Summary: Christ Jesus came to feed us with spiritual food; so we may grow to maturity in our faith and bring hope through Him to our world.
Micah 2: 2 – 5 --- He Shall Feed His Flock
Intro: A last minute shopper mom was funning furiously from store to store. Suddenly she became aware that the hand of her three year old son was no longer clutched in hers. In a panic, she retraced her steps and found him standing with his nose pressed flatly against a frosty window. He was gazing at a manger scene. Hearing his mother’s near hysterical call, he turned and shouted with innocent glee: “Look Mommy! It’s Jesus – baby Jesus in the hay.” Without obvious indifference to his joy and wonder, she impatiently jerked him away saying, “We don’t have time for that!” --- Sadly, that’s the attitude of a lot of people at Christmas time. They don’t have time Jesus or God. (Illustration from “Something Great From Something Small” a sermon by Michael Luke on SermonCentral.com)
I. It seems tome that every year the stores start earlier and earlier to put out the Christmas “stuff.” I’ve heard many people complain that by the time Christmas gets here their Christmas Spirit has worn thin.
A. Micah lived in the 8th century BCE about the same time as the prophets Isaiah and Hosea. The Jewish people had been carried off into captivity by the Assyrians and there was great suffering and distress.
B. It is to these people Micah speaks not only harsh words of judgment; but also words of great hope and promise. He says that in the midst of the suffering and anguish, God has made a promise. There would be One who would come from David’s lineage and be a king like no other king.
C. Listen to the contrast between verses 1 and 2 of Micah 5. “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.”
II. It is obvious to many readers of Micah that his prophecy brought a word of hope intended to address the distress of his people.
A. God would send a decent ruler to relive their terrible situation, defeat their enemies, provide security for the future and rule with integrity.
B. The words in this little book of Micah were pertinent to his own people, to those who faced exile in Babylon, and to the followers of Jesus in the 1st century church.
C. We are not Micah’s first audience. But, our questions are not unlike those of his first audience. Our sins are similar, our need for a word of warning and a message of hope beyond the turmoil of our times is just as great.
III. It is easy to get caught up in searching for meaning in life from the wrong things because there are a lot of things that temporarily nourish our spirits.
A. 5 year old Johnny was in the kitchen as his mother made supper. She asked him to go down to the basement to get a can of cream of mushroom soup out of the storage cupboard; but, he didn’t want to go alone. “It’s dark down there and I’m scared.” Johnny’s mother replied, “It’s OK. Jesus will be down there with you.” Johnny walked hesitantly to the door leading to the basement and opened it slowly. He turned on the dim light and peeked down the stairs. Suddenly an idea came to him and he said, “Jesus, if you’re down there, could you hand me a can of cream of mushroom soup?”
B. Sometimes that’s how we deal with God’s presence in our lives. We aren’t quite sure God is there; but, just in case, could you meet my needs.
C. Micah says that this “ruler” will stand as a shepherd and feed his flock in the strength of the Lord. By saying this, Micah is telling his people and us that by depending completely on God, God will ensure that the people will dwell securely. Micah comforts his people telling them that deliverance will come and it will be wonderful.
Conclu: As Christians, we believe that “ruler / shepherd” is Christ Jesus who came to feed us with spiritual food; so that, we will grow to maturity in our faith and bring hope through Him to our world.