A long time before this story ever took place, God revealed important pieces of it to some of His prophets. He told them a day would come when His own Son would be born on the earth. Three of the most important of these prophets were Isaiah, Micah, and Jeremiah.


If you were to compare each of God’s prophets to a musical instrument, Isaiah had a voice like a trumpet. It rose strong and clear across a wilderness of godlessness. It was a voice both cacophonous and melodic, depending on who was listening. It became God’s instrument, used to proclaim. To announce. To warn. And its sound wafted in the air long after the trumpeter had ceased to play.

 

“God’s displeasure with your evil, rebellious, corrupt, and idolatrous ways will bring His judgment upon you,” declared Isaiah in a voice of unwavering strength to the people of Judah.

 

“Be quiet, Isaiah,” said the people. “No one wants to hear this.”

“You are an educated and prominent man,” said the king of Judah. “You are highly respected for your knowledge of history, economy, and theology. Why don’t you stick with what you know? You and I enjoy a close relationship, Isaiah. Why do you strain it with these depressing predictions?”

 

“It’s because I have a close relationship with God that I must tell you whatever I hear from Him,” Isaiah replied.

 

In the midst of Isaiah’s prophecy of gloom, however, came a message of hope.

 

“God will bring a way of redemption to those with a humble and repentant heart,” Isaiah said. “The Lord Himself will give you a sign. The virgin shall conceive and she will bear a Son, whose name shall be called Immanuel.”

 

Isaiah went on to explain that this Child, Immanuel, which means “God with us,” would be a righteous King who would rule the earth forever.

 

“His name will be Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace,” he proclaimed.

 

Everyone liked this part of the message, but they didn’t have hearts that were humble or repentant enough to receive it.

Micah had a voice like a timpani. It pounded out the beat of God’s will. Percussive, penetrating, noisy, and irritating to those who did not want to march to it. Clear, precise, rich, and majestically compelling to those who had a heart to follow.

 

“God’s judgment is coming upon you!” Micah warned the people of Judah and Israel.

 

“You people covet things and are rebellious. You have contempt for God’s Word and you worship false gods. You rich people are oppressing the poor. You rulers do not uphold justice. You will surely fall to your enemies unless you repent!”

 

“You’re too extreme, Micah,” said the people. “You speak well, but you never say anything nice.”

 

“Calm down, Micah,” said the king. “Don’t you think you’re taking your job a little too seriously?”