Sunday, December 22, 2013

Christmas: The Most Unlikely Event to Take Place


SERMON        GMT13-007
SERIES:          Topical – Christmas
SUBTITLE:     Christmas:  The Most Unlikely Event to Take Place
SCRIPTURE:  Micah 5:1-5
SUBJ:               The Unlikeliness of Christmas
SUMMARY:    Christmas is the most unlikely event ever to take place due    to the accompanying components

INTRODUCTION
  1. RMS Titanic
RMS Titanic was a British passenger liner that sank in the North Atlantic     Ocean on 15 April 1912 after colliding with an iceberg during her maiden     voyage from Southampton, England to New York City, US.     Wikipedia
One of the largest and most luxurious passenger liners at the time,     the Titanic was also considered by many to be unsinkable. In 1912 the     sinking of this ship was considered to be the most unlikely event to take     place.
On April 14, however, the ship struck an iceberg, and early the next day it     sank. Some 1,500 people perished.
  1. As believers we face or experience many unlikely events in our lives. Events that we would never think would or could happen, especially to us.

The events of the Christmas story seems so impossible or unlikely. Think about it, each year we stop or at least curtail much of what we are doing in order to:

  • To celebrate or commemorate the birth of a baby that was conceived by a virgin without normal relations, whose parents were forced to travel to the husband’s ancestral home, who could not find accommodations, who were then forced to stay in a stable where this baby was born, in a land where most of us have never been and probably never will visit, from a time that was almost 2,000 years in the past.
[But regardless of all that or more, I propose to you that…]
  1. Proposition – The Christmas Story is the most unlikely event to ever take place

  1. Interrogative Sentence – What makes the Christmas story the most unlikely event to ever take place?

  1. Transitional Sentence -Our passage reveals four reasons why the Christmas story is the most unlikely event to ever take place.

As I help you to see what makes the Christmas story the most unlikely event to ever take place, take your Bibles and turn to Micah 5:2-5

Our theme is:  Christmas is the most unlikely event to ever take place.

This is a good reminder for us all that with God nothing is to be considered unlikely or impossible.

[The first reason that Christmas is the most unlikely event to take place is because of…]

1A    THE PERSON INVOLVED

Micah 5:2 (NKJV)
“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.”

Our text says, “The One.” The One who is to be a ruler in Israel. The     One who is the key person in the Christmas story events.

[I want you to notice three (3) things about “The One.]

[Notice first…]

1B    His City of Residence

“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among             the thousands of Judah…”

  • Bethlehem means “House of Bread” – we mentioned it is an appropriate name
  • It sits on the southern edge of the desert of Judah
  • It is 5-6 miles south of Jerusalem
  • I Chronicles 2:51 says that Salma, the son of Caleb is named as the “father” or founder of Bethlehem
  • Rachael is buried there
  • It’s the setting of the romance & marriage of Boaz and Ruth
  • David was born at Bethlehem
  • David was anointed to be King of Israel by Samuel at Bethlehem
  • It was a very small and insignificant town, really almost nothing by a village by the time of Micah’s prophecy
You would think at such an important person as “The One” would be         born in the big city of Jerusalem. After all this was the religious,        political, social, and economic center of Israel.
Jerusalem was only five or six miles away.
Why not Capernaum on the seacoast.
The One could have been born in any great city or metropolitan area         in the world or anywhere in Jerusalem.
After all, “The One” of course is God in the flesh, the Messiah, the       eternal King of Kings. His Son could have been born anywhere, but         He was born in the unlikely village of Bethlehem Ephrathah.
[So, what makes this Christmas story seemingly so unlikely? His birthplace is so small and insignificant that it seems impossible that the Son of God would be born there.]
[The second thing to notice about the person involved in the Christmas story is…] 
2B    His Charter to Rule

“…Yet out of you shall come forth to Me “The One to be Ruler        in Israel…”

This small and insignificant village will be the birthplace of a            future ruler of Israel.

Micah 4:1-13 is more than likely a reference to the invasion of            Israel by Sennacherib.

Micah 5:1 (probably belongs with chapter 4) makes reference to        a siege against Israel resulting in humiliation and devastation.

The Jews might be tempted to ask, “Will this siege, or this             humiliation, will this devastation last forever?”

Micah says No! A ruler will be born in a small village to set             things straight.

