123. A ruler from Judah.
'But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times."( Micah 5:2/ Matthew 2:6) After King Saul was rejected, God looked for a man who would shepherd the nation of Israel and found a shepherd boy in Bethlehem, called David, the son of Jesse, whose family was the least among the clans of Judah. 'The Lord said to Samuel, "How long will you mourn for Saul, since I have rejected him as king over Israel? Fill your horn and be on your way; I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem. I have chosen one of his sons to be king." (1 Samuel 16:1) Just as the Lord sought a man after his own heart and found David, the son of Jesse and appointment him leader of his people (13:14), the Lord once again reached out to Bethlehem and sought for a man from the house and line of David, and found Joseph, whose family was the least among the clans of Judah, that he might a father to the man God had appointed to be Saviour of his people. 'An angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins."' (Matthew 1:20-21) 'So, Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David. He went there to register with Mary,who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son.' (Luke 2:4-6) What was once said of David, before he was born was now being fulfilled again in Jesus, the son of David because it was after all the prophecy about the coming Messiah! "I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near. A star will come out of Jacob; a sceptre will rise out of Israel. He will crush the foreheads of Moab, ... Edom will be conquered ... but Israel will grow stronger. A ruler will come out of Jacob and destroy the survivors of the city." (Numbers 24:17-19) This prediction delivered by Balaam came true during the reign of King David who crushed the nations of Moab and Edom.( 2 Samuel 8:2,14) But it again awaits fulfilment in Christ, as some prophecies seem to be cyclic in their fulfilment because it applies to more than one timeframe. "The root of Jesse will spring up, one who will rise to rule over the nations; the Gentiles will hope in him." (Isaiah 11:10, Romans 15:12) This couldn't fully be true of David but only of the Messiah. 'I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war... Out of his mouth comes a sword with which to strike down the nations. "He will rule them with an iron sceptre." He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty.' (Revelation 19:11-15) Come Lord Jesus! Amen.