Micah 5 – The Ruler of Nations will come!

Micah 5 – The Ruler of Nations will come!
By Pastor Lee Hemen
November 6, 2016

In the early 1930’s financially strapped Germany was ripe for a charismatic and forceful ruler who seemed to know all the answers and understand the nation’s problems. This is how Hitler and his Brown Shirt movement rose to power; that and he used force, corruption and racism. Some think that America could be ready for such an ungodly ruler if we keep heading in the wrong direction socially, morally, and financially.

Most people want leaders who will lead with integrity, devotion, and wisdom. Israel had not had very many leaders with these qualities. There is truth to the saying, “Absolute power corrupts absolutely.” It is part of a quotation by the historian and moralist Lord Acton (1834–1902). His actual quote was: “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.” Of course this is not always the case and Micah’s words tell us of someone who would be a fantastic ruler. He would be the Ruler of Nations. Let’s discover what Micah prophesied…

READ: Micah 5

When Jesus came he taught his disciples, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:27 NIV) Here in Micah he prophesied that…

I. The Ruler of Nations will bring God’s peace! (Vv. 1-5a)

Marshal your troops, O city of troops, for a siege is laid against us. They will strike Israel’s ruler on the cheek with a rod. “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.” Therefore Israel will be abandoned until the time when she who is in labor gives birth and the rest of his brothers return to join the Israelites. He will stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God. And they will live securely, for then his greatness will reach to the ends of the earth. And he will be their peace.

1. These verses were quoted when Jesus was born, they foretold of a Messiah, a ruler and spiritual leader who would be born to rule Israel like no other ruler had. But first, God tells the Hebrews to “Marshal your troops, O city of troops, for a siege is laid against us.” Jerusalem would not be able to rely on her human protection again and her enemy was already at her gates and she did not notice! And even her king could not save her and prophetically Micah relates that “They will strike Israel’s ruler on the cheek with a rod.” This meant he would be humiliated, just as King Zedekiah was. Then Micah’s pronouncement shifts gears and begins to make even more of a futuristic prophecy: “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.” This was an older name for Bethlehem and the area around it and this ruler was special and from God. He was “from of old” foretold by God. However, “Israel will be abandoned until the time when she who is in labor gives birth and the rest of his brothers return to join the Israelites.” Israel would suffer the consequences of her sin (abandoned) but God promised she would be reborn and the dispersed would be returned! Micah explains that the Messiah God promised “will stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God.” The promised Messiah would do that which the corrupt leaders of Micah’s day could never do, he would shepherd God’s people in God. And because of the Messiah “they will live securely, for then his greatness will reach to the ends of the earth. And he will be their peace.” The Ruler of Nations will bring God’s peace!

EXAMPLE: There are those who chant “No justice! No peace!” Perhaps they would do well to remember the biblical truth that if you know the Prince of Peace you will have justice! While in this world we will never experience real peace we know that only in Jesus do we have peace with God. This is why the angels sang to the shepherds, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.” (Luke 2:14 NIV) Micah teaches us that the Ruler of Nations will bring God’s peace!

II. The Ruler of Nations destroys all boundaries! (Vv. 5b-8)

When the Assyrian invades our land and marches through our fortresses, we will raise against him seven shepherds, even eight leaders of men. They will rule the land of Assyria with the sword, the land of Nimrod with drawn sword. He will deliver us from the Assyrian when he invades our land and marches into our borders. The remnant of Jacob will be in the midst of many peoples like dew from the LORD, like showers on the grass, which do not wait for man or linger for mankind. The remnant of Jacob will be among the nations, in the midst of many peoples, like a lion among the beasts of the forest, like a young lion among flocks of sheep, which mauls and mangles as it goes, and no one can rescue.

