Posts Tagged ‘Old Testament prophecies’

More prophecies: Of his kingdom there shall be no end

December 15, 2013

Luke_1-33

In light of the approaching celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, the Verse of the Day for December 15, 2013, is another passage containing the fulfillment of words spoken by the prophets concerning the Messiah:

Luke 1:30-33:

And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.

That the Messiah would be called by his name before he was even born was foretold in Isaiah 49:1:

 Listen, O isles, unto me; and hearken, ye people, from far; The Lord hath called me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother hath he made mention of my name.

Likewise, the Lord would be called to God’s service from is spoken of in Psalm 22:10 (Amplified Bible):

I was cast upon You from my very birth; from my mother’s womb You have been my God.

Psalm 45:6 makes known that the throne of the Messiah would be everlasting:

Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever: the scepter of thy kingdom is a right scepter.

A similar declaration was also made in Daniel 7:13-14:

I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.

And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.

In 1 Chronicles 17:11-12 we find a similar declaration regarding the throne of the everlasting kingdom of the Lord:

And it shall come to pass, when thy days be expired that thou must go to be with thy fathers, that I will raise up thy seed after thee, which shall be of thy sons; and I will establish his kingdom.

He shall build me a house, and I will establish his throne forever.

George Friedrich Handel’s “Messiah,” the renowned oratorio with texts from the King James Version of the Bible is among the best known and most frequently performed music compositions in the Western world, particularly during the Christmas season. The celebrated work ends with the Hallelujah Chorus which echoes the same declarations regarding the everlasting kingdom of the Messiah expressed in the Verse of the Day. Listen to a contemporary adaptation of the popular piece performed by the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir.

Born of a virgin: Another prophecy fulfilled

December 14, 2013

Birth of Jesus

The passage that makes up the Verse of the Day for December 14, 2013 is found in Luke 1:26-28 (King James Version)

And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.

Here we find another fulfillment of a prophetic word concerning the birth of Jesus Christ written centuries beforehand. That the Messiah would be born of a virgin was revealed in the recent the Verse of the Day for December 11, 2013, which relates to an Old Testament prophecy concerning the birth of Jesus, the Messiah:

Isaiah 7:14:

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.

Matthew 1:22-23 establishes the fulfilling of that prophetic word:

All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet Isaiah:

‘The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel’–which means, ‘God with us.’

During this season that recognizes the miraculous birth of the Lord Jesus Christ, we have much to rejoice about and celebrate.

Perhaps the all-time favorite Christmas carol with a reference to the virgin birth is “Silent Night” with its memorable lyrics:

Silent night, holy night

All is calm, all is bright

Round yon virgin mother and child.

Sleep in heavenly peace

Sleep in heavenly peace

The American Boy Choir offers a moving rendition of this classic Christmas carol:

Bethlehem: Where the Savior was born

December 13, 2013
This painting by Polenov shows Bethlehem in 1882.

This painting by Polenov shows Bethlehem in 1882.

In the Verse of the Day for December 13, 2013 we find another passage related to one of the prophecies that foretold the birth of Jesus Christ. When Herod encountered the wise men who came seeking the “King of the Jews,” his response is recorded in Matthew 2:4-6:

And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born. And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet, And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.

The prophet referred to is Micah who had made this prophetic declaration regarding place where the Messiah would be born:

Micah 5:2–5 (New Living Translation):

But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, are only a small village among all the people of Judah. Yet a ruler of Israel will come from you, one whose origins are from the distant past. The people of Israel will be abandoned to their enemies until the woman in labor gives birth… And he will stand to lead his flock with the LORD’s strength, in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God. Then his people will live there undisturbed, for he will be highly honored around the world. And he will be the source of peace…

Located about six miles southwest of Jerusalem, Bethlehem is not only the birthplace of Jesus Christ, but the city has a rich heritage as a place of importance in God’s plan for humanity. Genesis 35:19 (New Living Testament) records the first mention of the town:

So Rachel died and was buried on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem)

In Hebrew the name means “house of bread.” Recall that the account of Naomi, Ruth and Boaz from the book of Ruth takes place in Bethlehem, where Naomi returns with Ruth after the famine in Moab. David, the King, the great-grandson of Ruth and Boaz, was born and grew up in Bethlehem. Eventually the Judean town became known as the City of David, for it was there that the prophet Samuel anointed him to be king over Israel (1 Samuel 16:1-13).

The account of the birth of Jesus Christ provides a confluence of circumstances that merge in Bethlehem. Mary and Joseph found themselves at that particular location when Caesar Augustus decreed that a census be taken. Every person in the entire Roman world had to go to his own town to register. Joseph, being a descendent of David, was required to go to Bethlehem to register with Mary, his wife who was pregnant at the time. Because of the overcrowded conditions due to the census, the inn where they sought refuge was full, and Mary gave birth to Savior of the World in the primitive conditions of a stable where the child was laid in a manger.

A number of the songs celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ mention Bethlehem, including the song connected to the Verse of the Day for December 11, 2013 which shares a version of “Children, Go Where I Send Thee,” with its resounding refrain:  “One for the little biddy baby who was born, born, born in Bethlehem.” Perhaps the all-time favorite Christmas carol is “O, Little Town of Bethlehem,” offered here as a medley with “Away in a Manger” by Kari Jobe.

Immanuel: God with us

December 11, 2013

Isaiah-7-14

There were over three hundred of prophecies concerning the Lord Jesus Christ and his first coming to earth, all of which came to pass with pinpoint accuracy. The odds of one single word coming to pass are astronomical, let alone more than 300.

We recognize, of course, what was said to Jeremiah, that God will hasten to perform His Word, so we see that when God speaks a word prophetically that it always comes to pass. Remember these words of the Lord spoken in  Isaiah 55:11 (in the Amplified Bible):

So shall My word be that goes forth out of My mouth: it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.

The Verse of the Day for December 11, 2013, relates an Old Testament prophecy concerning the birth of Jesus, the Messiah:

Isaiah 7:14:

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.

Matthew 1:22-23 establishes the fulfilling of that prophetic word:

All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet Isaiah: ‘The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel’–which means, ‘God with us.’

One of my favorite songs of the season celebrating the Savior’s birth is “O Come, O Come, Immanuel.” The popular Christmas song is a translation of the Latin text (“Veni, veni, Emmanuel”) by John Mason Neale and Henry Sloane Coffin in the mid-19th century, offered here by Selah:

A variation on the theme of coming of Jesus Christ is this song “Immanuel, God with Us,” performed by Amy Grant:

The songs of the season are constant reminders that, indeed, God is with us.