Day 4 – Rejoicing in God’s Majesty – 2023

Day 4 – Rejoicing in God’s Majesty – 2023

“He shall stand and feed his flock in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God.” 

Micah 5:4

Read Micah 5:1-5a 

Last summer, I accompanied a group of Fresno Pacific University students on a study abroad trip to Turkey and Greece. Being in a different country helped me to appreciate the diverse ways that national identity and pride can be expressed. I must have seen the Turkish flag on every street corner I passed! 

While being proud of our roots is not necessarily a bad thing, for Christians, our ultimate allegiance and identity is founded elsewhere. Today’s text from Micah 5 celebrates rooting identity and finding strength in God alone. 

Micah 5:1-5a describes the coming of a great ruler who will lead “in the majesty of the name of the Lord.” The Hebrew word translated “majesty” (ga’on) is used elsewhere in the Old Testament to describe nationalistic arrogance, especially among Israel’s enemies such as Babylon (Isaiah 13:19), Egypt (Ezekiel 16:49), Philistia (Zechariah 9:6) and Assyria (Zechariah 10:11). Instead of asserting political arrogance, though, the leader Micah envisions will defer to God’s majesty and strength. 

Today, our nations, our churches, our community organizations and even our families can encourage us to be prideful about our association with these groups. Yet, as the leader in Micah 5 demonstrates, ultimate majesty is only God’s. We can rejoice the most by aligning ourselves with the divine. This Advent season, may we pay attention to the ways in which we take pride in God’s majesty, not in the other groups that might vie for our loyalty. 

God of Majesty, we recognize your sovereignty over all things. Help us not to boast in false authorities but to rely on your power as our strength. 

Advent Devotions
Melanie A. Howard, Ph.D.

Melanie A. Howard, Ph.D.

Associate Professor and Division Chair of Biblical and Religious Studies Fresno Pacific University


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