Micah 5:2-5 - Sunday Scripture Reflection
Updated: Dec 22, 2021
On this Fourth Sunday of Advent we will read from the Book of the prophet Micah. In our lesson this week, the prophet Micah begins by painting a picture of weakness and humiliation as the foreign armies threaten the Jewish people (5:1), but in our lesson the prophet continues with words of promise that God will act to restore God's people and give peace. Our discussion will explore the surprising elements of the story of David and the promise of the one whom God will send in the future; and how we should expect to find God in the unexpected nooks and crannies of our lives.
Our Scripture passage is found in the Book of the prophet Micah. You may find the Scripture lesson by selecting the following link: (Micah 5:2-5).
For continuing study, reflect on these questions (found in the study guide below):
The prophet Micah was one of the earliest "writing prophets" who documented what was seen and the prophecies they received in their prayers with God. Others in this group include Isaiah, Amos, and Hosea. They were active from around 750 BC to 650 BC and lived during the difficult times before, during, and after the Babylonian exile of the Jewish people.
Read the assigned Scripture for this week, and reflect on any words or phrases that may have caught your imagination. Also reflect on the idea that the town of Bethlehem figures prominently in Micah's prophecy, yet this town was a small, relatively unknown place. Do you find this surprising, in the context of the people who would be first hearing it...as they face the large imperial powers of the Assyrians and Babylonians? It seems to be a "David and Goliath" story.
After reading the "WHAT..." paragraph in the guide below, reflect on the connections with the Davidic monarchy, and the anointing story of David (the youngest of many sons). How is the story of David (from youngest to greatest) a hopeful prophecy for the Jewish people during their difficult times?
After reading the "WHERE..." paragraph below, reflect on the following: what parallels can be found between the image of a shepherd (who cares for the flock) and the ruler who is promised (who rules by serving, rather than dominating)? The people in Micah's time were experiencing hardship due to corrupt leadership - how might this prophecy of a leader who serves been a message of hope?
After reading the "SO WHAT..." paragraph below, reflect on the author's statement, "More often than not, we find God in the nooks and crannies" of life. Where you have you found God in the unexpected places of your life?
After reading the "NOW WHAT..." paragraph below, reflect on the statement the author provides: "the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice." This is a very popular phrase, but reflect on times when it was difficult for you to believe this based on events in the world; and consider how prayer and patience might help you to realize the truth of the phrase, if we commit ourselves to doing the work of God's justice and mercy in our communities.