Summary: The fulfilment of the Christmas prophecies can fill us with hope and confidence
If you complain that the Christmas hype seems to start earlier and earlier each year, then spare a thought for poor Micah. Micah saw the first Christmas coming 700 years before Mary and Joseph ever arrived in Bethlehem to find no room in the Inn!
That’s right. 700 years before Jesus was born in that humble stable, Micah, an ancient Jewish prophet, said it would happen! And it did! Micah made two accurate predictions here. The first is that Messiah would be a descendant of King David (Of David and Goliath fame). The second is that he would be born in the little town of Bethlehem – and Micah was 100% accurate.
There are many prophecies in the Bible just like these, that tell us about Jesus’ life, before he even lived it. More than 300 of them were fulfilled when Jesus came to earth, and many will be fulfilled when he returns. One thing’s for certain, If Jesus was just a human, he could not have orchestrated history so that these two prophecies would be fulfilled. Of course humans have no control over where they are born, or whose family line they will belong to. But that’s the whole point. These prophecies show that Jesus was not just a human.
But what difference do these prophecies make to us today? They’ve now been fulfilled. Do they still hold meaning for us?
1. God always surpasses our expectations
The people of Israel were expecting ...
a. a great political leader.
b. to free them from a human oppressor by taking the Romans out.
What they got was ...
a. a humble carpenter, shepherd (Micah 5:4), King of the universe.
b. who came to set all of humanity free from a spiritual oppressor by giving up his own life.
Take heart from these people who saw God do amazing things in their lives .....
• Joseph; Job; Ruth; Moses; David; Jesus
This same God who surpassed the expectations of Joseph, Job, Ruth, Moses and David – and who turned Jesus’ execution around to save the world – is right here today and willing to do the same for you.
God loves to take the seemingly hopeless situations in life and turn them around wonderfully for his glory. God always surpasses our expectations. We can find profound hope and encouragement in that.
2. God loves to tie things up
God doesn’t leave any lose ends. Micah saw this birth of the Messiah from a distance (historically speaking), some 700 years before it occurred. And God delivered. This prophecy gives us confidence today that God will tie up his future plans. So, those things that, at the moment, may look like the unfinished, frayed ends of history, God will bring to fulfilment.
Micah’s message reminds us that God is in control of history – past present and future. Although we may demand to do things our own way independent of him, God knows our thoughts, and will eventually bring us into line with his plans. We can go kicking a screaming as he drags us all the way. Or we can go peacefully, in submission and obedience to him, and praying for his will to be done on earth as it is in heaven (Micah 5:9, Matt 6:10), giving our future to him – it’s his anyway.
There is a sense in which prophecy does for us what space travel has done. We have learned a lot about the earth from going out there into space and looking back – things about weather patterns, the location of natural resources and so on. We could never have known these things while we were down here on earth – we are too close to really see what’s there.
In a similar way prophecy takes us out of our immediate surroundings and gives us a view of the big picture. And the big picture that the Lord has given us through the prophet Micah is twofold.
1. First, when we live our lives according to God’s eternal principles, he will always surpass our expectations. This truth - when it really sinks in – can zoom us into a life of hope, which is such an exciting place to be.
2. Second, God never leaves loose ends. He has a plan for history and this truth – if we really grasp it – will zoom us into a life of confidence. Confidence because we know that God has a purpose for your life and mine – nothing happens by accident – everything is working towards the culmination of God’s plan.
Isn’t that where you want to be today - filled with hope and confidence?