Thoughts for the Day

Friday, 2nd September 2022: Micah 7 - Prophecy concerning the Messiah

Micah 5 Micah Bethlehem Peace Messiah Jesus

Reading : Verses from Micah, Chapter 5

Christmas scene

The ruler from Bethlehem

But you, O Bethlehem of Ephrathah,
who are one of the little clans of Judah,
from you shall come forth for me
one who is to rule in Israel,
whose origin is from of old,
from ancient days.
Therefore he shall give them up until the time
when she who is in labour has brought forth;
then the rest of his kindred shall return
to the people of Israel.
And he shall stand and feed his flock in the strength of the Lord,
in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God.
And they shall live secure, for now he shall be great
to the ends of the earth;
and he shall be the one of peace......

(Lectionary, New Revised Standard Version)


Micah lived in the 8th century BCE, and this prophecy was to be a beacon for Jews - the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem, the birthplace of King David. It was a small insignificant place, and even at the time of Jesus there were only 500-1,000 inhabitants. When the Wise Men came from the east to enquire of Herod where the Messiah was to be born, the Chief priests and scribes returned to say: "In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet". Micah called it 'Bethlehem of Ephrathah' to distinguish the small Judean town from that of the same name in the territory of Zebulun.

Joseph and Mary belonged to the 'house and family' of David, so it was to Bethlehem they went to register for the Roman census and it was here that Jesus was born. When we sing our Carols we should remember this was a real family who went to register, and who were to flee Bethlehem when Herod sought to kill the children because he feared a possible rival king would threaten his throne.

Today, this city has some 30,000 people living there. It's part of the West Bank, Palestinian territory, originally made up of those who fled there in 1948 when the State of Israel was established. About a third who live there now are Palestinian Christians, who find themselves squeezed between the Arabs and Jews. Their lives can be the most difficult of all.


Heavenly Father,
we thank You that
Micah prophesied to the people
of his day about the coming of the Messiah.
We thank You that You sent
Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ,
to be born in Bethlehem.
We thank You that He
came to offer us salvation,
and we pray that all who hear
His message will respond to His call.

Follow Up Thoughts

If you would like to know more about Palestinian Christians, this site is worth looking at, for their dreadful plight caught between Arabs and Jews seems to have dropped off the global news recently:

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