Any time God gives us a correction or challenge, it’s so we will learn to trust and obey Him more.
A prophet is a mouthpiece of God, sent to deliver a message to a person or a group of people so that they will trust and obey the Lord. Any time God gives us a correction or challenge, it’s so we will learn to trust and obey Him more. Today we continue our study of Christmas in the Old Testament by studying the words of the prophet Micah. The Book of Micah contains admonition of sin, prophecy of judgment, and the promise of hope.
Micah 5:1 speaks of God’s judgment for sin:
Now gather yourself in troops,
O daughter of troops;
He has laid siege against us;
They will strike the judge of Israel with a rod on the cheek.
This is a reminder to us that God doesn’t approve of sin. We will be judged for our sins – we will not get away with it! Pastor Miles shared a recent opportunity he had to spar with a heavyweight boxing champion. For the most part, the professional allowed Miles to hit over and over while he only tried to block the shots, but every once in a while, when Miles was feeling a little too confident, the pro would give him a little jab in the stomach to remind him that he was playing with a champion. God operates much like this in our lives. He will allow us to make poor choices and to sin, but every once in a while, He will allow us to get hurt so that we will remember that sin has a penalty and that we should trust and obey Him.
In verse 2, Micah’s prophecy begins speaking of the hope of the Savior to come:
“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
Though you are little among the thousands of Judah,
Yet out of you shall come forth to Me
The One to be Ruler in Israel,
Whose goings forth are from of old,
From everlasting.” (Micah 5: 2)
Note that Bethlehem is called “little” in the Lord’s proclamation. The Savior of the world is planned to come, not to a wealthy house in a big powerful city, but in “little Bethlehem” (the “House of Bread” that brings forth Jesus, the “Bread of Life”). This is a reminder that God is not concerned with outward appearances. He used poor people in an insignificant place while staying at someone else’s house to bring forth the King of Kings into the world!
“For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7b
We are also reminded in Romans 8:28 that God’s plan isn’t thwarted by man. He can use all experiences to bring about His plan for His glory:
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
God’s promised son is the Prince of Peace! You may be experiencing trials right now, but Christmas represents an opportunity for new hope and the anticipated peace that only Christ can bring.
Therefore He shall give them up,
Until the time that she who is in labor has given birth;
Then the remnant of His brethren
Shall return to the children of Israel.
And He shall stand and feed His flock
In the strength of the Lord,
In the majesty of the name of the Lord His God;
And they shall abide,
For now He shall be great
To the ends of the earth;
And this One shall be peace. Micah 5:3-5
If you are waiting for a train in a New York subway station, a light coming on the track is not necessarily the train for which you are waiting, as multiple trains can share a track. Similarly, there may have been false lights in your life. Have you hopped onto the wrong train, trusting in a certain job or a certain person to bring your peace and fulfillment only to find later that it didn’t bring you the peace you sought? The Bible says that the world can’t give you this kind of peace. Only the Messiah, the Savior born of a virgin in Bethlehem, can have that fulfilling relationship with you and bring you the long awaited peace you desire.
It’s time to embrace the coming King, the long awaited Prince of Peace, who was prophesied hundreds of years before His coming. Will you wait for Him and allow Him to bring you peace this Christmas?