Impending judgment against Israel and Judah; future deliverance of a remnant; birth of Christ foretold; Lord's judgment and mercy
Except for David, all the kings of Judah were born in Jerusalem — the City of God. But, 700 years before Jesus was born, the prophet Micah was led to prophesy: You, Bethlehem Ephratah, though you be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall He come forth to Me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting (eternity) (Micah 5:2).
At the God-appointed time, there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. . . . Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem (Luke 2:1,4). As a descendant of King David, Joseph had to go to David's hometown of Bethlehem to register. In issuing his command from Rome, Caesar could only have thought of his own kingdom. However, God used the heathen emperor's authority to fulfill Micah's prophecy.
The most significant statement of Micah's prophecy is: Whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting. This proclaims the deity and eternal existence of the Redeemer King Jesus. He could not have been the Savior of mankind and suffer for the sins of the world if He had a sinful nature like everyone else. Because of this, Jesus the Son of God, was born of the virgin Mary without a human father.
Therefore, the angel Gabriel announced to Mary: You shall conceive in your womb, and bring forth a Son, and shall call His Name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest. . . . and of His Kingdom there shall be no end. Then said Mary to the angel (Gabriel), How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said to her, The Holy Spirit shall come upon you, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow you: therefore also that Holy One who shall be born of you shall be called the Son of God (Luke 1:31-35).
As descendants of Adam, we all have inherited his sinful nature since by one man's (Adam's) disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of One (Jesus) shall many be made righteous (Romans 5:19).
Reprinted from Bible Pathway International, Murfreesboro, Tennessee.