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The Hope of Bethlehem - Part 1

Finding Purpose / Russ Andrews
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December 26, 2020 1:00 am

The Hope of Bethlehem - Part 1

Finding Purpose / Russ Andrews

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December 26, 2020 1:00 am

Pastor Russ Andrews talks about the state of Israel at the time of Our Savior's birth - how He was born amidst Israel's internal strife and political dissension, as well as their idolatry; and he begins in Micah 5:2.

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This is Darren Kuhn with the masculine journey podcast research the ancient paths to find ways that God brings light into a dark world and help set men free from the struggles that we all face on a day-to-day basis.

Your chosen Truth Network podcast is starting in just a few seconds. Enjoy it, share it, but most of all, thank you for listening and for choosing The Truth Podcast Network. This is good Truth Network do you feel like you're on a religious treadmill. Do you feel like Christianity is just a system of rules and regulations, I can do this but I can't do that.

Do you feel like your efforts to reach God. Find God, and please God.

If you do you feel like your faith is dead or alive today. Pastor Russ Andrews will walk us through Scripture to answer these questions join us on finding purpose of local tribal ministry glorifying God by helping men find their purpose for living.

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Now let's listen to Russ Andrews as he teaches us how to be a Christian without being religious morning excited to be here this morning was I get up to teach and preach on Tuesday nights. My favorite time to preach is on Sunday mornings on blank for the grant is willing to open up his pool put and allow me to stand before this morning grant I were talking this morning before we came here in his office that you know will have perfect faith. We sometimes wonder Lord is your word really want to accomplish the purpose for which you and Tina converse is going to take place.

All people want to be drawn into a deeper relationship with you is that we basically agreed with each other that we pray like the man and when the gospel is the Lord, I believe, help my unbelief that we do believe grant not in the word of God's inerrant is infallible. Every word of it and we believe that's what Isaiah said that like the water that nourishes the ground the word of God goes forth, it does not return void and it will accomplish the purpose for which he intends and I believe he has ongoing fulfill that promise is morning to those of you will hear those who are listening via live stream.

So to welcome all of you here this morning as his grand so I prayed such a wonderful prayer that will open up in prayer again so I want to go ahead and dig into God's word, which by the way you wanted to be Jack be nimble Jack be quick this morning as will get from Genesis to Revelation. So I hope you know your Bible, but we're going to start in Micah chapter 5 verse two and have entitled this. The hope of Bethlehem during the eighth century BC, the nation of Israel was, unfortunately, a lot like our nation today, the United States of America. The coach was growing more and more immoral. The Israelites were consumed with materialism in different and in defiance of the Mosaic law. People actually buying up large tracts of land and this was creating serious problems for the poor is a disparity between the haves and the have have not widened cephalic yesterday, bribery, injustice, lying and murder were commonplace. Israel was being torn apart by internal strife and political dissension.

Sound familiar. This will vary a greater sense of the most egregious offense before God was the sin of idolatry.

Idolatry is the worship of something or someone other than God. Paul gives a very clear picture of idolatry.

In Romans chapter 1 verses 21 through 24, where he writes for all the they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.

Although they claim to be wise, they became fools, and exchange the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles. Therefore, it is this is three times in Romans chapter 1 God gave them over first to get them over to natural sand is all in Romans one, then he gave them over to unnatural sound and they get them over to a depraved mind and that's a mother can no longer distinguish between right and wrong between good and evil.

That's an indictment against our country right now is our nation has a depraved mind, what exactly is Paul saying here he is accusing us of exchanging the creator for the created he's accusing us of turning away from devotion to God and become a devoted to things that God has given us so ask your personal question. Does this describe you as we approach Christmas.

Who or what do you find yourself really worshiping worn where's the is a great commentator writes when the nation of Israel was divided after Solomon's death, the northern kingdom established its own religious system in competition with them as they worship in the temple at Jerusalem about the people of Judah, the southern kingdom had safely begun to worship the false gods of Canaan and their hearts were not true to Jehovah. Even when they stood in the temple courts and offered their sacrifices.

The prophet Isaiah described their worship like this in Isaiah chapter 29 verse 13 he says these people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men does not. This describe the modern church in America.

So many friends of ours and people that we know to go to church every Sunday and they recite the apostles prayed habitually and they say the Lord's prayer and then they lay thinking that they're okay because the ministers told him well. God's children. But listen, they're not okay if they don't know the Lord and I'm afraid that their hearts are still very far from God even though they say all the right words, you can say the right words, you can sit in a church and be further from God and the thief on the cross because Israel had abandoned God.

