Christmas Sermon: The Great Shepherd King (Micah 5:2)

Micah 5.1-6 Click For Audio

The Great Shepherd-King

Micah 5:2

God has often taken the weakest link and made it the strongest.  King David was the least of his brothers.  Yet he stood toe-to-toe with Goliath in the name of the Lord and conquered.  Gideon was the least of his family and his family was the least of all the tribes.  Yet Gideon fighting in the power of the Lord was victorious over the Midianites.  Samuel, Moses, Amos, etc all were insignificant nobodies and God used them and they accomplished great things. 

Why does God do things this way?

1 Cor 1:27 But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong;

1 Cor 1:28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are,

1 Cor 1:29 so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.

1 Cor 1:30 And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption,

1 Cor 1:31 so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”

Why does God do things this way?  The reason is two-fold.  First, no human being can boast in the presence of God and second, we will only boast in Him.

Christmas is about the fulfillment of God’s promises to those who are insignificant.   The amazing thing is not that Christ came but that He came for us.  Not that He came bring salvation but that salvation came to us.  Today, we are going to look at an amazing contrast between the insignificant and significant, between weakness and strength.

Please hear God’s Word…

Mi 5:1 Now muster your troops, O daughter of troops; siege is laid against us; with a rod they strike the judge of Israel on the cheek.

Mi 5:2 [1]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.

Mi 5:3 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.

Mi 5:4 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.

Mi 5:5 And he shall be their peace. When the Assyrian comes into our land and treads in our palaces, then we will raise against him seven shepherds and eight princes of men;

Mi 5:6 they shall shepherd the land of Assyria with the sword, and the land of Nimrod at its entrances; and he shall deliver us from the Assyrian when he comes into our land and treads within our border.

1. Too-Little-Bethlehem

Bethlehem was too small to be considered a great city.  She was too little to be any sort of strategic military outpost.  Most inhabitants were poor farmers.  Bethlehem means bread or town of bread.  Ephrathah, an older name of Bethlehem, means fruitful.

God was getting ready to do something great in the town of Bethlehem.  The Savior of the world would be born there.  The Messiah would be born in Bethlehem.

I always hated it when I was growing up and wanted to do something and was told you’re too little.  You can’t walk to school by yourself, you’re too little.  You can’t stay at home by yourself, you’re too little. Bethlehem, you cannot produce or do anything noteworthy, you’re simply too little.  God has decided otherwise.  Bethlehem, known as the City of David, would do something amazing with God’s help.

The wise men came to Jerusalem following a star and inquired of the scribes and Pharisees about the ancient prophecy.  They learned that the Messiah would not be born in Jerusalem or Rome or any other great city as far as human standards go but insignificant, too-little Bethlehem.

Mt 2:1 Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem,

Mt 2:2 saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”

Mt 2:3 When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him;

Mt 2:4 and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born.

Mt 2:5 They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet:

Mt 2:6 “‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.'”

Mt 2:7 Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared.

Mt 2:8 And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.”

Mt 2:9 After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was.

Mt 2:10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.

Mt 2:11 And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.    

These verses lead us to our second point.  On the one hand we have insignificant Bethlehem and on the other, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords…

2. The King of Kings

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.

Mi 5:3 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.

Mi 5:4 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.

Micah tells us that Bethlehem is about to produce One who is the Ancient of Days.  This phrase means that the King coming from Bethlehem has no starting point.  He has always been.  The King of Kings and Lord of Lords will be a descendant of the house of David and He will be from eternity past.  Only Jesus Christ can fulfill this prophecy.  The Son of God has always existed and took on flesh at the incarnation.  He was born into time through the Virgin Mary.

We often forget that our Savior is also our King.  But, there should be a greater recognition of the Lord’s kingship among his own people, people who have faith to believe what they are taught in the Word of God. For it is clear that this is a large part of what Christ is for us and that this is emphasized in the NT. In the Book of Acts, for example, the act of true faith in Christ is the confession of him as Lord. He is first and foremost the Lord, the King, in Acts, and it is the recognition of this that brings men to salvation. And “living in the fear of the Lord” (Acts 9:31) is the way the Christian life is described. Paul says the same thing in Romans 10:9: “…if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord’, and believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” True faith in Christ must be an act of submission to him as our ruler, our king. The Bible says this in many different ways, but it is powerfully put here in the OT prophets, when they see Christ coming to the world and to his people as the King of Kings.
There is no conflict between Christ as Savior and Lord. He is one and the same at the same time. He saves us as a King, he saves us to rule over us, and he rules over all power and authority in order to save and deliver us and bring us to heaven. We get a view of Christianity that is seriously incomplete, if we see Christ as Savior but not as King, our King, now our King, a King to whom we owe the submission of our lives and our service, a King who has our lives and all life in his hands. This note needs to be sounded again clearly in our day, when Christians have grown accustomed, in part because they see Christ only as their Savior, to thinking of Christ as existing for them and not themselves as existing for him!—Robert Raymond

Jesus Christ demands worship and loyalty not because He’s our Savior but because He is our King.  Do you worship and obey the King?
The Messiah, Ruler of Israel is our King as well.  Judah and Israel had produced many kings over the years, some good but most wicked.   This King is very different than the others.  It is true that He rules but it’s also true that He shepherds His people.
Notice with me…
Mi 5:4 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.

The Micah prophecy tells us that the coming Messiah born in Bethlehem will not only be a King who rules but a King who shepherds.  The Micah King is a Shepherd-King.
The wise men were told of this Shepherd-King when they inquired.  It is the Shepherd-King they worshipped.
Mt 2:11 And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.   

Jesus is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords and He is the Shepherd-King.  He alone is the One who cares for His people.  Most all kings have one concern and it is a selfish grip on their rule and reign.  Christ is given the throne of David and His is an eternal reign.  His concern is to care for His people as a shepherd cares for his flock.  Jesus called Himself, The Good Shepherd…
Jn 10:11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
Jn 10:12 He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them.
Jn 10:13 He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.
Jn 10:14 I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me,
Christmas is about God fulfilling His promises in Christ.  Christmas is about the insignificant made significant in Christ.  Christmas is about the divine baby born in Bethlehem and destined for the eternal throne of David.  It’s about this King being our Good Shepherd and leading us home.  Christmas is not only about God’s promises being fulfilled in Christ but all of God’s promises being for us in Christ.
Rom 15:8 For I tell you that Christ became a servant to the circumcised to show God’s truthfulness, in order to confirm the promises given to the patriarchs,
Rom 15:9 and in order that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written, “Therefore I will praise you among the Gentiles, and sing to your name.” Rom 15:10 And again it is said, “Rejoice, O Gentiles, with his people.”
Rom 15:11 And again, “Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles, and let all the peoples extol him.”
Rom 15:12 And again Isaiah says, “The root of Jesse will come, even he who arises to rule the Gentiles; in him will the Gentiles hope.”
Rom 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
Finally, Christmas is about doing away with all boasting except in Christ.
Praise God for sending the Messiah, King Jesus to be our Shepherd-King.
My challenge to everyone here today is to see Jesus in a new way.  See Him as King.  Submit to His rule in your lives and in your homes.  He is King Jesus, Ruler, Savior, Shepherd.

 

 

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