O Little Town of Bethlehem
Today’s Scripture Readings: Psalm 141:1-10 | Micah 5:1-7:20 | Rev.7:1-17 | Proverbs 30:5-6
Today’s Scripture Focus: Micah 5-7
“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.” (Micah 5:2 NIV)
The gospel writers repeatedly stress that the story of Christmas—the birth of Jesus–was foretold in numerous passages by several Old Testament prophets. One of the most famous is the prophecy of Micah:
“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times”
Micah 5:2 NIV.
In that simple prophecy, the fact that the birth of Christ had an unexpected twist is found. Instead of the place of his growing up, Nazareth, Jesus would be born in Bethlehem.
We also learn of the divine nature of this ruler, “whose origins are from old, from ancient times.” This made little sense until Christ came onto the scene–God in human form; fully God and fully man. How could a ruler be from ancient times? Because he is Eternal God incarnate in human flesh.
The prophets perfectly predicted the coming of Christ that we celebrate at Christmas. They also foretell another coming when he will rule as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. When “he will stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God. And they will live securely, for then his greatness will reach to the ends of the earth, and he will be their peace.” (5:4-5)
Yes, there will be peace on earth, good will toward men upon whom his favor rests. It will all be fulfilled just as it was told by the prophets.