Micah 5:1–5 (NKJV)
5:1 Now gather yourself in troops,
O daughter of troops;
He has laid siege against us;
They will strike the judge of Israel with a rod on the cheek.
This opening verse of chapter 5 continues the theme of judgment for Israel’s sins. God will strike Israel, but through a foreign enemy army.
2 “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
Though you are little among the thousands of Judah,
Yet out of you shall come forth to Me
The One to be Ruler in Israel,
Whose goings forth are from of old,
3 Therefore He shall give them up,
Until the time that she who is in labor has given birth;
Then the remnant of His brethren
Shall return to the children of Israel.
4 And He shall stand and feed His flock
In the strength of the Lord,
In the majesty of the name of the Lord His God;
And they shall abide,
For now He shall be great
To the ends of the earth;
5 And this One shall be peace.
When the Assyrian comes into our land,
And when he treads in our palaces,
Then we will raise against him
Seven shepherds and eight princely men.
The remainder of this passage refers to the coming Messiah, much of which is referenced by Matthew in his story of Christ’s birth. The location of Christ’s birth, the labor in which the nation suffers at His birth, and the ruling prophecies all pointed to Christ, and are fulfilled in His life. Peace is the primary characteristic of His reign and ministry. The passage end with a promise to bring a great group of defenders against the aggressor, Assyria. However, their defense will not stand.
It is powerful to see the common combination of judgment and mercy found in the prophecies of God to Israel. While He speaks of judgment against Israel for their sins, He also speaks of sending a Messiah to bring peace. When a vanquished land has a promise from God of a hero to come and restore what was lost, they are not totally without hope. The nation can stand upon His promises. Do that in your own life, believing that whatever problem you face today, God is there to take you through it and on to victory!