God was about to abandon them, God was preparing to send an army from the north, the Assyrians, to destroy him. Thus, the nation of individual was facing a very dark period in their history. This is what I want you to note is important to know that God never fully abandons his people and he never leaves himself without a witness and so was at this time that God raised up a prophet from a tiny little village that profits name was Micah Micah's name means one who is like Jehovah. Would you like for your name to mean that initially it really means it based on your character that you will one like Jehovah made that they said about each one of us. By the time we come to our death that may executive be put on your tombstone he lived she live as one who was like God.

Micah was a contemporary of the prophet Isaiah's I think it's great that this is sandwiched in here between Isaiah 900 that grant taught a preach about last week and who preach about next week. Micah came from a very humble family that lived in the little town called Morris Sheth, which is about 25 miles southwest of Jerusalem.

God raised him. Micah for one purpose to take a message of warning and judgment to the nation of Israel. But it listen, but in the midst of this message of judgment was a ray of hope, and thought it was a brilliant ray of hope in this brilliant ray of hope is found for us in Micah chapter 5 in this one verse, verse two, but you are Bethlehem up Africa who are too little to be among the clans of Judah from from you shall come forth.

Only one was to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old ancient days. So with these words Micah offered hope to a nation that was facing total destruction. If I can. 722 BC during Micah's lifetime. The Assyrian army invaded and totally a knowledge in Israel and did most of the Israelites were deported back to Syria where they died. Can you imagine that this dog. Initials history really gives a picture of the world ever since the fall back in the garden when mankind sinned against God. See darkness describes a world without hope in their 70 people right now are in the world but I will focus on our nation, our country today who living without hope in the living world of darkness.

That's why suicide is so rampant, so Micah spoke these words over 2700 years ago and yet here we are reading them this morning. While these were so important what was in Micah's message that brought such a what was he trying to convey to his countrymen. Micah wore the Israelites to know that God would not permanently forsake him, he wanted to know that God had a plan for the future.

He wanted to know that even in the mist of darkness. There's hope you have a site this morning about 100 years after aftermarket.God raised up on another prophet that he's my favorite prof the Old Testament if I want to guess his name Jim, Jeremiah, Jim, what love Jeremiah fact that when I was in seminary Cashel acumen was named great Old Testament professor.

I took an elective from him on the book of Jeremiah and all we do is come of the everyday but she just preach through Jeremiah and it was incredible but anyway God raised up Jeremiah to speak a very similar message of warning and judgment to the southern kingdom of Judah and just like Micah's message Jeremy Thomas Mr. contain a word of hope from a few horses that are some of my favorite verse in the Bible especially hard for me to find verses that on my favorite versus because you listen a lot. Jeremiah 2011 through 14. His family without for you know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you do what when you seek me with all your heart.

He says I will be found by you, declares the Lord, all anyone has to do seek the Lord with their own with all their heart and got promises that you will find him do need a message of hope. This morning who needs some hope.

Just writing nothing wrong welding typed only body type. To be honest with you that a sort of a heaviness of my heart.

Aki think what is it I think is the same heaviness that Micah and Jeremiah felt they love their country of my country, but on sad for what is happening and what I was going to happen to our nation. I want you to know this God's offer hope to the world and this is what Christmas is all about hope a message of hope has been God's message to the world from the very beginning God knew even before we create the world that we will rebel against him and go our own way.

Listen, if were all honest. We have to all admit that it one time or another everyone of us has room rebelled against God and going our own way. I know I have never rebelled against him so much as ridiculous, just as my wife the Crecy knows more than anyone else that I might picture of the grace of God. That's what I can stand before you this morning, and preach you see sin really is nothing more than living your life independent of God. You just go your own what you say God I want to do things my way. I don't really need G and a lot of people just only to give got any attention that only care that's what CNS if not for the plan of God to save us. We would all be hopelessly lost.

But God did have a plan. Micah chapter 5 verse two is one of the verses in the Bible that lifts the veil so we can see God's plan for the world. Micah chapter 5 verse two I believe is one of the greatest prophecies to be found in the Old Testament and in this one verse, we discover what God's plan.

Yes. So what was God's plan and how was God going to unfold his plan well on this of the cross and with the completed word of God.

We know that before time began God plan to send a Savior into the world to save us to rescue us first Peter chapter 1 verse 18 through 20 says, for you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you will redeem from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. He was chosen when before the creation of the world, but he's been revealed to us in these last times for your sake, for my sake and we can see this looking backwards, but have all of the men and women who lived in the days of the Old Testament and hat.