1. How would God bring about his peace when all Israel had ever known was war and strife? God tells Micah, “When the Assyrian (God’s enemies) invades our land and marches through our fortresses; we will raise against him seven shepherds, even eight leaders of men.” This is more than mere braggadocio that God would provide through the Messiah the means to defeat every enemy; Micah meant that God would raise up who he wanted to rescue Israel yet it would not be as Israel thought. The one God would rise up would “rule the land of Assyria with the sword, the land of Nimrod with drawn sword.” The sword God would provide would be “the word of God” which is “living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12 NIV) It would be God who would “deliver (Israel) from the Assyrian when (the enemy) invades our land and marches into our borders.” What armies and the machines of war could never do, the Word of God would! In fact even though the Israelites would be dispersed throughout the world, “The remnant of Jacob will be in the midst of many peoples like dew from the LORD, like showers on the grass, which do not wait for man or linger for mankind.” Their dispersion was part of the promise of God and all believers are the assurance of God realized through his Word! We are the dew of the Lord! We are the “remnant” of Israel “in the midst of many people” and “like the showers on the grass” we do not “wait for man or linger for any man”. Therefore believers are the “remnant of Jacob (who) will be among the nations, in the midst of many peoples, like a lion among the beasts of the forest, like a young lion among flocks of sheep, which mauls and mangles as it goes, and no one can rescue.” This is how God’s promise to Israel has been fulfilled! The gospel message destroys all borders, all boundaries, all armies, and all nations because it is the kingdom of God! The Ruler of Nations destroys all boundaries!

EXAMPLE: God does not have a problem with nationalism or patriotism, unless it thwarts his purpose. Nations and their leaders are ordained of God. “Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. ‘He will rule them with an iron scepter.’ He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty.” (Revelation 19:15 NIV) Daniel saw the promised Messiah as one “like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven” approach the throne of God and “He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.” (Daniel 7:13-14 NIV) The Ruler of Nations destroys all boundaries!

III. The Ruler of Nations demolishes spiritual strongholds! (Vv. 9-15)

Your hand will be lifted up in triumph over your enemies, and all your foes will be destroyed. “In that day,” declares the LORD, “I will destroy your horses from among you and demolish your chariots. I will destroy the cities of your land and tear down all your strongholds. I will destroy your witchcraft and you will no longer cast spells. I will destroy your carved images and your sacred stones from among you; you will no longer bow down to the work of your hands. I will uproot from among you your Asherah poles and demolish your cities. I will take vengeance in anger and wrath upon the nations that have not obeyed me.”

1. When God’s promise to Israel had been fully realized then her “hand will be lifted up in triumph over (her) enemies, and all (her) foes will be destroyed.” Again, not by human effort but by the promise of God’s Messiah and in fact he states, “‘In that day,’ declares the LORD, ‘I will destroy your horses from among you and demolish your chariots.” The things they had relied on to save them. The Messiah would not only purge Israel of all her power that she relied on but he promised, “I will destroy the cities of your land and tear down all your strongholds.” Any manmade protection Israel had relied on in the past would be demolished. Besides destroying enemies from outside Israel, the Messiah would purge the nation of every trace of ungodly spiritual practices such as “witchcraft” and she would “no longer cast spells.” The wording here suggests the use of demonic powers to manipulate or influence others. When the Messiah would come God continues and promises that “I will destroy your carved images and your sacred stones from among you; you will no longer bow down to the work of your hands.” When people abandon God and neglect his ways they begin to rely on ungodly things instead; again when the Messiah comes God promised, “I will destroy your carved images and your sacred stones from among you; you will no longer bow down to the work of your hands. I will uproot from among you your Asherah poles and demolish your cities.” When people rely on images, sacred relics, or things made by human hands they are no longer relying on God. Faith in God’s Messiah destroys such nonsense. He “uproots” and “demolishes” such things. In fact it is God who “will take vengeance in anger and wrath upon the nations that have not obeyed me.” The Ruler of Nations demolishes spiritual strongholds!

EXAMPLE: David, a boyhood shepherd and later Israel’s king sang, “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.” (Psalms 20:7 NIV) What David sang about he understood that the followers of the Lord need only trust in him alone. Micah therefore reminds us that we are not to trust in manmade things to save us nor are we to trust in superstitions to protect us. Again David would sing, “The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song. The LORD is the strength of his people, a fortress of salvation for his anointed one.” (Psalms 28:7-8 NIV) Micah teaches us that the Ruler of Nations demolishes spiritual strongholds!

Conclusion:

The Ruler of Nations will bring God’s peace! The Ruler of Nations destroys all boundaries! The Ruler of Nations demolishes spiritual strongholds!
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This article is copyrighted © 2016 by Lee Hemen and is the sole property of Lee Hemen, and may not be used unless you quote the entire article and have my permission.

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