The Promised Son
"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, emphasis added
Micah's reference to Bethlehem prompts us to reflect upon Isaiah's and Micah's prophecies concerning the Messiah and the salvation He would bring. Almost word for word, they spoke of Israel's future and the coming glorious earthly reign of the Messiah (Isaiah 2:2-4; Micah 4:1-3).
Just as Micah had prophesied around 700 years before Jesus came, the little town of Bethlehem was indeed the birth place of the Messiah--the One who would be "Ruler in Israel"--the One "whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting" (Micah 5:2)! We should therefore not only reflect upon the "eternal God's incarnation in the person of Jesus Christ" but also "His millennial reign as King of Kings (cf. Is. 9:6)."[vi]
God had made a promise to David that one of his descendants would have an eternal reign, and God always remembers His oaths. When the perfect time had come, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph and announced: "[Mary] will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins." So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet [Isaiah], saying: "Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel," which is translated "God with us" (Matthew 1:21-23).
What was foretold regarding the Messiah was also affirmed through the angel Gabriel, when he told Mary about the Son she was to miraculously bear: "He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end" (Luke 1:32-33). So when the light of Christ burst forth upon the darkness of this world the night of His birth, a multitude of the heavenly host joyfully sang God's praises: "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward [all] men!" (Luke 2:14). This is the gospel, which is meant for everyone.
Jesus Christ came to earth to bring "liberty to the captives" (Mark 4:18), and that was the message He preached at His hometown synagogue. Christ's salvation is offered to all who are in bondage to sin and death. We are powerless to set ourselves free; only Jesus, the Lamb of God, could pay the price necessary for our redemption (Ephesians 1:7; 1 Peter 1:18-21 . As Warren Wiersbe has said, "When you trust Jesus as Savior, you are delivered from Satan's power, moved into God's kingdom, redeemed, and forgiven (Colossians 1:12-14)."[viii]
Make a choice to live in hope: Jesus' birth was the dawning of a new day that knows no night, for our night was ended by His light: "Through the tender mercy of our God, with which the Dayspring from on high has visited us; to give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace" (Luke 1:78-79).
Dayspringmeans "sunrise." God's Word sees lost people as those sitting in darkness, death, and distress. However, Christ's birth brought light, life, and peace. Jesus came into a manger one dark night to bear away the sin of the world. If you will ask Him, He will take your penalty, your debt, your stain, your sin. The story of Christmas is that the Sunrise has come! And the story of Revelation is that this same Jesus is coming again, and soon! Are you ready? You can find living hope for the end of days by opening your heart today to Christ!
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