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 5:2-3.

Today your LORD (יהוה) God (אלהים) says:

I declare the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done. Isaiah 46:10. In My Word I gave you many details about the Messiah, your kinsman redeemer, who was to be your Jubilee, so that you would recognize Him when He came.  I gave you the town in which He would be born, Micah 5:2-5 where He would grow up, Isaiah 11:1; Isaiah 9:1-2; Matthew 2:23, how He would preach, Psalm 78:2; Matthew 13:34-35; Mark 4:2, His miracles, Isaiah 35:5; Isaiah 61:1-2, and how He would die. Isaiah 53, Psalm 22, Daniel 9:26, Zechariah 12:10.  I gave you the details of events in His life and of His mission. Isaiah 61:1-2; Isaiah 35:5; Deuteronomy 18: 18; Isaiah 9:1-6; Isaiah 11:1-5.

As I had promised My friend, Abraham, the Seed was to be birthed in his line when as yet he only had one child of the promise and that was Isaac. As we discussed the family tree in the last two Life Lessons, it was the line of Jacob’s fourth son, Judah, that was chosen by the prophetic utterances of his parents to be the line of the Messiah according to the flesh. And from Judah’s line I chose David, the man after My own heart to be the forefather of the true Man of My heart, My gift from My heart to you, My Son, Yeshuah.

Bethlehem was the town where David was born and raised. 1 Samuel 17:12, 15, 58. The Word “BethLehem” means “House of Bread.” So you see I plan the names of places for signs and appointed times as well. For in that town, birthed in the tower of the flock (magdal eder), a place where the Passover lambs were birthed and raised, was born the true bread that comes down from Heaven for man to eat and never die who is also the true Passover Lamb. The bread of life, eternal life, the body of My Son. And so Bethlehem was the place chosen for the birth of the Messiah, who would rule from David’s throne in the eternal Kingdom.

I foretold this by My prophet Micah, and once he heard from Me and spoke it into the earth everything was put in motion to complete that Word.

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. Therefore He will give them up until the time when she who is in labor has borne a child then the remainder of His brethren will return to the sons of Israel. And He will arise and shepherd His flock in the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the name of the LORD His God and they will remain, because at that time He will be great to the ends of the earth.  This One will be our peace. Micah 5:2-5.

Bethlehem was the place of David’s birth. Most of his life, however, was not spent there, his kingship was in Zion, the City of David within Jerusalem.

Now the king and his men went to Jerusalem against the Jebusites, the inhabitants of the land, and they said to David, “You shall not come in here, but the blind and lame will turn you away”; thinking, “David cannot enter here.” Nevertheless, David captured the stronghold of Zion, that is the city of David. 2 Samuel 5:6-7.

And David became greater and greater because I the LORD of Hosts was with him. 2 Samuel 5:10. And in the stronghold of Zion, I inspired Hiram, king of Tyre to send cedars from Lebanon and carpenters and stonemasons to build a house (a palace) for David.

Then Hiram king of Tyre sent messengers to David with cedar trees and carpenters and stonemasons; and they built a house for David. And David realized that the LORD had established him as king over Israel, and that He had exalted his kingdom for the sake of His people Israel. 2 Samuel 5:11-12.

And David later pitched the tent on Zion, his city, and brought My ark of the Covenant, not veiled from the people in the Holy of Holies, and established it there. for the tabernacle of Moses had been moved from Shiloh to Gibeon, so the bronze altar for sacrifice was there. He kept My presence close to him.

David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obed-edom into the city of David with gladness. 2 Samuel 6:12.

But David felt it was wrong for My Ark of the Covenant to be lodged in a tent when I had given him a palatial home. So he planned to build Me a royal and magnificent house of worship in which he would put the Ark of Covenant in a place, the Holy of Holies, more worthy of My awesome presence. But through the prophet Nathan I gave him a better promise. You cannot outdo Me in generosity, as you sow you reap and much more besides.

The LORD also declares to you that the LORD will make a house for you. “When your days are complete and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your seed after you, who will come forth from you, and I will establish His kingdom. He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever . . . Your house and your kingdom shall endure before Me forever; your throne shall be established forever.” 2 Samuel 7:11-13, 16.