There is coming a time of triumph and deliverance for Israel.

Government will be returned to Israel.

2 Samuel 7:16
“And your house and your kingdom shall be established forever before             you. Your throne shall be established forever.”

[So, what makes this Christmas story seemingly so unlikely? His birthplace is so small and insignificant that it seems impossible that the Son of God would be born there and from this small and insignificant village a sovereign ruler will be born.]
[The third thing to notice about the person involved in the Christmas story is…]

3B    His Capacity to Remain

“…whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting.”

The words “goings forth” means primarily “to conduct one’s           activities.” The phrase carries a military meaning referring to an     army going into battle.

It speaks of the “Kingly” activities of “The One,” the Messiah         in reference to his power. This is in contrast to the weakness           and subjugation of the human Israelite kings, especially                 referenced in verse one.

The words “of old” and “from everlasting” speak of “great             antiquity.” It refers to eternality in the strictest sense.

This Hebrew phrase indicates eternality of the future ruler, the         one yet to appear on the scene in Israel’s history.

Micah was predicting and expecting a supernatural King.

[So, what makes this Christmas story seemingly so unlikely? His birthplace is so small and insignificant that it seems impossible that the Son of God would be born there and from this small and insignificant village a sovereign ruler will be born who be eternal with no beginning and no end]
[The first reason that Christmas is the most unlikely event to take place is because of the Person involved…]
Our theme is:  Christmas is the most unlikely event to ever take place.
This is a good reminder for us all that with God nothing is to be considered unlikely or impossible
[The second reason that Christmas is the most unlikely event to take place is because of…].

2A    THE PROMISE INFERRED

Micah 5:3    (NKJV)
“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.

First of all this verse begins with the word “therefore.” Micah used     this Hebrew word to introduce the logical result of the birth of this     future ruler of Israel.

Because a ruler will eventually come to deliver Israel, God will “give     up” or “cast aside” Israel only temporarily.

Israel, because of her sin will experience a period of absolute     abandonment by God.

Micah 1:5-6
“All this is for the transgression of Jacob and for the sins of the house of Israel.”

Micah 2:-5    Turn to and read all five verses

Micah 4:9-12    Turn to and read all four verses

Of course there are many other references to the period of     abandonment of Israel by God because of the sins of Israel.

Secondly, a promise is given that a ruler will come who will put an     end to the abandonment of Israel.
Hosea predicted a period in which Israel would not be God’s people     and Hosea “saw” the period and the effect of the separation of God     from His people. It will last until Israel (true Israel) seeks her     Messianic King.
  
Hosea 1:9-12    (NKJV)
“Therefore I will return and take away my grain in its time and my new wine in its season and will take ac my wool and my linen, given to cover her nakedness. Now I will uncover her lewdness in the sight of her lovers and no one shall deliver her from my hand. I will also cause all her mirth to cease, her feast days, her new moons, her Sabbaths all her appointed feasts. And I will destroy her vines and her fig trees of which she has said these are my wages that my lovers have given me. So I will make a forest and the beasts of the field will eat them. I will punish her for the days of the Baals to which she burned incense. She decked  herself with earrings and jewelry and went after her lovers; but Me she forgot, says the LORD.”

Hosea 3:4-5    (NKJV)
For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king or prince, without     sacrifice or sacred pillar, without ephod or teraphim.

Afterward the children of Israel shall return and seek the LORD their God and     David their King. They shall fear the LORD and His goodness in the latter days.”   

Micah saw the period of abandonment continuing until “she who is in     labor gives birth.” The “Her” isn’t a reference to Mary it is a reference   to Bethlehem.

The promise inferred is that the abandonment will continue until Israel  seeks the King that will be born in Bethlehem which will end the   abandonment.

Right now Israel has been divorced or abandoned by God. 

Two things  must take place to end that abandonment and reestablish Israel as His bride:

  • The birth of an eternal ruler in the village of Bethlehem
  • The return of Israel to God through this Messiah Ruler

Micah promises in this prediction that there will be a gathering of the     remnant in the future.

