Many elementary school teachers will admit that they really do not enjoy field trips where children visit a zoo or a museum. For the teachers, even with the help of willing parents, it can be difficult to control their young charges outside of the controlled environment of the classroom. Children are so excited to explore that they aren’t always mindful of their leader.
In the first bit of hope in Micah’s message to the people of Israel, God promises that He will one day “bring together the remnant of Israel” (v. 12). When God brings them together, they will be like “sheep in a pen” and “a flock in its pasture.” These images, foreign to those of us who grew up in an urban context, bring to mind security and provision. God will give this remnant a place to live and eat, and He will encircle them with a protective fence. After all the destruction God’s people will face, He will return them to peace and meet their needs.
What’s more, God says that He will gather together this remnant, that He will “go up before them,” and that He will be “at their head” as their leader (v. 13). Israel’s religious and political leaders have failed to protect and provide for them, but now God Himself will protect and sustain them. Israel’s leaders have led them into sin and rebellion, but God will lead them in living in a right relationship with Him. In the New Testament, we learn the name of the Shepherd who will fulfill this promise. It is Jesus (John 10:11–16; Heb. 13:20; 1 Peter 2:25).
>> Perhaps you have found yourself rebelling against God like the leaders of Israel. Will you trust Jesus and return to Him today? Or maybe you are more like the people of Israel who have suffered under ungodly leaders. Look to Christ as your Shepherd.
We who have rebelled humble ourselves and ask You to restore our love and trust in You. We who suffer under ungodly leaders ask for courage to confront, or wisdom to leave. Lead us both back into righteousness.