Micah 5:2-3 “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.
It is Advent season once again! A blessed time of waiting, reflection, repentance and worship. While I’m dwelling on Old Testament passages that clearly foretold the coming of the Messiah, one of the greatest treasures I find is the simple yet profound truth that God acted in love from the very beginning. In Genesis 3:15 when God told the serpent that the woman’s offspring shall crush his head, we see that way back in Eden, God already announced His victorious plan that will be fulfilled in the birth of Christ and His death on the cross. This is why I tend to think of the Old Testament as one long advent season, as God established the lineage of the Messiah, generation after generation, until Christ was born. No matter how complicated HIStory unfolded on the pages before the gospel of Matthew, God always exercised His sovereignty in love and wisdom. He is the God who does not change (Malachi 3:6).
Isaiah 7:14 “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.
Each Advent season we celebrate now reminds me that this steadfast heart of God is such that He desires fellowship with His people, no matter how unworthy we are. He chose to come and dwell among us. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth – John 1:14
Isn’t He the King of kings? Was the universe not created through Him? And yet He chose to dwell among men, eventually to be crucified by men. The Creator willingly suffered under the hands of His creation in order to bring creation back to Himself. No other King would do what Christ has done. The depth and breadth of love that compelled Him to take the form of man is something we will never be able to comprehend. I am just thankful that we can worship Him not only for what we know about Him, but even for what we do not understand.
Today, through His Spirit, He remains Immanuel, the God who is with us. Immanuel doesn’t love us from a distance. Immanuel doesn’t accomplish His purposes remotely. Immanuel works in us, through us, in spite of us. And there’s even better news for us who believe in Him. Our advent goes on. Our season of waiting continues. In a sense, our life, our journey here on earth, is one long advent as we wait to be reunited with Him. Christ, Immanuel, is coming again! We, His church are His bride, and we live with the hope and confidence that one day, our Bridegroom will return for us. Hallelujah! Immanuel will come again! And there is none like Him. He is the only King worth waiting for.
“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. John 14:1-3
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.
Israel’s strength and consolation,
Hope of all the earth Thou art;
Dear desire of every nation,
Joy of every longing heart.