MICAH: GOD’S PUNISHMENT AND HIS RESTORATION
III: God’s Regathering His People As A Shepherd And King
A. Micah, who was “a Judean from Moresheth in the SW of Palestine, preached to the common people of Judah.” (Ryrie Study Bible, KJV, 1978, p. 1283, “Introduction to the Book of Micah: The Prophet.”)
B. God’s coming judgment on the people for their sin against Him and against each other would be unavoidable and severe, but in the end, His Abrahamic Covenant would be honored, and Israel would be blessed.
C. We view Micah 2:12-13 on God’s gracious regathering of His people as a Shepherd and King in fulfillment of that divine covenant, and we apply the passage for our insight and edification (as follows):
II. God’s Regathering His People As A Shepherd And King, Micah 2:12-13.
A. In the future Messianic Kingdom, God’s regathering of His people will include “all” of “Jacob” (Micah 2:12a), and since “Jacob” was the father of all of Israel’s twelve tribes (Genesis 29:31-30:24; 35:16-19), this regathering will include the two tribes of the Southern Kingdom of Judah and the ten tribes of the Northern Kingdom of Israel. (Bible Know. Com., O. T., p. 1481)
B. Some think that this time of blessing is being fulfilled today in the Church, that this passage does not apply to a future literal Messianic Kingdom for Israel (Ibid.), but nowhere else in Scripture is the Church presented as a descendant of Jacob, and Jacob’s descendants are always identified as the physical offspring of Israel’s patriarch Jacob. Accordingly, Micah 2:12-13 predicts the literal regathering of the Hebrew people for their long-awaited Messianic Kingdom under Jesus Christ at His Second Coming!
C. This regathering will involve a twofold ministry by the Lord in Israel’s behalf, Micah 2:12b-13:
1. The Lord will regather and minister to His people as their Shepherd, Micah 2:12b-13a:
a. Though the Northern Kingdom of Israel and the Southern Kingdom of Judah had been divided without the Lord’s leadership over both kingdoms since the days of Solomon’s son Rehoboam, God will regather them together like sheep in a pen and like a flock in its pasture, Micah 2:12b.
b. This regathering will be so great that the land will “throng with people” (NIV) as “a noisy multitude of men” (ESV), Micah 2:12c.
c. Then, “(m)uch as a shepherd breaks open or clears the way for his sheep, going before them and leading them out of the gate to pasture, so the Lord will remove all obstacles to blessing for His people Israel,” Ibid.; Micah 2:13a.
2. The Lord will regather and minister to His people as their King, Micah 2:13b:
a. The picture of God as a Shepherd going before His people so as to remove all obstacles to blessing for them as He leads them like sheep out of the fold to the pasture easily gives way to God being viewed as a King Who goes in front of His people, leading them, Micah 2:13b.
b. Other prophetic passages like Isaiah 33:22, Zephaniah 3:15 and Zechariah 14:9 predict the Lord’s reign as King over Israel and over the entire earth (Ibid.), so God will indeed fulfill His promises to Israel as her King in literal fulfillment of the Abrahamic Covenant.
Lesson: At Christ’s Second Coming, God will regather all twelve tribes that descended from the patriarch Jacob, bringing them back into the land of Israel that He might function as their Shepherd and King. Like a Shepherd, He will unite Israel and Judah as one nation thronging with a noisy multitude and clear the way of all obstacles to their blessing, and as a King He will go in front of His people, guiding them as their Leader in stable security.
Application: (1) Just as Israel will relate properly to Christ to enjoy God’s blessings of shepherding and ruling them, we believers in the Church today must fellowship with Christ to enjoy His shepherding and rule. (2) Just as Israel and Judah will need to relate rightly to Christ to enjoy great unity as a noisy throng of people bustling with vigor and motivation, we believers in the Church must relate well to the Lord to enjoy true unity. (3) Since the Solution to the problem of sin in the people of Judah and Israel will be God Himself, we believers in the Church must realize that we cannot produce our own blessings: we need to rely on the Lord Himself for every blessing we need both individually and corporately as a body. (4) The huge contrast between Israel’s current lack of blessing and her experience as a noisy throng of people in the Kingdom indicates that we believers in the Church will face either a spiritual “famine” without the Lord’s blessing or a “feast” with it – there is no middle ground! May we then cleave to the Lord for His blessing “feast” to avoid the severe “famine” of the lack of blessing! (cf. John 15:5)