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I am always excited to see a movie trailer or ad for a show or story of any kind that contains this phrase. It shows up often. It’s the core of many great stories ... A Hero Will Rise.
There’s something about the arrival of a hero that stirs us.
It is the promise that when things are at their worst – A Hero will rise.
When it seems like evil has the entire world in its grip – A Hero will rise.
When the villains seem like they are going to get away with their schemes – A hero will rise.
When we are oppressed or in need of rescue – A Hero will rise.

The prophecy in Micah 5 promises that a hero will rise. This teaser preview of coming events is somewhat out of place in Micah. The rest of Micah’s prophecies are judgments aimed at the wicked. Micah’s prophecies tell the truth about the injustice in the world and the corruption among God’s people. The wealthy and powerful who oppress others are warned of God’s coming wrath. False prophets who refuse to speak the truth are warned of their ruin. The leaders of God’s own people who take advantage of their position are held responsible for the coming destruction of Israel. The people of God are told put on trial because they have forgotten God’s merciful rescue from Egypt and slavery. They are held accountable to do what is right, to love mercy and to walk humbly with God.

It’s a rough prophecy that warns of the coming judgment of God. But in the middle of the plain truth is the promise that ... “A Hero Will Rise.” This is the ray of light that pierces the darkness.

Heroes often come from the most unlikely of places. They are not manufactured or trained to be heroes. They just are who they are. History and fiction are rich with this theme ...

Micah proclaims that out of the unlikely town of Bethlehem - A Hero Will Rise.

From the first century, the church of God has read Micah 5 and heard the story of Jesus’ birth. Matthew quoted Micah when he told us how the wise men hoped and wicked Herod sweated. Because out of Bethlehem ... a Hero will rise.

Luke knows it when he tells us all the circumstances that lead to Joseph and Mary and dwelling in Bethlehem. Luke is saying, you remember Bethlehem, don’t you? Micah said that out of Bethlehem – a Hero Will Rise. Shepherd’s leave their flocks to go see THE Shepherd- the Hero of God’s people.

This phrase, “A Hero Will Rise” stirs us. That’s good, because I think we’ve lost the impact of the phrase “Unto Us a Savior is Born.” It has become a caption for Christmas cards. It’s a sentimental birth announcement. We expect it to be dressed up in blue ribbons with a picture of a stork – “It’s a Boy!”

But that’s not what the announcement is all about. Unto Us a Savior is Born = A Hero Has Risen! A savior is not a church office. He’s a hero. A rescuer. A shepherd. A freedom fighter. A Champion.

Micah tells it like no other ...

The powers of evil and injustice killed the Hero, they crucified him, but – A Hero has risen. The Hero born in Bethlehem is risen and he will come again to establish justice and show mercy.

The sin and wickedness that corrupts our lives is trampled under his feet and thrown into the ocean – A Hero Has Risen.

The wealth and pleasures that we trust in so much are being plowed up and the mountain of the Lord is lifted up – A Hero has risen.

Chris Benjamin

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Morning Sermon, 20 December 2009

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