Highlights In Today's Reading:
Micah, a contemporary of Isaiah, details astonishing power and might of God (1:3-4), who is worthy of our praise and worship (7:7-20). Predicted judgment breaks the Father's heart. He sheds tears (1:8). Jesus foreshadowed (2:13; 5:2,4). Persecution by nations but God has a plan (4:11-12). Check out the bottom line (6:8).
About 700 years before Jesus was born, Micah foretold: Thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall He come forth unto Me that is to be Ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting (5:2). This clearly indicates the deity of our Redeemer King. Jesus could not be Messianic King and Savior of Mankind and suffer for the sins of the world if He had inherited a sinful nature like everyone else. Gabriel announced to Mary: Thou shalt . . . bring forth a son. . . . He shall be . . . called the Son of the Highest . . . of His Kingdom there shall be no end (Luke 1:31-35).
When Ceasar Augustus (the Roman ruler, sent out a decree), that all the world should be taxed. . . . (only God knew why, not even) Joseph (who) . . . went up (obeying the decree) from Galilee, out of . . . Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David . . . called Bethlehem (2:1,4). As a descendant of King David, Joseph had to go to David's hometown of Bethlehem, about 70 miles south of Nazareth, to register for this decree.
However, the Sovereign God who determines history prompted the emperor's decree at the exact time that the King of kings was to be born to fulfill Micah's prophecy.
Wise men from the East were led by a star to Jerusalem to ask King Herod: Where is He that is born King of the Jews? (Matt. 2:2). Herod was not a Jew and was not born king. He was an Edomite, a puppet-king appointed by Caesar Augustus. Being exceedingly fearful that someone would take his position, Herod called the chief priests and scribes and demanded of them where Christ should be born (2:4). Without hesitation, they said: In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet (2:5).
When we receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord of our lives, we are born again by His Spirit and become children of God with His spiritual nature (John 1:12-13). Our bodies become Temples of the Living God. What gives our lives meaning is the One who lives within us and expresses Himself through us. We should be an expression of Christ through our lives so that the world will see Christ in you, the hope of glory (Col. 1:27).
Thought for Today:
All the earth shall worship Thee, and . . . they shall sing to Thy Name (Ps. 66:4).
As the Ruler in Israel (Mic. 5:2). Jesus will not only rule Israel but the world. She brought forth a man Child, who was to rule all nations (Rev. 12:5).
1:16 Make thee bald, and poll thee = shave your head as a sign of sorrow for your children shall be taken from you into exile; 2:5 none that shall cast a cord by lot = no one who shall divide inheritances (because there shall be no inheritance to divide — see vs 4); 2:7 straitened = limited; do not My words do good to him that walketh uprightly = this speaks of our Creator, the Spirit of the Lord, and His Word, His perfect guide to life; 2:13 The Breaker refers here to Messiah; 6:9 hear ye the rod = obey the rod, the instrument of the coming judgment of God.
Pray for International Shortwave Broadcasts in honor of Joshua Belisle • Staff: Barbara Jean Loyd • Government Officials: Rep. Jerry Costello (IL), Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (FL), Sec. Robert Gates (Dept. of Defense), Rep. Doris Matsui (CA), and Rep. Gregory Meeks (NY) • Country: Djibouti (447,000) in eastern Africa • Major languages: French and Arabic • Limited religious freedom • 91% Muslim; 7% Roman Catholic; .75% Eastern Orthodox; about 300 Protestants • Prayer Suggestion: Call to the Lord for help; He will save you out of your troubles (Ps. 34:17).
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 12:50