In today’s post I’m jumping back to the Old Testament – in particular, the book of Micah – written way before Jesus turned up for the very first Christmas.
But first, another analogy thanks to my Christmas gift sewing on the weekend:
When things are in the beginning stages, sometimes it’s a little unclear how they will end up. You can tell that something is happening, but what exactly, is a little unclear. Even if you correctly guess what the fabric will turn into, you still don’t know exactly what it’s going to look like when it comes to full fruition.
I think that’s how it was for the ancient Jews.
But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.
That’s from the book of Micah. It’s one of those Messianic hints that are sprinkled throughout the Scriptures that the Jews would have read in their temple for many years.
Maybe because I’m short, I’ve always liked that verse. I think the cryptic nature of it is also appealing.
Who is this ruler? Why Bethlehem? How are their origins of old? Why the small clan of Judah? What sort of ruler?
The beauty of hindsight and a little understanding of the ancient Jews allows you to join a few of the dots. Judah: the tribe of Kings. Bethlehem: the City of David. Or, more to the point: King David.
You can get the idea from this verse in Micah that there’s a new ruler coming. Exactly what and when is unclear, but at least you know where to look. To work out more, they needed to look for other clues in their Scriptures.
I think I’ll do some more of that myself, tomorrow.
Yours in joining the dots,