House of Bread

Jeff Munroe

READ : Micah 5:2-5

And he shall stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the Lord. (v. 4)

Many of the things we’ve been looking at come together in this prophecy about Bethlehem (literally “House of Bread” in Hebrew). Micah says that the Messiah will come from Bethlehem, just as Israel’s cherished shepherd poet king David also came from Bethlehem. Once again the Messiah is associated with David. And, like David, the Messiah will “shepherd” his flock. Yes, the Hebrew word used in verse four for shepherd is the same word used elsewhere for pastor. It’s also the word used for “to feed,” and some translations render verse four as “he shall feed his flock.”

This passage in Micah also hints at both Advents of the Messiah. Clearly there is a sense that the prophecy is fulfilled with the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem, but there is a larger sense that this prophecy won’t be filled to its fullest meaning until the Second Advent of the Lord, that day when Jesus rules the ends of the earth “and he shall be their peace.”

A reference to our personal advent is found in the last verse of the beloved Christmas hymn “O Little Town of Bethlehem,” a song inspired both by the songwriter’s visit to the Holy Land and by these verses from Micah. “O holy Child of Bethlehem, descend to us, we pray; cast out our sin, and enter in, be born in us today.”

PRAYER

Thank you that the House of Bread gave us the Bread of Life.