“Marshal your troops, O city of troops, for a siege is laid against us. They will strike Israel’s ruler on the cheek with a rod. 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 5:1-2
Up to this point our study of the Messianic prophecies has revealed that the Messiah would be the answer to Adam and Eve’s sin in the garden. We have seen Him promised to and through the lineage of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. We have seen that He would come specifically from the tribe of Jacob and through the family line of King David. We have learned that He would come as a son to a virgin woman and would be no ordinary man. He would be Immanuel (God with us).
Today’s scripture gets very specific. It tells us that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem. The marvel in the prophecy is found in God’s providence. You see, Joseph and Mary did not live in Bethlehem. There would be no reason for Joseph to travel with his 9-months-pregnant wife. God stepped into time and space and caused history to move according to His will. He moved Caesar Augustus to request a census of His kingdom at just the right time. Caesar stipulated that the only way the census could be taken properly was to have everyone go back to their town of heritage and be counted. God used the most powerful earthly kingdom of the day to act according to His will.
Do you and I understand that God continues to work in our world in the same way? His providence doesn’t turn on and off. It is always on. He is moving in and among the current kingdoms and governments in our world today to act according to His will. Once we step back for a moment and marvel at what God does to get His will done in a harsh and sinful world, can we take the next step and believe that He can do the same in our daily lives? Do you believe that God has a plan for your life and is working it out as you read this devotion? Do you believe that He can even work through your sinful acts and bad decisions and make good come from them?
This morning I pray that the Lord opens wide our eyes of faith and we find ourselves in awe of His powerful providence over ALL things.