Due to issues popping up it has taken me a couple of weeks to get back to working on Micah.
As I migrated through the Christmas season, I became aware that Micah spoke of Bethlehem, and that got me even more excited. Sadly, I am finding it more difficult to remember things and therefore find it difficult to communicate what I am feeling and experiencing as I go through these studies with you. On the plus side, a lack of memory leaves me with no ammunition for fights that arise, but that is okay as I have not been called to fight.
The following is from a blog site run by Jewish believers and was the devotional feature of their daily news headlines. It is called Worthy Christian Blogs.
I used to post my blogs there, but I found it to be filled with Pharisees and scribes who have nothing better to do than to berate people who are trying to point people to Jesus. With that said, I am nothing short of suspicious of when it comes to their editorial side. However, this one, right before Christmas, caught my attention, and I was just in awe of what I saw, as it spoke to me on so many levels.
Micah 4:8 AMP And you, O tower of the flock, the hill, and stronghold of the Daughter of Zion, unto you, the former dominion shall come, the kingdom of the Daughter of Jerusalem.
The devotional included Micah 4:8 and Micah 5:2.
“But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Too little to be among the clans of Judah, From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, From the days of eternity.” (Micah 5:2 NASB)
“There are many who are not aware of the very deep significance of Bethlehem, Yeshua’s (Jesus’) birthplace. Everyone knows that Bethlehem was a place where shepherds grazed their sheep, and where the Messiah was to be born, but do not realize that it was a town designated as the birthing place for lambs which were used for the Passover sacrifice. The Scriptures give significant details about this little town lying slightly south of Jerusalem.
In Micah 4:8 we read about the “Watchtower of the flock,” or in Hebrew, “Migdal Edar.” According to the “Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah,” by Alfred Edersheim, a Jewish believer in the late 1800’s, Migdal Edar was the location where the Messiah was to be revealed. This watchtower stood as a place of protection for the city from approaching enemies, but it was also utilized by shepherds to watch over the specific flocks from which sacrificial Passover lambs were taken.
The shepherds who were tending these particular flocks were no ordinary shepherds. They were specifically trained by the Rabbis for a holy task. They had to ensure that, as much as possible, every lamb was free of any blemish or injury, in order to be used for the Passover sacrifice. Since they were instructed by the Rabbis, they almost certainly knew of those passages in the Targums (Aramaic translations) and the Mishna associating the birth of the Messiah with “Migdal Edar.” For example, Migdal Edar is translated in one of the Targums as “The Anointed One of the Flock of Israel.” It is also written in the Mishna that “He spread his tent beyond Migdal Edar, the place where King Messiah will reveal Himself at the end of days.”
I finished reading this, that day, and suddenly I realized that Jesus, the lamb, was intentionally born in Bethlehem, under the watchful eye of these trained shepherds, with the intent of making sure that God’s lamb would be born without spot or blemish, just as scripture called for.
Those shepherds we deem poor were the richest of all for they knew, listened, and tended to the King of Kings that day.
The Wise men also knew and came, however, they came later when Joseph and Mary were no longer in a manger; and, they brought enough gold and salable items that the family could live comfortably for several years. This was important as they immediately went into hiding after this event.
Consider something. When Herod saw the considerable entourage that came with the wise men he panicked and called the Chief priests and elders, and asked them why they were here. They knew the answer, but they would not come, nor would they worship. After the wise men left, Herod then had all the male children two and under killed.
Their post ended with a personal address and said this:
“those shepherds had strong hints of Messiah’s advent in the very town where they lived so that when the angelic host appeared announcing his arrival, they responded immediately and went to worship Him. We too have increasing signs of His soon Second Coming. Are we also prepared to respond? “
Verses 9-13 are, to say the least, dismal. Micah came from Israel, the Southern region, and was the last to go into captivity.
“Now, why do you cry out loudly? Is there no king among you, Or has your counselor perished, That agony has gripped you like a woman in childbirth? “Writhe and labor to give birth, Daughter of Zion, Like a woman in childbirth; For now you will go out of the city, Dwell in the field, And go to Babylon. There you will be rescued; There the LORD will redeem you From the hand of your enemies. “And now many nations have been assembled against you Who say, ‘Let her be polluted, And let our eyes gloat over Zion.’ “But they do not know the thoughts of the LORD, And they do not understand His purpose; For He has gathered them like sheaves to the threshing floor. “Arise and thresh, daughter of Zion, For your horn I will make iron And your hoofs I will make bronze, That you may pulverize many peoples, That you may devote to the LORD their unjust gain And their wealth to the Lord of all the earth. (Micah 4:9-13 NASB)
Here Micah points out:
- The anguish. “ That agony has gripped you like a woman in childbirth? “Writhe and labor to give birth, Daughter of Zion, Like a woman in childbirth.”
- That Israel would go into captivity but be rescued eventually, and in time, be redeemed. “ For now you will go out of the city, Dwell in the field, And go to Babylon. There you will be rescued for the LORD will redeem you From the hand of your enemies.”
- Even though many nations assemble against Zion, “they do not know the thoughts of the LORD, And they do not understand His purpose; For He has gathered them like sheaves to the threshing floor.”
- Although it is hard to see, Israel will have her day. “Arise and thresh, daughter of Zion, For your horn, I will make iron And your hoofs I will make bronze, That you may pulverize many peoples, That you may devote to the LORD their unjust gain And their wealth to the Lord of all the earth.”