Prepare to listen. Light the pink candle. Take a moment to be still and silent, then pray: Surely God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid. (Isaiah 12:2)
Read: Micah 5:2-5a
But you, O Bethlehem of Ephrathah, who are one of the little clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to rule in Israel, whose origin is from of old, from ancient days. 3Therefore he shall give them up until the time when she who is in labour has brought forth; then the rest of his kindred shall return to the people of Israel. 4And he shall stand and feed his flock in the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God. And they shall live secure, for now he shall be great to the ends of the earth; 5and he shall be the one of peace.
When the magi arrived in Jerusalem asking, ‘Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews?’ Herod sent the scribes to do the research. They came back with these verses from Micah (see Mt 2:1-6). The magi believed the ancient prophet and set off for Bethlehem, described by Micah as ‘one of the little clans of Judah.’ A most unlikely town for the birth of a king.
This is the city God chose, saying, ‘from you shall come forth for me one who is to rule in Israel, whose origin is from of old, from ancient days.’ We often say that Jesus came for me. And there is truth in that. But we can’t let our individualism crowd out the greater truth that the for me in this verse isn’t you or me. It belongs to God alone. Jesus, the Messiah, came for God! The provision of a Ruler, one who would feed God’s flock, restore God’s people, wasn’t so much for the people themselves, but for God. It highlights that God’s plan is rooted in ancient days and was never merely to fulfill human’s deepest longings. It wasn’t just for me and you. Micah makes us look at a big-picture view of salvation—that God desires to restore all creation for God’s sake.
How does for me (that is for God) shape how you think about salvation in Jesus?
Respond to Jesus in prayer
Sometimes, Lord, I’m challenged to rethink my personal opinions and understandings. Help me keep growing in my understanding of salvation so that I live more truly in the way of Jesus. Amen.
Go and live obediently in the world where God sent Jesus for God’s purposes.