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    September 2, 1897

    “Editorial. A Lesson in Ruling” The Signs of the Times, 23, 34.

    E. J. Waggoner

    “Thou Bethlehem Ephratah, tho thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall He come forth unto Me that is to be Ruler in Israel.” Micah 5:2.SITI September 2, 1897, page 1.1

    Compare this with Matthew 2:6, where it is quoted, and note the margin, which is closer to the original: “Thou Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, art not the least among the princes of Judah; for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall feed my people Israel.”SITI September 2, 1897, page 1.2

    This is the Holy Spirit’s own definition of the work of a true ruler or governor. We find it not in the nations of earth, nor in the apostate church, where the princes of the people “exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority over them,” but we do find it amongst the real followers of Christ; where greatness is according to the amount of service.SITI September 2, 1897, page 1.3

    The Danish Version, following the original Matthew 2:6 more closely than the English, has it: “Out of thee shall go a Prince who shall be My people Israel’s Shepherd.” This agrees with the marginal reading of our common version, for the duty of a shepherd is to feed the flock. But mark this, that the Ruler of Israel is the Shepherd of Israel: His work as Ruler of the people is to feed them.SITI September 2, 1897, page 1.4

    See how beautifully this thought of a Shepherd-King is expressed in Isaiah 40:10, 11: “Behold, the Lord God will come with strong hand, and his arm shall rule for him; behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him. He shall feed his flock like a shepherd; he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.”SITI September 2, 1897, page 1.5

    This is the only kind of ruling that the Lord sanctions in his church. In Hebrews 13:17 we read the exhortation, “Obey them that have the rule over you,” but here again we may learn from the margin that these “rulers” are guides-those who direct the people in the right way, as a shepherd. Christ is “the Prince of princes,” the Ruler over all; he leads his people, however, and does not drive them. He leads them where they will find food and safety.SITI September 2, 1897, page 1.6

    This thought is emphasized by the fact that Christ as Ruler comes out of Bethlehem. Bethlehem, literally, is the “House of Bethel.” Out of the house of bread comes the Ruler, whose work is to feed the people. How significant! More than this, he himself is the bread of life. In the house of God there is always an abundance of “the hidden manna,” enough and to spare. Here is a lesson for all who are in positions of authority in the church. Their work is to take the bread of life from the house of bread, to feed upon it themselves, and then feed the people with it. When they do this, their authority will be recognized by the people, even if questioned by the scribes and Pharisees. E. J. W.SITI September 2, 1897, page 1.7

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