The Promise of the LORD's Shepherd-Ruler -
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.
Therefore Israel will be abandoned
until the time when she who is in labor gives birth
and the rest of his brothers return
to join the Israelites.
Micah 5:3 (NIV)
While the context of Micah's
prophecy is the Babylonian captivity of Israel, it has a
distant future reverberation of a much deeper spiritual
reality. The prophecy recalls the breach ("Israel
will be abandoned") between the
LORD and the remnant who are His ("the rest" in other translations is "the
remnant"). But it also promises
their deliverance and restoration corresponding to the birth
of a male child (as indicated by the pronoun "his" in "his brothers").
But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord
appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph son of David, do
not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is
conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to
a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will
save his people from their sins."
All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through
the prophet: "The virgin will be with child and will give birth
to a son, and they will call him Immanuel" (cited from Isaiah 7:14) â€"which means,
"God with us."
Matthew 1:20-23 (NIV)
Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.