How were they to know what God's plan was to save them. And how about the people who actually live in the time of Christ. How were they to know who this Sadie would be with a head the word of God to just like we do. All throughout the Bible, beginning with Genesis, God foretold of the coming of the Messiah, the anointed one, the Savior of the world. But here's the big question was back then who the Savior.

Billy how would people recognize him and when we appear all throughout the Old Testament, the prophets, trying to figure out who this Sadie was in when he was coming. First Peter one verses 1011 says concerning this salvation, the prophets who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently what they doing they were reading the Old Testament intently searching the deep search the Bible like that intently.

That's the book they can save you is the book they can guide you through life and yet so often we were to look at people magazine read the Bible concerning this salvation, the prophets who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care.

Try to find out the time and circumstances to which the spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow the listen right there you see two strands don't sufferings and glories holding the thought in the beginning of the first century the people believed the time was near. There was an expectancy in the air in Luke chapter 2 I think Greg mentioned this last week we learned about a man by the name of Simeon who was essentially waiting in the temple for the Messiah to appear while Chris Gotti told him salmon you not want to die to you simply beheld Savior, the Messiah, the promised one.

Luke three verse 15 says the people were waiting expectantly and were all wondering in their hearts if John the Baptist might possibly the Christ. We know he wasn't in John Tilden. Clearly, I'm not the one. This one come after me who sandals are not worthy to untie. He is the one that he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit was only baptized with water, you list this expectancy also explains why the Magi came from the East in search of the Messiah. There was an expectancy and excitement in the air in Matthew chapter 2 verse two. The Magi asked where is the one who's been who is been born king of the Jews.

We saw his star in the East and have come to worship him. The dart about the stuff that's going to appear. This inputted other and I don't know what has anything to do with this, but I will be looking to have a very good feeling.

These Magi were familiar with Micah's prophecy and that that might help explain what they just happen to be in Bethlehem. Not all had followed his star from the east, but they were following God's word and it led them to where Bethlehem so what clues did Micah provide that would help identify the Messiah will only offer three very clear clues here in this text. First, Micah said the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem. Petworth is a hard word to pronounce. I was pronouncing it separate the you pronounce it a path for some of you would be okay look look at chapter 11 a look at Micah 5 verse two again.

But you, Bethlehem, empty and confused. Oedipus helps it a path with the that's hard for a guy from Bethel to pronounce a camp struggling with my mouth just you but you are Bethlehem a path for thought for this I pronounce it who are too little to be among the clans of Judah from you shall come forth only one who is to be ruler in Israel. Did you know you want path for thought.

Is there jetted to the temple. Micah there were two Bethlehem's one in the zeppelin in the sea of Galilee. We went there diddly Sandy and Van have a place and the other one in Judah which are just 5 miles from Jerusalem. Micah is so specific that he specifies that it was the latter. Bethlehem, the one who signed your name was that breath try to pronounce it. Genesis 35 verse 19 and 20 says so Rachel died and was buried.

On the way to Epworth that is Bethlehem overturning Jacobs of a pillar and to this day, that pillar marks Rachel's time.

Why did God choose this Bethlehem is the birthplace for the sake of the world litigated three reasons are conducted of the two clues in a minute. Let me now give you three reasons why he chose Bethlehem first Bethlehem means house of bread. Think about it. Brett sustains us and gives his life and that is what the Messiah would offer to the world. Abundant life, even eternal life.

In John chapter 6 force verses 47 through 51 Jesus said to the truth he believes has everlasting life. I am the bread of life.

Your forefathers ate the manna in the desert. Yet they died.

But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which a man may eat and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever.

This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world don't know I'm from Bethel.

I think that's why like Britt so much that just only wells appear that was not in my plan to share that with all my family understand that God chose Bethlehem the house of bread to give us the bread of life.

Secondly, Bethlehem was chosen because of the history that links it to the Messiah again go back to Rachel Jacobs wife died in Bethlehem while giving birth to Benjamin and we know that the Messiah came from the line of Jacob and Rachel, Ruth and Naomi came to Bethlehem. It was there in Bethlehem that Boaz fell in love with Ruth and married her. Ruth gave birth to bed. Who's the father Jesse who the father of King David said David King David became Bethlehem's greatest son until another son was born.

It was through David's family line to the promised Messiah would be born.

