This is part of the longing in Micah’s words in Chapter 5: of seeking a ruler who will not only bring peace, but who will be Peace – a shepherd who will be able to gather a divided people and work to disarm the nations, who will challenge the inhabitants of the land to walk humbly and love mercy and do justice (6:8).
This leader would not just be anyone, but a person whose particular history and birth would remind Israel and the world that the God of Jacob keeps his promises, and that God does his best work among lowly people in unexpected places, that God has a way of revealing light where we see only darkness.
Remember that Bethlehem in Micah’s (and Jesus’) day was really nothing more than a small collection of shepherd outposts. It was off the beaten path, hardly the center of anything; just the opposite of Jerusalem, where God was believed to dwell, and power was held.
Micah's message was ultimately a message of hope: he was sharing about the One who is to come who will unite and bring together his people. He will share peace and security in God's name and offer mercy and forgiveness to all who will seek him. May it be so.
Pastor Andy Kinsey