Micah 1 -- 7
Except for David, all the kings of the Southern Kingdom of Judah were 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 village of Bethlehem. But this was what Micah foretold about 700 years before Jesus was born. Since there would be more than one Bethlehem, the prophet Micah was led to record: But you, Bethlehem Ephratah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall He come forth unto Me who is to be Ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting (Micah 5:2).
At the appointed time of God, 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, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem (Luke 2:1,4). 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 only have thought of a census and the tax revenue for his kingdom. However, God, who determines history, used the heathen emperor's authority at the exact time that the King of kings was to be born to bring about the fulfillment of Micah's prophecy.
Centuries later, when wise men arrived in Jerusalem, they asked King Herod: Where is He that is born King of the Jews (Matthew 2:2)? King Herod was only a puppet king appointed by Caesar Augustus, not a Jewish king, but a descendant of the Edomites. Herod was troubled and called the chief priests and scribes and demanded of them where Christ should be born. Without hesitation, they said: In Bethlehem of Judea: for thus it is written by the prophet (2:4-5).
Perhaps the most significant statement in this prophecy of Micah is: Whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting. This clearly indicates 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 a sinful nature like everyone else. Therefore, when Jesus, the Son of God, took on humanity, He 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 Mary said 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 also the Holy One which shall be born of you shall be called the Son of God (Luke 1:31-35).
Jesus never ceased being wholly the eternal God, never sinned once, and was never spiritually separated from God the Father. However, Jesus took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men (Philippians 2:7). In contrast, the first Adam yielded to Satan's suggestion, rejecting the Word of God, and became a sinner. Consequently, the descendants of Adam 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).
When we personally receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord of our lives, we are born again by His Spirit and become children of God. Our bodies become Temples of the Living God. What gives our lives meaning is the One who lives in us and expresses Himself through us, through our words, our actions, and our attitudes, so that the world will see Christ in you, the hope of glory (Colossians 1:27).
As 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).
1:6 discover means lay bare; 1:7 hires means earnings; 1:14 lie means deception; 1:16 make thee bald, and poll thee means shave your head as a sign of sorrow; 2:5 none shall cast a cord by lot means no one is to make boundaries by lot; 2:7 straitened means limited; 2:8 pass by securely means walk along peaceably and in confidence (see also Psalms 120:7); averse means returning; 2:13 The Breaker means a leader who overcomes all obstacles that would oppose Israel's return from captivity, refers here to Messiah; 3:9 pervert all equity means pervert all that is right; 4:6 her that halteth means the woman that is lame; 5:5 principal men means those of royal rank; 6:9 hear ye the rod means pay attention to His authority; 7:3 wrap it up means make their own deal so they agree to pervert justice; 7:12 river means Euphrates.
Government Officials: Rep. Jerry Costello (IL) and Rep. Gregory Meeks (NY) · Pray for Dr. Samuel Thomas, Emmanuel Ministries International, Kota, North India; Hindi and Malayalam Coordinator for Bible Pathway · Pray for the Bible Pathway International Radio Broadcast in memory of my parents, Mr. and Mrs. Mitchell Buxton · Country: Dominican Republic (7 million) in the West Indies, occupying the eastern two-thirds of the island of Hispaniola · Major language: Spanish · Religious freedom · 96% Roman Catholic (many are spiritists); 2% Protestant; 1% Afro-American spiritist · Prayer Suggestion: Remember that it is by the blood of Christ that we have access to God in prayer (Hebrews 10:19).
Memory Verse for the Week: