In his book Science Speaks, published by Moody in 1958, Peter Stoner attempts to calculate the mathematical and scientific probabilities of the biblical record. (At the time, Stoner was professor emeritus of science at Westmont College in California.) Stoner discusses the probability that even eight of the many messianic prophecies in the Old Testament, including the one read today in Micah 5:2, could be accidentally fulfilled in one person’s lifetime. He estimated that the chance was one in one hundred quadrillion!
As we discussed earlier in our study of Joel, the prophets foretold future events, but these predictions sometimes concerned near-term events (within the prophet’s lifetime or shortly after), middle-term events (centuries after a prophet’s death), and far-term events (eschatological—or end-of-time fulfillment). We see each of these kinds of events prophesied in the book of Micah. In the near term, there was the fall of Jerusalem (to Babylon in 586 B.C.). In the middle term, there is the birth of Christ—King of the Jews, born in Bethlehem (5:2). And in the far-term, we see the eternal temple of God and the heavenly Zion, peoples and nations streaming to it (4:1), as well as the reign of earthly peace, swords having been beaten into plowshares (4:3).
The reliability of the far-term prophecies is guaranteed by the historical certainty of the near- and middle-term prophecies. Samaria and Jerusalem did fall to invading armies; Jesus Christ was born to a virgin in the city of Bethlehem (Matt. 1:22–25; 2:1–2), and He did become the Good Shepherd of His sheep, laying down His life for His friends (John 10:11). If all these prophecies proved accurate in the past, we are then guaranteed the world pictured by Micah: violence will end, fear will be spent, the Lord will reign (4:1–5).
Humanity is corrupt, with a great capacity for evil. But devastation is not the last word—hope is. This message of the Minor Prophets is reinforced by the story of God’s final victory over sin and death in the book of Revelation. If you are struggling to see God’s hand in your circumstances today, embrace the hope of His care for you.