December 6

Read Micah 5:1-5a.

O Little Town of Bethlehem

Our devotional passage today comes from the book of Micah. Micah was a Minor Prophet who is believed to have lived from 737 to 696 BC. Throughout the book, Micah alternates between announcements of doom/distress and expressions of hope/deliverance. Micah is speaking to the Israelites in “code” they know and understand by usually referring to Old Testament passages. He does this in verse one as he makes his statement of distress — their city is under siege now and their king has been publicly humiliated. In the next few verses, we see his statement of hope and deliverance. He says the new strong ruler will come from Bethlehem of Ephrathah. Every Israelite worth his or her salt knows that is the town in which King David, the greatest king ever, was born. The new ruler will be even greater than David, he will shepherd his flock in the strength of the Lord, and the Israelite people will be safe and secure.

The message of distress in this passage is that they are under siege and their hope for deliverance is in the coming of a new ruler who will be greater than King David.

Do you ever feel like you are under siege? Maybe during finals? Or, when you are having a really bad day and feel like you are being attacked from all directions? Know that Micah’s prophecy was fulfilled years ago in the little town of Bethlehem with the birth of the greatest ruler ever who, today, shepherds you, keeping you safe and secure.

One of our students loved realizing that God, through Micah, announced the coming of Jesus some 700 years before his birth in the little town of Bethlehem.

Robert S. Hay, UKirk Auburn

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