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Micah 5:4

Micah 5:4
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Micah 5:4, “And he shall stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of YHWH, in the majesty of the name of YHWH his God.”

Micah anticipates an eschatological Shepherd-King, and the WAY in which this Shepherd-King will lead His people will display the sovereign power and majestic identity of who the one true God IS.

And how does this promised Shepherd lead His people? The answer comes in Jesus’ words in John 10:11-14 (which, taken in the whole context of John 10, seem to intentionally echo Micah’s imagery of the Shepherd):

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep…I am the good shepherd…and I lay down my life for the sheep.“

In both instances that Jesus refers to the good shepherd (who is the fulfillment of Micah’s shepherd imagery, as well as other prophetic, Shepherd-King images), both times Jesus refers to the good shepherd, he presents the essential work of that shepherd as laying down his life for the sheep. What distinguishes the GOOD Shepherd from the thieves? What defines the Good Shepherd as the Good Shepherd? It is the fact that He lays down His life for the sheep.

Self-giving death in the place of those doomed to die….this is what Jesus tells us DEFINES the person and work of the True Shepherd. So, if Micah tells us that the Messianic Shepherd will act in the POWER and IDENTITY of YHWH, and if John tells us—drawing on Micah’s imagery— that the Shepherd is defined as the one who lays down His life for the sheep…..then we must conclude that the eschatological POWER and IDENTITY of YHWH are most perfectly manifest in the laying down of the Shepherd’s life for His sheep—which is to say, in the crucifixion of Jesus Christ who is raised up again to “stand and shepherd His flock…”

How does the strength of YHWH exert itself most essentially? By laying itself down for the undeserving. And where is the majestic name of YHWH most clearly on display? When the Good Shepherd pours out His life so that His wayward flock might be gathered together as one and brought home to the sheepfold of Triune Joy…..It is as the Slain and Living Lamb that YHWH shepherds His flock and so reveals His Name (Rev.7:17).