One of my most favorite things about the Bible is the way that prophecies are fulfilled. I have always loved seeing the way that portions of God’s word tie together into each other and foretell of the amazing things that God would do, and the people He would choose to do them.
The prophecies concerning Jesus’ birth are no different. They fill me with deep joy, and I almost feel a sense of anticipation for the sake of those who walked here on earth in the era when He was born, hearing word of His birth and seeing those prophecies come to be.
But what about the prophets who get to say and write these things, these words from God written for a generation to come?
Micah, one of the minor prophets of the Old Testament, writes one prophecy I’d like to focus on. Micah spoke to many different kings of both Israel and Judah concerning the wickedness in their nations. In his book of the Bible, he speaks on their sins, their punishment, and then at the end of his book, he speaks about the Messiah, Jesus, to come. He speaks of how the ruler who is coming to be over God’s people, Israel, is going to come from the town of Bethlehem.
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. –Micah 5:2 (ESV)
This ruler to come is Jesus, the Messiah. Micah had the privilege and blessing of getting to pen the very words of God about His own Son, who would come to save His people. And Micah wrote these words long before Jesus was ever born, in fact 700 or so years before. Can you imagine?
Many other prophets foretell of Jesus’ birth. Back in the beginning, Jacob speaks a prophecy over his son, Judah, about how the Messiah would come from his lineage (Genesis 49:10). Isaiah writes about the Lord giving a sign, a child born to a virgin and calling Him Emmanuel, or “God with us” (Isaiah 7:14). Isaiah also writes about how the Messiah would come from the lineage of Jesse, who was the father of King David (Isaiah 11:1-10). And this is just a sampling of the prophecies foretelling of the coming Christ!
The most important thing to remember about these prophets and their writings is that they were writing the very words of God. God spoke right to them and they penned His words for the generations to come: for the people who longed and cried for the Savior spoken of from old, for the people who would live when Mary carried Jesus and birthed him in that manger, for those who needed to believe. And now, here in 2016, they are written for us that we might believe. Fulfilled prophecy proves that God’s word is true. His word is tested and proved faithful again and again as we read the foretold events and see them come to life many books later.
So in this Christmas season, I ask you to reflect on this. The event of Christ’s birth was something so special and so sacred, but it was by no means a surprise. God had planned His birth from the moment of Creation, knowing that we would so desperately need a Savior. He, in all His love and grace, gave His people a taste of Who was coming, alluding to the coming Messiah. And when Jesus came, amidst all the chaos and unbelief, there were those who rejoiced and praised God, who had waited in anticipation for so long.
My prayer this Christmas is that you would be the same, rejoicing and praising over the Messiah who came, with the added joy of knowing that the ultimate gift of His birth and time here on earth is the gift of salvation. May we never forget that the sweet baby boy born in the manger, Who’s birth was foretold over the ages, was the One who would save us all.
* * * * * * *
Discuss: What strikes you most about the prophecies about Jesus’ birth?
Is there something new in these prophecies that you didn’t know before?
How can you live in light of these prophecies in this Christmas season?
Pray: Heavenly Father, we thank You for the way that You shepherd us and guide us with Your Word. How amazing it is that You foretold the birth of Your Son long before You chose for Him to come! May we remember that You have a divine plan and purpose, and to live in light of that fact. May we remember this Christmas season of all the people and all the facets of the amazing story You wove together. In Jesus Name, Amen.