Mobilize! Marshal your troops!
The enemy is laying siege to Jerusalem.
They will strike Israelâ€™s leader
in the face with a rod.
But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah,
are only a small village among all the people of Judah.
Yet a ruler of Israel will come from you,
one whose origins are from the distant past. Micah 5:1-2 (NLT)
Many times we see an Old Testament prophecy spoken in these first chapter of the gospels and we donâ€™t stop to think about â€“ why is that here? This prophecy spoken by Micah is repeated to King Herod to explain to him where the Messiah was to be born. The Magi had come to worship the Messiah King and Herod felt a threat.
Micah was a prophet to the southern kings in the 700â€™s B.C. Israel and Judah were morally and religiously corrupt, socially oppressed, with political intrigue, deception, and treachery. Israelâ€™s false worship led to its destruction and the LORDâ€™S rejection.
We would do well to hear the words that Micah spoke. We too have many idols in the treasures we lay up (check that Christmas Wish List!), the career that takes priority over family and God, and pride that says, â€œIt is all about me!â€. We wonder about the destruction and decay of our world and, like the Israelites of 730 B.C., we ignore the warnings.
Jesus came as Savior. He is the Lamb of God who has taken away the sins of the world (John 1:29). Jesus is also the Lion of Judah (Revelation 5:5). He will return to judge. Each of us must make the decision on whether His judgment will be death or eternal life.
I am small among all the people. I am not a president or a billionaire. I do not control the lives of hundreds like a CEO. My picture isnâ€™t on a magazine cover or a newspaper front page. Yet the Creator of the Universe sent His Son to cover my sins and says that I am His child. It is His unfailing love, His grace, and all-covering forgiveness that takes me from unknown to known to the only One who counts.
Herod attempted to manipulate the Magi into leading him to the Messiah. They were warned in a dream not to report back to Herod. When that scheme was thwarted, Herod gave orders to kill all the male children in the Bethlehem region age two and under. Joseph, warned in a dream, takes his family and escapes to Egypt. There they remain until Herod dies and they are told by an angel to return. It is difficult to understand why those children had to die and Jesus, the Messiah, lived in exile in Egypt. I do not believe there is any explanation other than He is God and I am not.
There are children that are suffering now in Africa where they are starving and being massacred in wars. There are children here in America who are beaten and abused. I cannot understand it except on the same level. I know that God loves His children and is not turning a blind eye to their cries. There will be a day of justice.
Jesus said to all seven churches in Revelation â€œLet those who have ears, hear what the Spirit says.â€
Take time to listen to this song today as part of our devotion. Let us have ears to hear.