Sunday, January 05, 2014

A 700-year-old prophecy

Star shining over Bethlehem
TODAY'S SPECIAL: Micah 4:6-5:5

TO CHEW ON: "'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


Near the time of Jesus' birth stargazers, "wise men" from the east followed a mysterious star to Judea. They believed it was a supernatural announcement of the birth of the King of the Jews.  They stopped in Jerusalem to inquire of King Herod about the whereabouts of this baby king. He was understandably puzzled (and vexed and disturbed—as far as he knew, he was the king of the Jews)!

He summoned the Jewish religious scholars. They quoted our verse from Micah as the prophecy concerning the birthplace of such a king (Matthew 2:6). Bethlehem was also the birthplace of David, the beginning of the Davidic line, from which the Jews  believed the Messiah would come (Matthew 2:5; John 5:41,42).

The fact that Jesus was born in Bethlehem when his parents actually lived in Galilee was as flukey as some of the seemingly random things that happen to us. Who would have connected the fulfillment of a seven-hundred-year-old prophecy with a census decree by a very secular Roman ruler?

As we reflect on the accuracy of this ancient prophecy and God's use of a secular ruler to accomplish His purposes, let's be encouraged about our own lives. For no person or circumstance can stymie God's plans and purposes for us either as we seek Him and live under His direction - Jeremiah 29:11-13.

PRAYER: Dear God, please help me to relax in the knowledge that You have my future in Your hands and can, with great efficiency, use every life event to fulfill your plans for me and in me. Amen.

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New King James Version (NKJV) Used with permission. The Holy Bible, New King James Version Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.



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