Sunday, 13 December 2009

The Richmond Briefing

A Weekly Bible Reading for Bridge Builders

The Richmond Briefing has been a weekly feature of the Reachout web site for five years and is now available on the blog. To find out more and read earlier briefings go here

Reading – A Shepherd and King (2 Samuel 5:2)

One of the arresting but often overlooked aspects of the Christmas story is that not Herod nor the priests with whom he consulted had any doubt or were in any way confused about the fact that the well known reference in Micah 5:2 (c.f. Mt.2:5-6) alluded to a person, that he would come from Bethlehem, and be the Messiah.

“But you Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of my people Israel”

The final line in this verse finds its parallel in 2 Sam.5:2, which describes how “all the tribes of Israel came to David at Hebron” to make him their king and the parallels with the life of Jesus are so striking as to be prophetic. The Sanhedrin or Supreme Court of the Jews applied these words in Micah and 2 Samuel to the Messiah and prophecy came true before their eyes.

David was born in Bethlehem – 1 Sam.16

Jesus was born in Bethlehem – Luke 2:4-7

David was beloved – 1 Sam.16:13 (the meaning of the name David is “Beloved”)

Jesus was beloved – Mt.3:17

David was anointed of God – 1 Sam.16:13

Jesus was anointed of God – Lk.4:18-21

David received position and honour – 2 Sam.7:13

Jesus received position and honour – Lk.1:32-33

David passed through humiliation to exaltation – 2 Sam.22:17-20

Jesus passed through humiliation to exaltation – John 18

We have often seen in our studies how God has brought about his purposes from the most unlikely and unexpected of circumstances yet here there is a clear understanding of what God was going to do, and yet a blind determination to prevent it.

In his Commentary on Matthew William Hendriksen observed:

“When anyone reads such precious Old Testament passages – and this includes also Gen.3:15; 22:18; 49:10 2 Sam.7:12,13; Isa.7:14; 8:8; 9:6 and many, many others – without seeing the Christ in them, is he not reading them blindly? See Lk.24:25-27,32)

The world today, and indeed the church in the world, is crying out for a shepherd and the Bible says of God’s Son that he will shepherd the people of Israel. We must first trust that when circumstances seem impossible to us nothing is impossible to God; we must believe that God is true to his promises and not appoint our own “saviours” in this world and we must know those promises intimately so that when his anointed Saviour appears we will know him and rejoice in his appearing.

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