Reading: Micah 5; Psalm 23
In verse 4 Micah speaks about the promised King who will shepherd His flock. The promised King will be a good shepherd! This is a reminder of the glorious days under king David. The promised King will be like David, who was shepherd before he became king. As such he was a foreshadowing of Christ. As king, he ruled as a good shepherd for his people. That is how it should be; that is how God wants it to be.
The rulers in the OT, in the days of Micah, did not rule with justice and in righteousness. They used their position more for their own gain, as we already saw in Micah 2:1-2.
Woe to those who devise iniquity,
And work out evil on their beds!
At morning light they practice it,
Because it is in the power of their hand.
They covet fields and take them by violence,
Also houses, and seize them.
So they oppress a man and his house,
A man and his inheritance.
And we can read it again in Micah 3:1-3:
“Hear now, O heads of Jacob,
And you rulers of the house of Israel:
Is it not for you to know justice?
2 You who hate good and love evil;
Who strip the skin from My people,
And the flesh from their bones;
3 Who also eat the flesh of My people,
Flay their skin from them,
Break their bones,
And chop them in pieces
Like meat for the pot,
Like flesh in the caldron.”
That was also what Ezekiel addressed in Ezekiel 34, where he speaks about the leaders of Israel, of Judah, as shepherds who forsook their task and were evil. God would reject them and He Himself would shepherd His flock. This prophecy came to fulfillment in our Lord Jesus Christ, Who said about Himself that He is the good shepherd, John 10.
He did not take the life of His sheep, as the false shepherds did in Judah: they oppressed their subjects so that they themselves might gain wealth and prosperity. But the Lord Jesus did the opposite. He gave His own life, to give His sheep eternal life and eternal glory. And because of that God loved Him and chose Him as the Good Shepherd for His flock.
It was about Him, that David also prophesied in that beautiful psalm 23.
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. 3 He restores my soul;
This Psalm has given comfort and hope and strength to so many Christians throughout the history of this world and still does it nowadays. This Psalm receives its fulfillment in our Lord Jesus Christ. We may have a foretaste of the green pastures and the still waters, a foretaste of the table which He prepares for us in the presence of our enemies. Christ is the Good Shepherd, Who will lead you to green pastures, beside still waters.
Trust in Him only. He is our Good Shepherd, Who gave His own life for us. He will never give us up, but He will shepherd His flock in the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the name of the LORD, his God, and they will dwell secure, for His greatness will reach to the ends of the earth.
In John 10, our Lord Jesus says that His sheep will follow Him because they recognize His voice. That is the preaching of the gospel. Through the Word of God, we follow Christ.
He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. 5 Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.
To recognize the voice of Christ, the pure preaching of the Word is very important! That is the voice of Christ! His sheep will recognize His voice because it is the Holy Spirit Who works faith.
Follow Him, He is the One Who gave His own life for you. The mighty ones send their people into battle so that they may die for their leaders. Our Lord, Jesus Christ, He is our Lord. He died for us. He Who loved us so much, He will certainly do what He promised: He will lead us into green pastures and beside quiet waters. He will prepare a table before us.