I was just thinking today about how many things had to fall into place to put Mary and Joseph in Bethlehem at the right time. When Micah declared these words, did he realize he was predicting the birthplace of the Messiah hundreds of years later? What a marvelous orchestrator God is! How can we ever doubt him!
The promised eternal king in David’s line would come to live as a man. He will “stand to lead his flock with the Lord’s strength, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God.” This prophecy was referred to by Herod’s advisors when he was greeted by the wise men of the east after Jesus’ birth. This small, obscure little town has made history and will forever have a place on the map!
Peace. What does that mean to you? I know that’s a big question. When is the last time you really felt peace? I mean, really felt it?
This is one of my favorite passages from Isaiah. There is so much to cling to here, one could get lost in these words for days. Perhaps, if you haven’t felt full of peace or peaceful recently, you can spend some extra time with these verses and just let the breadth of each word strengthen you, refresh you, and bring you peace.
We’ve reflected through these Advent devotions about God’s promise to King David. God gifted David to be a mighty warrior and king, but the King of glory David speaks of in this psalm is not an earthly king at all. David can envision the LORD as King over all things.
The study notes in my Bible suggest this psalm may have been a song sung in call and response style. Picture the worship leader asking the question, “Who is the King of glory?” and the people singing out, “The LORD strong and mighty.” Indeed. The King of glory is the Messiah himself.
What beautiful images of peace and freedom! God will bring new life to the stump of David. Just as he promised in 2 Samuel 7, a descendant of David will rule forever. The Messiah will come and bring justice and salvation.
If you’ve ever watched new branches sprout from a tree, you know the beauty of seeing life continue, expand, and grow. This new Branch will be so much more fruitful than any branch ever before. This Branch is our promised king, and he will be the fair judge we long for today.
Praise the Lord! Our reading from Psalms today is powerful praise and worship pointing to God’s mercy. This is especially true for those who “have the God of Israel as their helper, whose hope is in the LORD their God.” I certainly believe God is most my most trustworthy advocate, and my hope is secure.
When I imagine God as my “helper,” my whole day shifts. Getting things done and figuring out best practices is so much easier when I ask God to help me. I’m pretty sure it works that way all the time. Sometimes I just forget to ask! How many hours have I wasted doing things the “long” way rather than asking God to show me the “best” way from the get-go?