Micah 5:2, “But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.”
This important OT messianic prophecy is also a Christmas text. Micah foretold that Christ would be born in Bethlehem 710 years before He ever became flesh in a Manger.
This prophecy is amazing because the way the deity of Christ is expressed in the verse’s final phrase, “whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.”
The birth of Christ in Bethlehem was not the beginning of Christ as God’s Son and our sovereign Lord. He is eternal. He “came forth” from Bethlehem, but He did not come from there in the first place. His “goings forth have been from old, from everlasting.”
But I want you to notice that this prophecy is spoken directly by God the Father. God the Father says this: “out of thee he shall come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel.” Or, to say it this way, “from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel.”
Don’t miss the importance of those two words, “for Me.” God the Father is sending the eternal Son to be born and to rule and to redeem His people, and to make righteous reign over all the earth. The Scriptures testify of this truth:
John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
John 10:36, “Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?”
Galatians 4:4, “But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law.”
1 John 4:9-10, “In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”
1 John 4:14, “And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.”
Yes, Christ came to die for our sins but he first came to satisfy the Father’s offended holiness that we might be brought into the Father’s presence.
Christ died for our sins but He also died for God. He came for God to die for God. This truth is expressed in the doctrine of propitiation.
Ro 3:25, “Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God.”
1Jo 2:2, “And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.”
1Jo 4:10, “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”
Propitiation is the atoning death of Jesus on the cross, through which he paid the penalty demanded by God for sin, thus setting the sinner free from sin and death thru faith of the sinner. The Son’s death appeased or satisfied, the Fathers offended holiness.
The gospel is imbedded in this prophecy. God the Son came to this earth sent by the Father, on a mission of mercy and redemption. He calls us to repent of our sins and believe in Him.
He does all the work of redemption Himself. It’s not up to us to atone for our own sin, we simply lay hold of His grace by faith. No man can come to God without God's grace; neither can he come without saving faith.