Summary: Two principal questions find answers in our text. First who is this promised King? And second, what kind of King is he?
I would like to draw your attention to a prophecy that was written about the place of Jesus’ birth 700 years before he was born. It is found in Micah 5:2-5a:
2 But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah,
who are too little to be among the clans of Judah,
from you shall come forth for me
one who is to be ruler in Israel,
whose coming forth is from of old,
from ancient days.
3 Therefore he shall give them up until the time
when she who is in labor has given birth;
then the rest of his brothers shall return
to the people of Israel.
4 And he shall stand and shepherd his flock
in the strength of the Lord,
in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God.
And they shall dwell secure, for now he shall be great
to the ends of the earth.
5 And he shall be their peace. (Micah 5:2–5a)
In his excellent book titled, The New Evidence that Demands a Verdict, Josh McDowell says:
Throughout the New Testament the apostles appealed to two areas of the life of Jesus of Nazareth to establish his messiahship. One was the resurrection and the other was fulfilled messianic prophecy. The Old Testament, written over a one-thousand year period, contains nearly three hundred references to the coming Messiah. All of these were fulfilled in Jesus Christ, and they establish a solid confirmation of his credentials as the Messiah.
It is simply astounding that almost three hundred prophecies concerning the first coming of Jesus were all literally fulfilled!
One of those prophecies had to do with the place of Jesus’ birth. Seven hundred years before the Holy Spirit brought about a miraculous conception in a certain young maiden named Mary so that she would become the mother of the Christ, that same Spirit of God gave prophetic insight to one of his spokesmen. Micah predicted that the town of Bethlehem would be the place where the coming King would be born.
The Gospel of Matthew records that Magi came from the East following a star (2:1-12). They went to the palace of King Herod to ask directions to the newborn King. Herod could hardly control his apoplexy as he called his scholars to research this matter. They went to the royal library and found the answer written in Micah 5:2: “But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days” (Matthew 2:6).
With the star to lead them on and the prophecy to tell them where to go, the Magi soon found the newborn King in Bethlehem.
Two principal questions find answers in Micah 5. First, who is this promised King? And second, what kind of King is he?
I. Who Is This Promised King (5:2)?
First, who is this promised king?
The King has come, and this King is Jesus! Three prophesies in this passage identify the King as Jesus the Messiah.
First, Jesus was born in Bethlehem. Micah 5:2 says, “But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days.” This small village, just about 5 miles south of Jerusalem, had little to distinguish it before Jesus came into the world. Even though Jesus’ ancestor, King David, had also been born in Bethlehem a thousand years earlier, it was still a sleepy little village when Jesus was born. And yet, on that night when Jesus was born, everything changed forever. As Phillips Brooks so wonderfully captured in his popular carol, “O Little Town of Bethlehem”: