Bible Pathways Daily Bible Reading Devotional

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Bible Pathways 09/25/2002

September 25

Read Micah 1 -- 7

In Today's Reading:

Impending judgment against Israel and Judah; future deliverance of a remnant of Israel; birth of Christ foretold; the Lord's judgment and mercy.

Verses for Today:

But 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).

Except for David, all the kings of the Southern Kingdom of Judah had been born in Jerusalem -- the city of God. Because of this, it would appear very unlikely that the Messiah King would be born in the small neighboring village of Bethlehem. But, 700 years before Jesus' birth, the prophet Micah was led to record where He would be born.

At the God-appointed time, there went out a decree from (Rome by) Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. . . . Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, [to] the city of David, which is called Bethlehem (Luke 2:1). As a descendant of King David, Joseph had to go to David's hometown of Bethlehem, about 90 miles south of Nazareth, to register for this taxation. In issuing his command from Rome, Caesar Augustus could have only thought of a census and the tax revenue for his kingdom. However, God, Who determines history, used the heathen emperor's authority to designate the exact year, month, and day of His choosing for the King of kings to be born and to bring about the fulfillment of Micah's prophecy.

Perhaps the most significant statement of Micah's prophecy is: Whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting (Micah 5:2). This clearly proclaims the Deity of the Redeemer King. He could not be the Savior of mankind and suffer for the sins of the world if He had inherited our sinful nature like everyone else. Because of this, Jesus the Son of God was born of the virgin Mary without a human father. The angel Gabriel announced to Mary: [You shall] conceive in [your] womb, and bring forth a Son, and [shall] call His Name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest . . . and of His Kingdom there shall be no end. Then said Mary to the angel, How shall this be, since I know not a man (I am a virgin)? And the angel answered . . . The Holy [Spirit] shall come upon [you], and . . . shall overshadow [you]: therefore [the Holy One] Which shall be born of [you] shall be called the Son of God (Luke 1:31-35).

While in His humanity, Jesus never ceased being wholly the Eternal God. However, He took upon Him the form of a Servant, and was made in the likeness of men (Philippians 2:7). The first Adam yielded to Satan's temptation, rejected the Word of God, and became a sinner. Consequently, as descendants of Adam, we have inherited his sinful nature, since by one man's disobedience all were made sinners, so by the obedience of One (Jesus) shall many be made righteous (Romans 5:17-19).

The One Who lives in us gives our lives meaning and expresses Himself through our words and our actions, so that the world will see Christ in you, the hope of glory (Colossians 1:27).

Christ Revealed:

As the Ruler in Israel (Micah 5:2) Who was to be born in Bethlehem. Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem as the Son of the Highest: and . . . of His Kingdom there shall be no end (Luke 1:32-33; 2:4-6).

Word Studies:

1:16 make thee bald, and poll thee = shave your head as a sign of sorrow; 2:5 none shall cast a cord by lot = no one is to make boundaries by lot; 2:7 straitened = limited; 2:13 The Breaker refers here to Messiah; 6:9 hear ye the Rod = pay attention to His authority.

Prayer Needs:

Government Officials: Rep. Jerry Costello (IL) and Rep. Gregory Meeks (NY) · Pray for your church · Country: United States (273 million) in North America · Major languages: English and Spanish · Religious freedom · 51% Protestant; 22% Roman Catholic; 17% other religions; 4% cults; 3% Jewish; 2% Eastern Orthodox; 1% Muslim · Prayer Suggestion: Draw near to God in prayer with a true heart in assurance of faith (Hebrews 10:22).

Memory Verse for the Week: Romans 14:13

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