficient merit, Raise us to Thy glorious throne.”

“For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end…” (Is. 9.6, 7).

“Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child” … “For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” (Lk. 2.4, 5, 11).

Reflection
1. Where was the Ruler to be born? What is significant about that city?

2. “Shiloh” means “Him Whose it is.” How does that apply to this Ruler?

3. What would be the effect of the coming of this Ruler? What are the implications of that for us?

This person, then, who was before time, who was in the beginning with God, who is God the Word, with his origins from that source from the beginning, receives his birth according to the flesh (the text says) in you [Bethlehem], making you famous and illustrious, even though unimportant among Judah’s thousands. Theodoret of Cyr (393-466), Commentary on Micah 5.2

Closing Prayer: Psalm 79.10-12
Pray for believers everywhere who are being persecuted for their faith. Pray for the lost, that they might come to know the Lord. And pray for opportunities today to share Jesus with others.

Sing Psalm 79.10-12
(Passion Chorale: O Sacred Head, Now Wounded)
Why should the nations mock and say, “Where now is their God?”
Let there be known among them harsh vengeance for our blood!
Hear, Lord, our groans and sighing; preserve us by Your pow’r.
For we are fairly dying each day and hour by hour.

Reproach those who reproach us with judgment sevenfold!
Let thanks and praise to You by Your precious flock be told.
We are Your sheep, O Savior, we thank You all our days.
Look on us with Your favor as we declare Your praise.

T. M. and Susie Moore

You can listen to our summary of last week’s study by clicking here.

Micah in God’s Covenant
Where does the book of Micah fit in God’s covenant with His people? Our workbook, God’s Covenant, can help you to answer that question and to gain a better understanding of how the grace of God reaches and transforms us in Jesus Christ. Order your free copy by clicking here.

Don’t forget to listen to this month’s Personal Mission Field Workshop. It’ll make you a little spongier (click here).

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Except as indicated, all Scripture are taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. For sources of all quotations, see the weekly PDF of this study. All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (Williston: Waxed Tablet Publications, 2006), available by clicking here.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT.
Books by T. M. Moore

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