The focus of our reading today is an ancient prophecy about an insignificant little place called Bethlehem. Micah proclaims that this little town with no seeming reputation will actually yield a leader with worldwide impact. Bethlehem’s past reputation will not hide its future influence.
That picture of the small and insignificant becoming powerful and having an impact is even seen in Christmas songs and seasonal characters. The Little Drummer boy is a “poor boy too.” Tiny Tim is an inspirational character in Dickens’ classic, A Christmas Carol, though his life is fragile. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer gets laughed at, but is chosen by Santa to “guide his sleigh tonight.”
But the more likely scenario, during the Christmas season, will be the multitude of activities that can easily overwhelm us. From the spectacular light shows or the matching Mercedes Benz cars that current TV advertisements suggest might be a great “his and hers” gift selection this Christmas; the message is clear — bigger is better and to be preferred. That message is hard to resist because it is everywhere and constantly bombarding us.
But the plan of God is exactly the opposite of the world’s priorities. The insignificant and poor will become great to the ends of the earth. (v.4) That is the heavenly response to an earthly dilemma; God’s solutions don’t follow the logic of the human mind. The usual places people search for answers are not those places where God begins to provide the resources to transform our lives.
Vice President, ChildHope
Prayer: Lord, give me eyes to see and ears to hear your words of comfort to me today! Direct my heart to value those things you value. Keep me from being dragged into the vortex of seasonal activities.
2 But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah,
who are too little to be among the clans of Judah,
from you shall come forth for me
one who is to be ruler in Israel,
whose coming forth is from of old,
from ancient days.
3 Therefore he shall give them up until the time
when she who is in labor has given birth;
then the rest of his brothers shall return
to the people of Israel.
4 And he shall stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the Lord,
in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God.
And they shall dwell secure, for now he shall be great
to the ends of the earth.
Scripture quotations are from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®),
copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
Used by permission. All rights reserved.