[So, what makes this Christmas story seemingly so unlikely? His birthplace is so small and insignificant that it seems impossible that the Son of God would be born there and from this small and insignificant village a sovereign ruler will be born who be eternal with no beginning and no end and the seemingly never ending exile and abandonment of Israel will be ended by this King.]
[The first reason that Christmas is the most unlikely event to take place is because of the Person involved…]
[The second reason that Christmas is the most unlikely event to take place is because of the Promise inferred.]
Our theme is:  Christmas is the most unlikely event to ever take place.
This is a good reminder for us all that with God nothing is to be considered unlikely or impossible
[The third reason that Christmas is the most unlikely event to take place because of…]
3A    THE POWER INITIATED
Micah 5:4
“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.
The wonderful effect of the rule of this eternal king is described in     “pastoral” terms. This ruler will shepherd His people like a good shepherd.     Israel will be lovingly cared for by this eternal King who was born in the     little village of Bethlehem.
How will this eternal king shepherd and care for his people?
First, it not be in His own strength!
He will shepherd and rule in the strength or the power of God. God will     reign over Israel in the person of this King with divine power.
Secondly, the two Hebrew phrases “in the name” and “in the strength”     establishes a connection to the power of Almighty God. Christ will rule with  divine power.
This is why in the Kingdom, Christ who rules with a rod of iron will smash     down effectively his enemies and the disobedient, it is by the power of God.
This ruler coming out of Bethlehem will be the “embodiment” if you will of   the strength and power of the Sovereign God of this universe.
The power and authority of this ruler will know no ends or restraint.
It is by this power that God will shepherd His people.
John 10:14    (NKJV)
“I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by my own.”
[So, what makes this Christmas story seemingly so unlikely? His birthplace is so small and insignificant that it seems impossible that the Son of God would be born there and from this small and insignificant village a sovereign ruler will be born who be eternal with no beginning and no end and he will rule and take care of his people with the divine power of God]
[The first reason that Christmas is the most unlikely event to take place is because of the Person involved…]
[The second reason that Christmas is the most unlikely event to take place is because of Promise inferred]
[The third reason that Christmas is the most unlikely event to take place because of the power initiated.]
Our theme is:  Christmas is the most unlikely event to ever take place.
This is a good reminder for us all that with God nothing is to be considered unlikely or impossible
[There is a fourth and final reason that Christmas is the most unlikely event to take place is because of…] 
4A    THE PEACE IMPLIED

Micah 5:5    (NKJV)
And this “One” shall be peace.”

Micah 5:5    (NIV)
“And he will be their peace.”

This ruler will be the peace of Israel. He will bring or make and really     be the peace for Israel.
Remember Isaiah called this Messiah or ruler the “Prince of Peace.”

Under the rule of this messiah, ruler, or prince Israel will experience     perfect peace.

Israel is not the only place on earth searching for peace. The whole
world is seeking sometime of peace.

I like what Dave Barry said about peace:
“My therapist told me the way to achieve true inner peace is to finish what I start. So far today, I have finished 2 bags of M&M's and a chocolate cake. I feel better already.”  ― Dave Barry

But back at the ranch – even when the Assyrian’s come to attack and             invade Israel, this coming ruler will be the one to bring peace. Other             Kings will defend Israel will attempt to establish peace but only the             coming ruler born in the small village of Bethlehem will establish             lasting peace for the people of God.

Our theme has been, Christmas: The Most unlikely event to take place

This is a good reminder for us all that with God nothing is unlikely or impossible.
It’s time to wrap this up.
CONCLUSION
As believers there are times when we experience struggles and trials that cause us to wonder if there ever will be peace in our lives.
World has ever known a complete peace.
Micah gives both the nation of Israel and us the assurance that a ruler would be born in Bethlehem, who is actually eternal, with no beginning and end, and who will rule with the power of the sovereign God as He shepherds His people bringing an everlasting peace.
I close with these lines from a hymn by Charles Wesley:
I rest beneath the Almighty's shade,
My griefs expire, my troubles cease;
Thou, Lord, on whom my soul is stayed,
Wilt keep me still in perfect peace.
--Charles Wesley.
As you celebrate this coming Wednesday, take time to remember that:


Christmas: Is the most unlikely event to ever take place!

1 comment:

writing for pleasure said...

WOW Gregg what a wonderful post, great to read a bit about UK HISTORY.
I live only half hour from Southampton.

There was "No Room At The Inn" for me today. I took my grandson's Harry's birthday and Christmas present but son-in - law said I wasn't welcome though he did take the presents. seems he haven't got any Christmas spirit.
Happy Christmas to you and yours.
Yvonne.