"I was thinking..."
I was thinking…Pastor Steve
“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.”
Micah 5: 2 (NIV)
What!? Christmas is almost upon us, and I haven’t finished off my Thanksgiving turkey yet. I was thinking that we need more time. We always need more time, don’t we? There’s never enough time to get the house ready and decorated, not enough time to get all the presents purchased and wrapped, not enough time to have all the dishes and side dishes prepared for the BIG Day.
The prophet Micah, from the Old Testament, had this prophecy given to him from God. I think most scholars (Sadducees and Pharisees) of the day (1st Century) had the idea that something, or someone, special would come from Bethlehem. They had been looking for the promised Messiah for years and years. This prophecy looks to be about that Messiah.
They knew that King David had come from the area of Bethlehem and that God had promised that there would always be someone from his lineage who would sit on the throne over Israel. It hadn’t happened the way the scholars thought it would. In fact, the people of Israel hadn’t even heard from God (through a prophet or otherwise) for over four hundred years! They hadn’t given up, but time seemed to be running out. Rome was ruling over them, and there didn’t seem to be any let up in the near future.
But God had given Micah this prophecy that said out of Bethlehem Ephrathah will come for me (for God) one who will be ruler over Israel. This would be a ruler they could have faith in to be a representative of God, Himself. One that God would ordain to be king over them.
This ruler would be from the beginning of time. There is only one way that can happen. He has to be God. This prophecy isn’t about a mere mortal; it’s about God. We know that it came to pass when Jesus was born in…Bethlehem! He was a part of Creation, at the beginning of our time frame. Time is on His side, yes, it is. I don’t know why it took so long for Jesus to come to earth as a baby or why it is taking so long for Him to return a Second Time. All I know is that there never seems to be enough time for us to reach everyone with the Gospel. We have missionaries, street missions, homeless ministries, Matthew 25 Ministries, Operation Christmas Child, and tons of other ministries that are doing the Lord’s work, but I’m sure they feel like that they need more time. More time to raise money, get volunteers, more resources…just more time…and energy.
If we aren’t physically involved with any of these ministries, then we should be praying for them. Pray that each of them will be able to fulfill God’s calling in their lives, that children and adults will respond to the Gospel message, and that time will prevail so that all who need to hear about the love, mercy, and grace Jesus offers will respond. There is never enough time, but eventually time as we know it will end. I pray for our loved ones and others that there will be enough time for them to come to Jesus.
Jesus did come as a baby to Bethlehem, but He gave His life as a man in Jerusalem. Jesus was fully human and fully God. He was from ancient of days, whose time had come so that we could have eternity with Him. The time has now come. Christmas (the birth of Christ) has arrived! May God bless you all and may you and your families have a Merry Christmas.