The Promised Divine Stopover25 December 2017
Micah 5:2 “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.”
Background and Summary
Micah, the prophet of God who lived about 700 years before the birth of Christ, was sent to the divided nations of the Jews - to both the Northern and Southern kingdoms. He wrote to a nation facing huge problems of idolatry, corruption, sin and hypocrisy, where religious and political leaders took bribes and used their position to take advantage of the people, where the rich were ripping off the poor and the priests and prophets did their duties only for money. Micah saw the coming judgment of God and sought to call the Jews to faithful worship and sincere obedience to His covenant, but they refused to listen. Yet, despite their shortcomings Micah told them of God’s glorious restoration and gracious reconciliation through the promised Messiah - Jesus Christ - who would be born in Bethlehem Ephrathah!
Although Jesus Christ was born on a certain calendar date in history, there never was time that He did not exit. He has no beginning and He has no end. He is indeed the Everlasting Father! All things were created by Him, through Him and for Him, whether visible and invisible, whether in heaven and on earth, and whether thrones, dominions, principalities or powers (Colossians 1:16). His birth as a human being in Bethlehem was only a temporary stopover on planet earth according to a divine purpose - i.e. to reconcile humanity to God. In His divine stopover on earth He taught people how to live godly lives and He was a model of that life!
Lessons from today’s message: Jesus’ divine stopover in Bethlehem speaks of many things, including :
1. God’s Promise (Micah 5:2 &4; Genesis 3:15, 1 Corinthians 1:26-29)
2. God’s Character (Micah 6:6-8; Matthew 2:11; 1 Samuel 16:7)
3. God’s Love ( John 3:16; 1 John 3:16)
1. What does Christ’s Bethlehem mean to you ? Please discuss.If you were to give God a Christmas present, what would that be?