Monday, December 16, 2019

The Coming Messianic King

"He will stand and shepherd His flock in the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the name of the LORD His God. And they will live securely, for then His greatness will reach to the ends of the earth" (Micah 5:4).

If there is any book in the Old Testament that confounds the higher critics, it is the book of Micah. This is because Micah clearly predicted concrete future events that actually came to pass, and no one is able to maintain that Micah lived after the events he predicted.

For instance, Micah 3:12 stated that “Zion will be plowed like a field, Jerusalem will become a heap of rubble, the temple hill a mound overgrown with thickets.” When was this statement written? All the evidence supports Micah’s own claim to have made these statements over a century before the destruction of Jerusalem (Micah 1:1). A liberal critic, however, might insist that Micah simply made a lucky guess. Or, he might maintain that a later writer inserted Micah 3:12 into the text after Jerusalem had been destroyed.

Such pseudo-intellectual games have little credibility, and it is even more difficult to play this game with Micah 5:2–4. Those verses claim that a ruler would come out of Bethlehem, a ruler whose origins were from days of eternity. Micah claimed that Israel would suffer without a king until this King was born. He claimed that the greatness of this King would reach to the ends of the earth.

Now, a liberal critic might say, “Well, David came from Bethlehem, so Micah was expressing a hope that a new David would arise.” This is true as far as it goes, but what about Micah’s confident prediction in 5:3 that there would be no king in Israel from the destruction of Jerusalem until this new David was born? What about his prediction that the Greater David’s fame would reach to all the world? Were these merely lucky guesses?

The liberal critic has no real answer, but he is forced to reject the clear statement of the text anyway. To admit that Micah meant what he said would force the liberal critic to recognize the reality of predictive prophecy. This would force him to recognize that the prophets were inspired by God, and would lead him face to face with the Bible’s claim to be inspired, infallible, and inerrant. Since the critic will not bow the knee to the God of the Bible, he is forced to play ridiculous games with the text of the Bible.

Not all prophecies have yet come to pass. Many are reserved for the end times, concerning the return of our Lord Jesus. Passages such as in Micah should reinforce our belief in the authority of Scripture and the reliability of predictive prophecy. Use this confidence during this advent season to anticipate further His second advent.