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Dec 14, 2018

The complete quote about the Messiah’s birthplace (Micah 5:2-5) quoted to Herod in Matthew 2:6 mentions Bethlehem, a woman in labor giving birth, and the Lord is pictured as our shepherd who will be ‘highly honored around the world’. Note that Herod would have had cause for concern about his reign if such a leader appeared.

If Micah 6:8 sounded familiar, it is because Micah quoted from Deut. 10:12.

ISAIAH 52:13—53:
In our reading yesterday, Isaiah 52, we heard the passage that Paul quoted in Romans 10.

Is. 52:7 NLT How beautiful on the mountains
are the feet of the messenger who brings good news,
the good news of peace and salvation,
the news that the God of Israel reigns!
All the ends of the earth will see
the victory of our God.

Note that God gave a special message (in 52:11-12) to those who would carry the temple treasures back to Jerusalem led by Ezra (Ezra 8). Those who carried those ‘sacred objects’ and who prayed and fasted with Ezra beside the river near Babylon had their prayer answered around 200 years before they prayed it!

After acting as Jesus’ secretary to write down the seven letters to the seven churches, John was taken up to God’s throne in heaven. We can note a feature of Jewish custom in the writing of John in Revelation 4: In reverence he avoided saying, “I saw God sitting on his throne.” He went beyond custom and didn’t even say ‘the Lord/Kyrios’. Instead he said, ‘Someone’ or ‘the One sitting on the throne’. God was mentioned directly only in the quotes of the four living creatures and the 24 elders. Note that we have seen the living creatures with four faces before in Ezekiel.

And in front of the throne were seven torches with burning flames. And we are told, “This is the sevenfold Spirit of God.” The number seven has a symbolic meaning— indicating perfection, completeness, or attributes of God. (Compare Rev. 1:5, 3:1, 4:5 and 5:6.) Commentators also say that John could have thought about Isaiah 11:2-5— where Isaiah prophesied about the sevenfold spiritual characteristics of the Branch growing from David’s stump (Jesus).