Summary: I want to talk tonight about someone who broke into this world ... when the world least expected Him.
Breaking and Entering
“But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting”
Subject: Breaking and Entering
Have you ever heard the term “breaking and entering”? You know, committing a crime by forcefully trespassing on another’s person’s property. If you don’t you’ll hear the police say it as they cuff you and drag you off to jail. Anytime you try to enter into an area that belongs to someone else, you’re going to meet opposition. The one who possesses the keys owns the property, and the thief will face serious consequences if he tries to break in.
Having said that, tonight I want to use as a subject Breaking and Entering
I want to talk tonight about someone who broke into this world ... when the world least expected Him. It wasn’t His world; He didn’t possess the keys. It was Satan’s world, thanks to Adam and Eve’s sin in the Garden of Eden [you’ll know the story]. Tonight we will look at Jesus “breaking and entering” into this sinful world to set us free from the keeper of the keys. We will look at Jesus setting us free from the snare of Satan.
Our text tonight comes from Micah, who is prophesying while Jerusalem is under siege. You see, the northern kingdom had fallen, and the Assyrian Army threatens to destroy the Holy City. Judgment has already been pronounced against Israel and Judah for their corrupt worship practices and widespread social injustice. It is no wonder Micah’s prophesy came as such a breath of fresh air in this world wreaking with the stench of sin when he says:
“But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.”
Paraphrase: make it personal
But thou, Prescott Place Apartments, thought thou be little among the thousands of in Memphis, yet out of thee shall come forth “New Life.”
Just like the city of Jerusalem, Prescott Place Apartments may look like it is under siege and the situation may look desperate when you drive through the gate, but God always has a plan! And oh, what a plan it is!
Think about it “Breaking and entering” requires a plan. You don’t just break the door down and walk right in. (America’s dumbest criminals).
You wait for an opportune moment when the occupants of the household are off their guard. Satan’s imps were guarding the perimeter of his world; you can be sure of that. But the Creator of the world had a plan of redemption that could not be stopped ...key or no key.
Deacon, how does this relate to New Life? Well, if you want to sneak up on your enemy, send a baby through the back door! Cf. Jewell’s testimony
Ø Church female
Ø Bride of Christ
Ø Gave birth
Micah prophesied that Israel’s redeemer would come through the back door. Bethlehem was one of the most insignificant towns in biblical times ... a back door to history, until how. It was an insignificant mark on the map. Had it not been the birthplace of a shepherd boy named David, it would have gone unnoticed. And now it would be the birthplace of the Shepherd of Shepherds ... the one that would deliver God’s sheep from captivity.
The fact that God chose the “back door” to break in should hold special significance for many of us. We too have used the back door. In slavery we were forced to use the back door. But, we soon learned how to use the back door to our advantage and we’ve been doing it ever since. We’ve used the back door of education to build HBCU for our future generations; and we’ve used the back door of Affirmative Action to produce men like Thurgood Marshall and Colin Powell, and yes even Clarence Thomas. Cf: Me, a nobody.
That goes to show that ... God has a curious way of turning the world upside down, of reversing roles, of surprising us with unexpected outcomes. How bizarre it must have seemed to Micah’s listeners to hear that Israel’s deliverer would come from Bethlehem, one of the most insignificant clans of Judah.
How bizarre it must be out of Prescott Place Apartment’s, one of the poorest housing development in Memphis ... sits New Life Baptist Church
God is forever, not only exalting and lifting up the little people, but also the little places of this world, challenging our expectations, breaking down barriers of prejudice and misunderstanding, and shattering our false sense of security.