I built David a palatial home through the gift of Hiram—give and it will be given to you, they will pour into your lap a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over, for by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return, but this was only the beginning of the full import of that message. People stop at Solomon as the son of David after him who built the house for My Name, and he did, but that promise was looking at another house, another temple, of which you also are living stones of that house:

The Jews then said to Him, “What sign do You show us as your authority for doing these things?” Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” The Jews then said, “It took forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?” But He was speaking of the temple of His body. So when He was raised from the dead, His disciples remembered that He said this; and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had spoken. John 2:18-22.

I put My Name on Jesus. He built the house for My Name.

“I have manifested Your name to the men whom You gave Me out of the world; they were Yours and You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word . . . I am no longer in the world; and yet they themselves are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep them in Your name, the name which You have given Me, that they may be one even as We are. John 17:6,11.

And I established His throne forever.

The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.” Luke 1:30-33.

My Son is the cornerstone and you are all being built into that temple I raised up in Him when I raised Him from the dead.

And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God, you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 2:4-5.

And not just corporately but individually as well: Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are. 1 Corinthians 3:16-17.

Note that My Word through Micah is consistent with My Word through Nathan and Isaiah.  Micah foretold that the One who would go forth from Bethlehem, born of a woman, would be the ruler of My people and would be raised up to shepherd My flock in the majesty of My Name, and that He would be great to the ends of the earth and be your peace. This fulfills the prophecy of Isaiah that the son given you would be Mighty God and Prince of Peace and rule to the ends of the earth? Isaiah 9:6-7.

This prophecy of Micah is also a confirmation of what I spoke through My prophet Ezekiel when I foretold that I Myself would search for my sheep and look after them. Ezekiel 34:11.  And that I would place over you one shepherd, whom I described as my servant David, to tend you and be your shepherd. Ezekiel 34:23.  This promise of course foretold My Son, God and man, descended from David according to the flesh but existing eternally as God. Romans 1:3; John 1:1,14. My Son and I are One, John 10:30, so that in seeing Him, you see Me, John 14:9 and He called Himself “The Good Shepherd,” John 10:11who was sent to seek out and save what was lost. Luke 19:10. You see, I will not alter My promises and My Word never changes. Psalm 89:34. In Jesus Christ all My promises are realized and fulfilled.

This prophecy of Micah concerning Bethlehem was fulfilled at the time when Israel was ruled by the Roman empire after the Greek empire had fallen, twenty-eight generations after David. Matthew 1:17. As I mentioned earlier, I even gave you the time line concerning when the Messiah would come in the book of Daniel. Daniel 9:25-26.

At that time the people of Israel had strayed from My Word.  They honored Me with their lips but their hearts were far from me. Isaiah 29:13; Mark 7:6. I am afraid the same is true with many today, My people have left their first love for Me. Hosea 2:14-23; Revelation 2:4.

It was time to wake them up and call them back to Me, and now it is time for you too. Ephesians 5:14. They had become like sheep without a shepherd and so have far too many todya. Matthew 9:36; Mark 6:34. They needed the good Shepherd, the one I had promised through My prophet Ezekiel, and so do you.  So, awake sleeper and I will give you Light. Ephesians 5:14; 2 Corinthians 4:4, 6.

Now let Me show you how the prophecy of Micah was fulfilled in the birth of the Messiah, Abraham’s promised seed that would bless every nation on earth, and you will see that I do speak the end from the beginning.

Everything began working together to fulfil that the Messiah had to be born in Bethlehem.  As you recall Mary was living in Nazareth and so was her husband Joseph.  They were both, however, descendants of David.  At the appointed time, Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world, actually this was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria. Luke 2:1-2.  And everyone was required to go to his own town to register. Luke 2:3.

So Joseph and Mary went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem, the town of David, to register there because they belonged to the house and line of David. Luke 2:4-5.  While they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. Luke 2:6-7. Quietly, like the Manna on the dewfall, the bread from Heaven had come down from earth. And by that manger were Mary, Joseph, and their donkey on which Mary had traveled.

“An ox knows its owner, and a donkey its master’s manger, but Israel does not know, My people do not understand.” Isaiah 1:3.

Everything is in My Word.

We will continue with what took place in the Heavens that night over the fields of Bethlehem where Ruth had once gleaned and Boaz had seen and a love story to the praise of My glory began that brought forth a great grandson of theirs that shepherded his father’s sheep in those same fields as he sang praises to Me.

I make everything work together for good for those who love Me and are called according to My purpose. And that includes your life too.

I love you. Will you join in that great romance which is our love story to the praise of My Son’s glory, which is reflected back on you as the body of Christ?

The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me. Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which You have given Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. John 17:22-24.