Advent 09 #1 - Born In Bethlehem

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Advent 2009 Promises Fulfilled #1

Micah 5:2-5

Born In Bethlehem

Promises … Christmas is a season of Promises

The Toy that promises to make your children happy

The Exercise Equipment that promises to take off those pounds just by being in your house

The Jewelry that promises to make her love you

The Dress that promises to make you look beautiful, thinner, and more successful

The Shoes that promise to make you faster

The Golf Clubs that promise to make you better

The car that promises to save you enough money on gas to pay for all of the other empty promised items you bought

Well as we move into Advent Season … celebrating the Advent or COMING of Jesus Christ … Jesus Christ came as a fulfillment of the Promises of Scripture.

Some people have said the Bible contains 30,000 promises, which is quite a stretch since only 31,101 verses in the Bible.

Dr. Everek Storms took it upon himself to count the Promises of the Bible.

He found 8,810 promises in the scriptures. He broke them into 8 categories

God the Father made two promises to the Son

Two promises were made by evil Spirits

Nine Promises were made by the liar, satan

Some promises came from Angels

290 promises were made by man to God

991 promises were made person to person

7,487 promises, 85% are promises made from God to Man.

Can we believe the promises of God?

The most outlandish and audacious promises that God made are concerning his son who could come as the Messiah …

We will examine some of these promises this month …

Read with me

Micah 5:2-5

The Angel Gabriel told Mary she was going to give birth to the Messiah …

In Matthew 1:21 the Angel appears to Joseph and tells him the same, that the Son born into their family will “save his people from their sins”

That is the promised Messiah

But Joseph was in Nazareth, in Galilee but the Messiah … was to come from Bethlehem

Can we Trust God with the promises he makes?

Look at the Messiah … to keep his Promise

1. He Moved the World

What did verse 2 in Micah 5 say? “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah …

  • What did God do to keep his Promise?

Luke 2:1-4 - In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to his own town to register.

4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David.

God said his Messiah, his Son, would come from Bethlehem …

He chose Mary and Joseph to be the family which would raise the Messiah … But they lived in Nazareth …

No problem,

The World is under the rule of a pagan emperor

No problem

And so God used the Emperor’s own pride … take a census, show the world how great your rule is, fill the coffers with new Tax Money …

Oh and In the Process

That insignificant little girl in Nazareth and her Promised carpenter groom, of course they will have to go to Bethlehem, such an inconvenient journey because little Mary happens to be with Child … not just any child … The Messiah … the one who will save his people from their sins

  • Why did he move the world?

out of you will come for me …

This wasn’t about Mary, this wasn’t about his people, this was about God

He is a Promise Keeper

He is Faithful to his Word

And because he IS …

  • What Happened when God moved the world?

… One who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times(or from days of eternity).”

Because God Moved the World and kept his Promise

A way was made for Israel’s new ruler, one who was born, fresh, a newborn, yet was as old as eternity …

God Moved the World

And though he used the Ruler of the World

2. He Scorned the Prominent

Jesus was not born in Jerusalem

Jesus’ family did not appear on Herod’s doorstep and ask if they had room for him

Jesus’ family didn’t show up at Solomon’s porch, the entrance to the Temple and see if the priests would make room for him …

Why not? Was it that they wouldn’t have believed he might come or exist?

No … it was BECAUSE they knew but refused to bow to him, refused to honor him

How do I know? Because, we see their response when they DID get news. It’s only a few miles from Jerusalem

Yet months after his birth, when the Magi appeared in Jerusalem looking for the one born the King of the Jews, Herod wasn’t happy, Matthew 2:3 says he was “Disturbed” … He called for the priests, surely they would know … and surely they did, they quoted from Micah 5:2 … they knew the Messiah was coming to Bethlehem.

So surely, they all rushed down to Bethlehem …

No, the Priests stayed in Jerusalem

And Herod tried to have Jesus killed …

The Messiah would come from “Beth – Lehem”

Which means “house of bread” … but Herod, the Priests, were too proud to come to the Bread of Life …

“Ephratah” – means “fruitfull”

But though Jesus the Bread of Life came to make our barren lives fruitful … yet

God always scorns the one who is prominent in his own mind, because he doesn’t think that he NEEDS the fruitful bread of Heaven

Psalm 10:4 in his pride the wicked does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God

God scorns the proud

We cannot come to God in pride

James 4:6 God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble

Proverbs 15:25 – The Lord tears down the proud man’s house but he keeps the widow’s boundaries intact

Proverbs 16:5 The Lord detests all the proud of heart

Proverbs 18:12 Before his downfall a man’s heart is proud, but humility comes before honor

In Order to keep his Promises

God Moved the World … Literally

And he scorned the proud because he’s not going to waste his time on those who are only interested in themselves and have no room for him …

But he moved the world and scorned the prominent in order …

3. To Bless the Insignificant

Bethlehem … just a small village in the great Tribe of Judah … who would notice Bethlehem when Jerusalem was so close … but this phrase “out of Bethlehem” … wasn’t a statement of Geography but of Sociology

Why would the Messiah come OUT OF the Peoples of Bethlehem the most insignificant population of people you could have dreamed up for the Messiah, when he could have come from Jerusalem, if not Rome or Athens

Why would the Messiah come from such an insignificant population?