Samuel tells us in §chapter 7 verses 12 and 13, the Lord spoke to King David and said when your days are over and you rest with your father's. I will raise up your offspring seed from your own body and I will establish his kingdom. That is, the seeds kingdom. He is the one who will build a house for my name and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. If you are in Christ. That's the kingdom to which you belong. This promise Messiah would come from the line of David who was born in Bethlehem. Third veteran was chosen this from a favorite reason because she was small and insignificant, but you find it interesting that God chose the little town of Bethlehem is the birthplace of the Messiah, rather than a great city like Jerusalem or Athens. Why is God delights in using insignificant places and insignificant people to accomplish his will for strength is chapter 1 verses 27 through 29 says that God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things.

The things that are not, to nullify the things that are so that no one may boast before him. I cannot ever read that verse without mentioning David Schellhammer who is Dr. John Schellhammer who was my favorite professor southeastern. It was his son who was born down syndrome.

David safer place for me in chapel.

Every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday if that is one time I have to share this in the sleepwear before sitting chapel she'll sit in the library and David worked in the in the library. His job was to go around and pick up trash and line of the book so that they will you look good and David became like just best buddies. So I had after chapel I had done Silliman's Hebrew exam. As I was going to skip chapel which you want really supposed to do, but it would require and go into into a dorm somewhere and study is the day to visit you may save a seat and he said I must say you're sitting chapel today and he wasn't that easy to understand but I knew what he was saying to sit with David talking understand father some people exam after chapel and I need your study that he looked to me like a stab in the back seat. Don't you want to hear what God has to say today what you think I was a chapel was in there.

You know what God use David given that chapel service because the minister said something I wrote in my journal from her exactly what was begun. Spoke to make David to his insignificant in the eyes the world.

In fact, the world site should have been aborted yet. His greatest desire when he grew up was to be a preacher and went for his birthday's and Christmas. Only one was commentaries and books about the Bible what you want for Christmas and throw that in there.

What do I want for Christmas. Let me ask you something. How you see yourself do you see yourself as wise, insignificant, or do you see yourself as lonely and perhaps not so wise, be careful how you see yourself as God has a habit of choosing lowly in the insignificant to the first clue that Monicagate consigned the coming Messiah was this, he will be born in the little town of Bethlehem. And guess what he was is the psychically the Messiah would be the ruler of the kingdom. Verse two says out of you accompany one who will be ruler of Israel. This clue is the one that calls nearly everyone at the time of Christ to miss him. The Jews were expecting what a conquering king they were expecting someone like mother Moses, who would deliver them from the Roman occupation that they wander but see here last. The problem you cannot take one verse 01 truth from God's word and focus on it to the exclusion of the rest of the Bible all throughout the Old Testament there were two strands of prophecies that describe this coming Messiah want to pick at him as a ruling King and the other depicted him as a suffering servant, what the religious leaders of Jesus time were guilty of was functional. One strand of truth to the exclusion of the other venture you never make that mistake. Yes this coming Messiah would be king. And yes he would.

Ruler of his kingdom. At the same time he would be a suffering servant. I was when I was in Israel. This friend of mine, Mike Waldrop had a client from Israel, and he brought him to to dinner one night and I got the maiden and when he was very open and transparent and I saw just said you know you can I ask you you read the do you read the Bible go see some of the oh he said yes it will have you ever really read Isaiah 53 he said, so would you next time you read that. See if you don't see Jesus in that because Jews who don't believe in Christ have a very hard time explaining Isaiah chapter 53, which goes like this because they're looking into the future of the coming Messiah say but he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way and the Lord laid on him the iniquity of us all. Yet it was the Lord's will to crush him and cause him to suffer.

Joe Hilda said he was numbered with the transgressors for our sake. The promise Messiah would rule over kingdom, but not before he suffered as a lowly servant. When Jesus stood before Pilate, asked him if he was the king of the Jews to which Jesus replied, my kingdom is not this world if it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place your king then said Pilate and Jesus answered, you're right in saying I'm a king.

In fact, for this reason I was born and for this I came into the world to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to Jesus being a Christian is not about being religious but about having a dynamic alive relationship with Jesus Christ you been listening to finding purpose with pastor Russ Sanders, a local triangle ministry glorifying God by helping men and their purpose for living. You can discover more about finding your purpose in life by checking out the resources finding connect to finding purpose on Facebook pastor Russ would also like to extend a special invitation for you to join him in over 300 other local tribal men to study God's word together every Tuesday night at 7 PM in downtown Raleigh. Find out more finding

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