Scripture Read: Micah 1; 4:6 - 13; 5
Title: Judgment, Hope and Mercy
(H) Highlight verse: "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 origin is from of old, from ancient days." Micah 5:2
(E) Explain: Micah is a prophet who was a contemporary of Isaiah, but his prophecies were aimed at the southern kingdom of Judah. Judah, just like Israel, had fallen into the sin of idolatry. The chosen children of God had turned their backs on the God who has delivered them from Egypt and made great promises concerning his kingdom, had given themselves to false gods. Thus much of Micah is a prophecy of judgment against the people of Judah. However, God in His great mercy also speaks of a future hope in the coming Messiah. In the second part of the prophecy Micah speaks of a ruler (the Messiah) coming from the small town of Bethhlehem and he continues to talk about the hope that would come from this person. The passage also talks about his second coming and his eternal reign. Of course, Micah is speaking a prophecy about Jesus. We see in this prophecy, much like the others, that God will not allow the sin of idolatry to go unpunished but we also find that his discipline and judgment is always intended to bring his children back to Him. Although judgment and punishment were imminent for the nations, there was hope because Jesus Christ would one day come to the earth and set things right through his life, death, resurrection and ascension.
(A) Application: I hope, and believe, that we are getting the picture that God will not tolerate idolatry among his people. We are told numerous times that He is a jealous God and He will not take the back seat to any other god. This applies to us today, God desires our allegience to Him. He gone to great lengths to show that He loves us and desires to be in relationship with us through Jesus Christ. We have the hope and promise of redemption through Jesus Christ, who was prophecied centuries before He came onto the scene. The prophecies of Jesus throughout the Old Testament should give us assurance that God is a faithful God who always fulfills His promises.
(R) Respond: Thank you for the promise of life through Jesus Christ. Thank you that redemption through Jesus Christ your "Plan A" since the beginning of time.
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