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Bible Studies for Life Lesson for December 6: Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus
John Pond, Director of Missions, West Chowan Baptist Association
November 18, 2009
3 MIN READ TIME

Bible Studies for Life Lesson for December 6: Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus

Bible Studies for Life Lesson for December 6: Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus
John Pond, Director of Missions, West Chowan Baptist Association
November 18, 2009

Focal Passages: Micah
5:1-5a; 7:18-20

“Come, Thou long-expected
Jesus, Born to set Thy People free; From our fears and sins release us; Let us
find our rest in Thee.”

The air begins to smell of
the crispness of late fall and approaching winter. The atmosphere seems to
enliven the soul and excite the heart with promises of New Year’s beginnings as
this year ends with Christmas celebrations. Though this year has been
economically challenging for many families and unsettling for others, this
season of the year reminds us that there is hope and promise in Him who is the
“long-expected One.”

The Jewish nation at the time
of Micah was facing a social and political crisis. The city of Jerusalem was
under siege and the present moment was hopeless for God’s people. It was in the
midst of grief and humiliation that one whose name means “Who is like the Lord”
speaks a word of hope and praise.

“As for you, Bethlehem
Ephrathah, seemingly insignificant among the clans of Judah- from you a king
will emerge who will rule over Israel on my behalf” (NET). From Bethlehem the
least (the traditional royal family home of David) arises a king and a
shepherd. In his coming the
nation(s) will once more know security and peace.

“Israel’s strength and
consolation, Hope of all the earth Thou art: Dear desire of every nation, Joy
of every longing heart.”

He who is called “Who is
like the Lord” now asks, “Who is a God like you?” Micah closes his words of
hope and restoration with a hymn of praise. “There is no other God like you!”
he sings pointing the crisis-ladened hearts of Jerusalem’s population
upward. Recognizing that God’s
judgement is faithful and true, he affirms God’s ultimate mercy and love.

God forgives sin and pardons
our rebellion; he does not keep hold of his anger forever! What a word of promise for everyone who
would but believe, regardless of crises or insult. He hurls our sins into the
depths of the sea and forgets forever.

I am reminded that Micah
spoke words from God that he himself would never see fulfilled. Yet, in the
end, he could still stand and exalt the merciful and faithful One who was
working out His will throughout the intricate details of historical processes —
political nations and foreign armies. Though surrounded and by the end in exile
under the Babylonian empire, he never gave up the promise. And this
long-expected One has come and He is Jesus!

“Born Thy people to deliver,
Born a child, and yet a King, Born to reign in us forever, Now, Thy gracious
Kingdom bring.”