Jeremiah 23:5-6 "Behold, the days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and He shall reign as King and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In His days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely. And this is the name by which He will be called: ‘The Lord is our Righteousness'"
It’s a popular story. The one where the land is in conflict, in a state of what seems to be an eternal downward spiral. But there is still a glimmer of hope. The people hold onto a prophecy telling of a great king who would arise, defeat evil and establish justice in the land once and for all. It’s a popular story. Star Wars used it; Superman did also, not to mention The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, The Lord of the Rings and hundreds of others. It’s actually a story that finds its genesis at the beginning of time, takes root during the reign of King David and climaxes in the quiet fields of a shepherd’s town called Bethlehem. It’s the story of the King.
In the Old Testament, God delivered prophecies to His people, both in order to deliver hope and to demonstrate His perfection.
The first prophecy in scripture took place just after Adam and Eve took the first bite of rebellion. Evil was a relentless foe to the human race and our ancestors willingly opened its cage. But deep in the Garden of Eden, a prophecy was given of a King who would be born and end the grip of evil once and for all (further reading Genesis 3:14-15). Humanity desperately needed a King. But there was still a glimmer of hope on the horizon.
About seven hundred years before the birth of Christ, the prophet Micah issued a royal prophecy once again. The King, foretold long ago in the Garden, was to be born of the City of David, which was Bethlehem, an underprivileged shepherd’s town, a blip on the map and good for almost nothing (Micah 5:2). A little less than a millennium later, after a long age of silence from God’s voice in Israel, a new global regime was established. The Roman Empire ruled with an iron fist, and it seemed all would be lost for good. But even the strongest Empire on Earth couldn’t interrupt God’s promise. At just the right time, Caesar Augustus called for a census, and Joseph, who lived in the region of Galilee, was forced to travel back to his home town, the impoverished shepherd’s fields and home of King David, Bethlehem.
Later that week, in a stall of hay, amidst the sound of sheep, the King was born.
Thank You Father that Your words never return to You without accomplishing the purpose for which they were sent. In the same way, thank You that Your Son, The Word, came to the earth He created and did not return to You without accomplishing the purpose for which He was sent. Jesus, You are the King and You are my Rescuer. In Your grace this Christmas season, remind me to dwell upon and share the story of hope that You have written.