Prophetic words transcend time. Past, present, and future weave together in one grand narrative. Passages like Micah 5:2-5a transport us out of time and space for a moment to realize something greater is happening in the universe.
This week we’ve explored how the original audience found meaning and hope in this message, how the Israelites would have seen this prophecy being fulfilled, and how twenty-first century readers interpret the text in the rear-view mirror. Based on our vantage point in human history, we can see how Jesus came with shepherd-like qualities guiding his flock into truth and providing strength for them along the way.
Today, we invite you to take off your learner hat to simply sit with this passage – just you and Jesus. Read this passage in the New Living Translation. Read it slowly and take in every word. Notice how the words feel rather than analyzing what the words mean. Read it as many times as you need to let the words sink down from your head into your heart.
But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah,
are only a small village among all the people of Judah.
Yet a ruler of Israel,
whose origins are in the distant past,
will come from you on my behalf.
The people of Israel will be abandoned to their enemies
until the woman in labor gives birth.
Then at last his fellow countrymen
will return from exile to their own land.
And he will stand to lead his flock with the Lord’s strength,
in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God.
Then his people will live there undisturbed,
for he will be highly honored around the world.
And he will be the source of peace.
After soaking with the words for a time, write down a prayer to Jesus based on what you felt in this passage. Tell him what you noticed and ask him if there’s anything more he wants to say to you today.
By Yvonne Biel