Well, why would the King of Kings come out of a Human Trappings …

Certainly not worthy of the Lord of Heaven and Earth …

  • A. Rise and Stand

The one who has GONE FORTH From Eternity

Who has been going forth for eternity

Who has walked the halls of eternity

Who has had his existence OUTSIDE of Time, now Takes his Stand … to Keep his Promise

“He Will Stand” – amad – to take one’s stand; to step up

Jesus Christ, the fulfillment of the Promise of God

Came as one who was insignificant, among those who were insignificant and unable to provide for themselves

He took his stand … Like the Greatest Superhero the World has ever known

    • B. Shepherd in Strength

Don’t you see that if the Promise of God that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem was fulfilled simply to do it, how useless it would be for us. How meaningless this good news would be … But he fulfilled the Promise and provided what we desperately needed …

… a Shepherd

Taking his stand … because we are like sheep without a shepherd

sheep without a shepherd are a helpless lot

They are open to the attack of predators

The onslaught of pests

The need for green pastures and still waters

They are in danger of wandering off the path and into danger …

But Jesus Christ, keeping the Promise of God, came to

Shepherd – Ra-ah – care for any needs that flocks have … providing grazing … cares and tends for sheep, rules the flock

In Strength – oz – strength, might, a condition in which one can exert great force or withstand great force, with a focus of having ability to do what is desired, intended, or necessary

Exo 15:13 – in your unfailing love you will lead the people you have redeemed. In your strength you will guide them to your holy dwelling

Oh People, the good news is that we don’t have to rely on our strength or righteousness or on human ingenuity. Jesus wasn’t just finally a human who could do it, he is GOD … he came in the strength of the Lord

Jesus said in John 10:11

I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down his life for the sheep

Oh believe me it is better to be shepherded than to be conquered

1 Samuel 2:10 those who oppose the Lord will be shattered. He will thunder against them from heaven; the Lord will judge the ends of the earth. ‘he will give strength to his king and exalt the horn of his anointed

But the Messiah comes

Taking his Stand

To Shepherd in Strength

in the Majesty of the Name of the Lord his God

When I was born in New Orleans Louisiana, on December the 23rd, being that it was close to Christmas they presented me to my Parents in a Green Christmas Stocking … Nice, … but not Majestic

When AJ was born in Round Rock Hospital, outside Austin, Texas, there more than 20 friends and family waiting in the waiting room and they put a little stocking cap on him knitted by some little old ladies … Nice welcome, but not Majestic

But Jesus Christ, keeping the Promise of God, Born on an insignificant planet in a small galaxy, to a population of insignificant people, in an animal stable … But he was Announced by A Heavenly Host Saying “Glory to God in the Highest, and on earth Peace to men on whom God’s favor Rests”

And the Night Sky was LIT with the Glory of God

And the Stars aligned to point the way

He took his stand

In the MAJESTY of the Name of God …

Today in the City of David is Born Christ the Lord

And so we insignificant ones can find

  • C. Security in His Name

Dwell securely – yashab – sit, remain, dwell, abide,

Our security rests in the Promise Maker and the Promise Keeper and HIS greatness as we make our dwelling with him

Our security rests in HIS greatness which will reach to the ends of the earth

And so The God who Moved the World to keep His Promise to Bless the Insignificant Shepherding us in Strength to give us security … And He Himself …

  • D. He Will Be Our Peace

He will not just be someone who talks about peace

He will not be someone who presents the idea of peace

He will not be one who gets people to imitate peace

He will be himself the Source of

Shalom – prosperity; in intact state of favorable circumstance; completeness; the state of a totality of a collection; safeness, salvation, a state of being free from danger; health

God moved the world, to keep his Word

To Bless the nobody with a heart open to the Gospel

That he himself might be our Salvation, Peace, Hope, Rest, Safety

That’s what Jesus Did to Keep His Word

That’s what Jesus Did for you

He Moved the World

He Scorned the Prominent

To Bless you

Look at EVERY Promise … what won’t he do for you?

Romans 8 – he who did not withhold his own Son, what other good thing will he withhold from you

What is my point? Why is the kept Promise of God important?

The Value of God’s Promises

We never face any life-situation for which God has not supplied specific promises that give us mercy and grace to help in time of need. J. I. Packer in his book Knowing God: In the days when the Bible was universally acknowledged in the churches as “God’s Word written,” it was clearly understood that the promises recorded in Scripture were the proper, God-given basis for all our life of faith, and that the way to strengthen one’s faith was to focus it upon particular promises that spoke to one’s condition

The old Puritan Thomas Watson put it very quaintly in a sermon to his little congregation in England on Sunday, August 17, 1662 <Showing the Value of the Currency of God’s Promises> He said: Trade much in the promises. The promises are great supports to faith. Faith lives in a promise, as the fish lives in the water. The promises are both comforting and quickening, <he explains the gospel>; as the child by nursing gets strength, so faith by nursing on the promises gets strength and revives. The promises of God are bladders (flotation devices) to keep us from sinking when we come to the waters of affliction. O! trade much in the promises; there is no condition that you can be in, but you have a promise.


Take it to the Bank

Bankroll all your faith in God because every promise is True

He will withhold nothing to do everything he has promised you

Why do we want you to learn to give faithfully?

Why do we want you to learn to serve faithfully?

So that God can PROMISE himself to you as faithful so you will find the Value of the Promises of God

The Promises of God are the Currency of Heaven

We walk by FAITH not by Sight

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