December 16th, 2018
In a very real sense, the Christian community lives in Advent all the time. It can well be called the Time Between, because the people of God live in the time between the first coming of Christ, incognito in the stable in Bethlehem, and his second coming, in glory, to judge the living and the dead… Advent contains within itself the crucial balance of the now and the not-yet that our faith requires…. The disappointment, brokenness, and pain that characterizes life in this present world is held in dynamic tension with the promise of future glory that is yet to come. In that Advent tension, the church lives its life. - Fleming Rutledge
Main Idea: Jesus is the promised King whose peaceful reign is ancient, present, and future
I. THE PROMISED ANCIENT KING (5:1-2)
Micah describes a scene where troops have surrounded Jerusalem and their King is being humiliated by the enemy. This ought to humble the people of Israel, but they continually ignore gracious warnings from God.
The King described in verse 2 stands in stark contrast to the weak & humiliated King of Israel. 3 things we learn about this coming Ruler & Messiah:
1. He will be born in Bethlehem
2. He will serve God faithfully
3. He is from “old, from ancient days”
Though this King is “born,” he is actually “ancient.” This is what we celebrate at Christmas: the incarnation of Christ is God himself coming in the flesh. Strikingly, he comes not in strength but in weakness, born as a baby, born in a small, meager town, and born into a poor family.
“Christ is always born in Bethlehem among the little ones. Big hearts never get Christ inside of them; Christ lives not in great hearts, but in little ones. Mighty and proud spirits never have Jesus Christ, for he comes in at low doors, but he will not come in at high ones. He who has a broken heart, and a low spirit, shall have the Savior, but none else
— Charles Spurgeon
The message of Christmas forces us to life our eyes from the cradle to the cross.
“There has never been a gift offered that makes you swallow your pride to the depths that the gift of Jesus Christ requires us to do. Christmas means that we are so lost, so unable to save ourselves, that nothing less than the death of the Son of God himself could save us. That means you are not somebody who can pull yourself together and live a moral and good life. To accept the true Christmas gift, you have to admit you’re a sinner. You need to be saved by grace. You need to give up control of your life
— Tim Keller
II. THE ALREADY & NOT YET KINGDOM (5:3-5A)
The reign and rule of this Messiah here can be difficult to locate temporally; some of the descriptions seem like past events, some present, and some in the future. This tension captures the “already” but “not yet” of the Kingdom of God.
Three aspects of the rule and reign of the Messiah are seen in these verses:
1.The Nature of His Rule (5:4a)
He will rule like a shepherd (cf. John 10:11), caring for his flock in toughness & tenderness.
2. The Extent of His Rule (5:4b)
He will be great “to the ends of the earth,” the vision that is realized fully at the end of the Scriptures (cf. Rev. 7:9ff)
3. The Results of His Rule (5:5a)
His people will “dwell secure” because “he shall be their peace.”
Are you at peace this Christmas season? Is your soul at rest? True peace will not be found in temporary things or in better circumstances; it can only be found in him. Christmas forces us to ask: Is Jesus your King? Is Jesus your peace?