Micah 5-7, Psalm 131
We have written in today’s reading one of the most profound prophecies concerning Jesus. In Micah 5:2, we read, “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Though you are little among the thousands of Judah, Yet out of you shall come forth to Me The One to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from old, From everlasting.” This birthplace of our Savior was foretold around 750 years before it was fulfilled. When Herod the king inquired of the chief priests and scribes where the Messiah was to be born in Matthew 2:3-6, they responded with quoting this portion of Scripture. For skeptics who do not believe in the infallibility of Scripture, that this portion of Scripture is Messianic in nature is supported by the ancient Targums (the oldest known rabbinical commenatries written between 200 BC- 200AD) including the Targum of Jonathon, which starts the verse the same but goes on to state, “…from you shall come forth before Me the Messiah, to exercise dominion over Israel, he whose name was mentioned before, from the days of creation.” What makes this prophecy even more amazing is the insignificance of this tiny village estimated to have a population under 1000 at the time of Jesus’ birth, as opposed to a city like Jerusalem which was estimated to have a population between 600,000 (Roman historian Tacitus) to 1.1 million (Josephus) around the time of Jesus. Again, this prophecy was made 750 years before it was fulfilled, which if a prophecy like this was made in our nation would have taken place over 200 years before Columbus reached our shores. It is this type of prophecy which should set our faith on a solid foundation.
Billy Graham says, ” The human mind-like nature itself- abhors a vacuum. If our minds and hearts are not filled with God’s truth, something else will take His place: cynicism, occultism, false religions and philosophies, drugs-the list is endless.” If people want to reject the truth of the Bible, they should be able to describe their truth from beginning of time to the end of time. They will find that their story makes no sense and is filled with holes. Our story which is His story revealed in Scripture makes sense from Creation to His return, no holes.
Once we realize this He states in Micah 6:8 what our response should be, “He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?” He wants us to enter into a relationship with Him. Religion complicates, but relationship simplifies. May we reach out with the truths of Scripture to those around us and invite them to enter into a relationship with the only One who can save them.
Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley: