19 Days - Micah 5:2
For today's devotional, I'm going to take you right in between the Mediterranean Sea and the Dead Sea, about 10 kilometers south of Jerusalem, to a little town called Bethlehem. Bethlehem, means "House of Bread". Before being named Bethlehem, it was named Ephrath meaning "fruitful". King David was born and raised here, tending sheep on the pastures and later anointed as King of Israel here, therefore getting another title of this town: "City of David".
Kind David reigned for about forty years, being born around 1000 BC. And around 700 BC lived a man, Micah the Prophet. In the book of Micah contains one of the most popular prophecies about the birth of Jesus Christ:
Micah 5:2: "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 prophesied this 700 years before Jesus's birth and is saying: the Son of Man will come to reign from one of the smallest, most humble places on earth: Bethlehem. Although this town was known as the birthplace of King David, it certainly wasn't a town of greatness or huge influence, however, that never stopped God from using it as the birthplace for His Son, the Savior of the world!
Now how we do know that Micah 5:2 prophesies Jesus's coming? Let's look to John 1:1-2, 14 "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning...The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth."
Take a look back at Genesis 3:15 and notice how right at the Fall, God made a redemption plan, He built a Bridge. That Bridge is Jesus Christ, who has His origins from the beginning of time. Back in the day, A.K.A. 2,020 years ago, this prophecy was fulfilled and it was the talk of the town. Jewish men and women knew our King was to be born in Bethlehem. Look how King Herod, the ruler of Judea reacted to Jesus's coming by reading Matthew 2.
Matthew 2:2 “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”
Oh and in
Matthew 2:4-6 "When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:
“‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.’”
Oh and in
Luke 2:11 "Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord."
The Micah 5:2 prophecy was fulfilled when Caesar Augustus issued a decree for a census and everyone had to go back to their hometown to register. So Joseph, who was living in Nazareth of Galilee, had to bring his pregnant wife Mary to Bethlehem for he belonged to the house and line of David (Joseph was in the lineage of King David). While they were in
Bethlehem due to the decree Caesar Augustus ordered, it was time for Jesus to be born, and there in that City of David, the Ruler over Israel came to be born...fulfilling a prophecy made 700 years before His birthday.
I want you to take a second to realize how intricate God's plans are. Literally since the beginning of time, God had this all laid out. From the moment Adam and Eve sinned to the very breath we breathe this second, God has a plan. Down to every single person that would be born and carry on the lineage of Abraham, leading to Jesus. Even down to what the town was named in where His Son would be born. Bethlehem means "House of Bread". In John 6:51 Jesus is speaking of his crucifixion and salvation for all: "I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world." Haha what! Of course Bethlehem would be named House of Bread... it is home to the Living Bread! Even the name Bethlehem fulfills prophecy!
I want to challenge you to believe today that the details of your life are this intricately planned by God. Look at how you are made. The random freckles on your arms, the swirls of color in your irises, the number of hairs on your head, the timber in your voice... God perfectly crafted you with such attention to detail. When and where you are born, the school you ended up at, the town you now live in, the family and friends surrounding you. Do we have free will? Yes. But does God take every single thing in your life and use it for good to carry out His Divine plan? Yes. But I promise you, by surrendering to His plan and His great will, your life will be used for beautiful purpose. It may be hard to give up control, but trust me, God has created and orchestrated billions upon billions of human lives. With thousands and thousands of years under His belt He has a resume of experience, and well you've only dealt with one life and probably only have about 20-60 years under your belt. If He can create a master plan to save the world and have every detail fall beautifully beneath His finger, then I'm sure He's got your life under control. Just gift it to Him this Christmas.
Ephrath means "fruitful". What does fruitful mean to you? How would you call Jesus fruitful?
God used a humble and small town to be the birthplace of His Son and Savior of the world. What does this speak about God's character?
What does it mean for you to give your life to God?
Take a few minutes to pray to God. Ask Him to enter into your heart. Gift your life to Him this Christmas since He gave His Son's life for you. Take time in silence to listen.