E-Message Bible/Commentary

"Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." --- Psalm 119:105

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Where Does God Live?
Look! The Lord is coming down from his dwelling place; he comes down and treads the high places of the earth. (Micah 1:3)
Have you ever wondered where God lives? What is his address? The Bible often describes heaven as God's home as in Matthew 6:9, "Our Father who art in heaven." The Bible also speaks of God living among His people as in John 1:14, "The Word became flesh and dwelt among us." Isaiah 57:15 combines the two ideas of God living high above us; yet dwells among us. "For this is what the high and lofty One says: "He who lives forever, whose name is holy: I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite."
So where does God live? God lives in heaven, but He also lives in humble people to give them hope and confidence.

Going to the Mountain for a Reason
Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord...and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths. (Micah 4:2)

The people in this prophecy of Micah know what this invitation means. Mountains are often associated with retreat and reflection. When we get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, we often find our ears and eyes opened to new meanings.

This scripture reminds us that an invitation has been extended for us to go up to the mountain of the Lord. Once we are there, God will teach us of His ways. After we know His ways, we are to walk in His paths.

Accept the invitation to go to the mountain. Learn all you can from the Lord and walk in His paths.

O Little Town of Bethlehem
But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times. (Micah 5:2)
Since there are two Bethlehems in the Holy Land, the minor prophet Micah specified which Bethlehem Jesus would be born in...the smallest one; Bethlehem Ephrathah, six miles south of Jerusalem. Because this verse begins with "but" it indicates a contrast to Verse 1 where Israel's situation is discouraging. Micah says, "But you Bethlehem will receive our king who will rule over Israel."
Micah accurately predicted the place of Jesus' birth hundreds of years before He was born. Why the little town of Bethlehem? Bethlehem means "house of bread." In ancient times the availability of bread was essential to life. And Jesus who entered the world in a lowly stable in this insignificant town, later referred to Himself as "Bread of Life." Jesus promised He would satisfy the hunger of everyone who would come to him.
Bethlehem is known as a place of promise and the City of David because David was anointed to be king in Bethlehem. Bethlehem is the place where Naomi's family left because of the famine (lack of bread) but Naomi returned to Bethlehem with Ruth after the death of her husband and two sons. Her life was fulfilled only when she took her rightful place back at home at the house of bread. So it is with us. We can be fulfilled only when we are where we belong . . . with Jesus, the Bread of Life.
A Bethlehem resides in each of us. It is the place in our soul where Jesus is born and even when we think there is no Bread of Life, He is still there. It is that place in every soul where God enters unexpectedly because we are looking for Him to come with all the glamour. Yet, Jesus comes to us as a lowly servant, in the smallest of places. He was born in a little town, in a little stable and placed in a little manger. "O Little Town of Bethlehem, how still we see thee lie! Above thy deep and dreamless sleep, the silent stars go by; yet in thy dark streets shineth the everlasting Light; the hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight."
Need bread? Let the Bethlehem in your soul emerge!


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