Monday, December 16, 2013

Hope from a Forgotten Place

One Year Bible
Old Testament passage for Monday, December 16, 2013:  Micah 5:1-7:20

“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to Me the One to be Ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting.”  Therefore He shall give them up, until the time that she who is in labor has given birth; then the remnant of His brethren shall return to the children 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 abide, for now He shall be great to the ends of the earth;  And this One shall be peace.  Micah 5:2-5 (NKJV)
The Lord of the Rings trilogy is an epic allegory about the fight between good and evil.  It is a story of courage and camaraderie; about the dangers of power and the cunning of evil.  
Very close to the heart of the story is the idea that God uses small people to accomplish great deeds.  He uses Moses against Pharaoh, David against Goliath, Gideon against the Midianites; and a Halfling against the embodiment of evil.  
If you survey the main characters, you find Aragorn, the ranger; there is Legolas, the keen-eyed archer; Boromir, the ambitious and valiant prince.  All of these are capable heroes.  Yet, it is the least-likely member of the fellowship that proves the most powerful -- a boyish-looking, timid Halfling: Frodo.
Frodo is a reminder that God's ways are not our ways (Is. 55:8).  When we are confronted with overwhelming odds and overpowering evil, the answer is not in our great ability, but in our humility.  
Deliverance comes from unexpected places.  Hope and salvation arise from forgotten villages and unnoticed origins.  
That's the story of Christmas.  It's the story of Bethlehem.  Out of a manger in a dusty Palestinian village will come the greatest good this tired old planet has ever known.  No one could have seen it coming. 
It's a lesson to us all.  The provision of God -- the salvation of God -- the hope for our future -- often comes in the garb of humility.  May we have eyes to see Him this Christmas.

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