Sunday, December 18, 2011

Jesus Born In Bethlehem: The Fulfillment of Micah 5:2 - Matthew 2:5-6 Bible Commentary


Many years before the events of Matthew 2, God spoke through the prophet Micah. The chief priests and scribes of the Jews knew the words of Micah well and responded to Herod (for more info see King Herod Troubled) with a quote from Micah 5:2.
They told him, "In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet:
"'And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for from you shall come a ruler
who will shepherd my people Israel.'"
(Matthew 2:5-6)
The book of Matthew is filled with quotes from the Old Testament. The purpose of these quotes is to point us to the man who fulfilled them: Jesus Christ. By quoting from Micah 5:2, Matthew shows us that Jesus' birth happened just as the Scriptures say.

About seven hundred years before the birth of Christ, Micah walked the earth and prophesied. Seven-hundred years later, Micah's prophecy was fulfilled. Think about that for a moment: 700 years.

Think of all that has happened between now and seven hundred years ago! To put it into perspective: about 750 years passed between the death of the patriarch Abraham and the birth of King David. Seven hundred years is a long time.

Time, however, is not a barrier to God, not even 700 years. God can see all of history. He knows everything that will ever happen. He knows the when, the how, the where, and the why of every event that has ever happened or ever will happen. When God speaks, His words always come to pass.
I am God, and there is none like me,
declaring the end from the beginning
and from ancient times things not yet done,
saying, 'My counsel shall stand,
and I will accomplish all my purpose'
(Isaiah 46:9-10)
Therefore, when God prophesied through Micah that the Christ would be born in Bethlehem, the prophecy happened exactly as He said that it would. That God's words came to pass should not, of course, be a surprise. God is always faithful to keep his word. He is the one who controls, guides, and governs history in order to accomplish His purposes.

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