"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 5:4
In preparing to write this devotional, I decided to re-read all of Micah’s message. The book of Micah is quite a ride: doom and gloom around one corner and sunshine and harmony around the next. Micah writes both warnings of God’s judgment and promises of God’s love, mercy, & justice.
At the time of Micah’s prophecies, the people of Israel & Judah have seen much darkness and strayed from God’s law. Israel has been struck down. Jerusalem has fallen. A few verses before this one, Micah reminds the people that their enemies surround them. Jacob’s few surviving descendants are scattered. Separated. They are broken. That sounds relevant for 2022, doesn’t it? We’ve also just endured a period of great darkness. Our loved ones have been ripped from us by COVID-19. At the time I’m writing this devotional, almost a million Americans are dead, and our country is deeply mourning their loss. We’ve disagreed with our brothers and sisters over safety measures, mandates, vaccines, masks, and what should be taught in schools. We’ve seen a rise in racism, riots, gun violence, and hate crimes. We too are broken. We’ve been struck down. We’ve been scattered. We do not feel secure right now.
Just like the people of Israel & Judah, we need God’s strength and protection. We are aching for divine deliverance. In the midst of the darkness, Micah gives these words of hope: “he shall stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the Lord.” Micah’s words come to us from around the Eighth Century B.C., when the Messiah hasn’t yet been seen. We get to read these messages with the beautiful assurance of Jesus’s life and ministry.
Today, let us remember: Jesus is still here, in all his kingly glory (minus the crown). Like any good shepherd, he will bring his flock together. What is scattered will be assembled again. He is great to the ends of the earth and we can dwell secure in that knowledge. As we start to reassemble what has been scattered, we do so with the strength and greatness of our Lord behind us. Amen.