He would be born in Bethlehem
To assist us in preparing our hearts for the coming Christ, our sister Koh Siang Kiang has reprinted an Advent devotional guide entitled, They Looked for Redemption, that she and Dr Poulson wrote in 2013. We extract the devotional entry for this Sunday to encourage you to continue to use this devotional for your daily time with God. Let's re-tune and prepare our hearts not just for the Christmas season but also for His second coming.
Scripture Passage: Micah 5:2
But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah,
who are too little to be among the clans of Judah,
from you shall come forth for me
one who is to be ruler in Israel,
whose coming forth is from of old,
from ancient days.
Prophecy: He would be BORN IN BETHLEHEM
Background: In the 8th century before Christ, the prophet Micah pleaded with Israel and Judah to turn back to God from their sinful ways. Then he recorded a vision concerning the last days, when they would be the centre of a world-wide kingdom characterized by righteousness, peace and prosperity (4:1-5). But first, he warns of a final attempt by world powers to thwart the plan of God (4:11- 5:1).
Digging Deeper: Micah 5:2. The subject shifts to the One to be Ruler in Israel. Who is the One spoken of? Where was He to be born? By the first century AD, it was an obscure village, but historically, it was the birthplace of Israel’s greatest king, David (I Samuel 16:1-13). Although His coming was yet future, what was implied by the statement that "His goings forth are from long ago” (NASB, 5:2b)? Scripture teaches that He was Creator, Preserver and Protector.
Fulfillment: Mat 2:1-5; Luke 2:1-7,11 records the fulfillment of the prophecy concerning His birth.
Application: What does God’s choice of Bethlehem, a relatively obscure village, say to you about Him? The place is small but certainly not insignificant. God’s choices are not always according to man’s way of determining importance. What does this mean to you?
O little town of Bethlehem,
How still we see thee lie.
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep,
The silent stars go by
Yet in thy dark streets shineth
The everlasting Light
The hopes and fears of all the years,
Are met in thee tonight
Prayer: Lord, keep me from being so absorbed with great things that I miss what you are willing to do through small things.
Final Thought: People of faith would keep an eye on Bethlehem, their eighth clue, as THEY LOOKED FOR REDEMPTION