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Sunday, December 23, 2012

CHRISTMAS SACRIFICE


How can I stand up before God
    and show proper respect to the high God?. . .
Would he be moved if I sacrificed my firstborn child,
    my precious baby, to cancel my sin?
Micah 6:6-7, MSG

Following my read-through-the-Bible schedule, already past Isaiah's prophecies about Emmanuel, even past Micah's prophecy about His birth in Bethlehem, I wasn't prepared for this zing from the prophet's vision.

Would God be moved if I sacrificed my first born child to cancel my sin?

In the chapter, God is building a case against Israel, calling the earth the jury. "How have I wronged you? Remember all the things I have done for you!"

Although God is addressing the nation, Micah takes the question personally and seeks an answer. How do I show proper respect for the most high God? He proposes the sacrifice of his firstborn child to cancel his sin.

God gives him his answer--Do what is fair and just to your neighbor, be compassionate and loyal in your love, And don’t take yourself too seriously—take God seriously. (Micah 6:8, MSG)  One of my favorite stop-and-think verses of the minor prophets.

The sacrifice of Micah's innocent, precious child would not cancel his sin.

The sacrifice of God's innocent, holy, precious child would.

Did Micah's question stab God's heart? Did He look down the road, about seven centuries later, when He did sacrifice his firstborn? Did His heart wrench when He told Micah about Bethlehem--the place that would both welcome His Son to the world, and then drown in sorrow at Herod's cruel slaughter?

God knew Christmas was coming before He put Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden.

He made that sacrifice--for us.

Join me in praising Him this Christmas.

**Reminder: I will give away one of my books for every five comments left on my blog. Earn an extra entry by answering the question: What is the best Christmas present you have ever received?**

6 comments:

kbailey said...

I have never really thought of these verses the way you have outlined them here. What a gift you are, and God uses you often to show us what He wants us to hear in His word. I am thinking how Jesus is the Word made flesh, and still today God uses US in the flesh to speak the Word to one another. Thank you Darlene for being a vessel and for being willing to dig in.

Patti Shene said...

I have to admit that I started the Bible in a year calendar in the beginning of 2012, but I'm not near on schedule, so have not reached the minor prophets yet. The Bible version I'm using has a lot of footnotes, and since I'm actually taking the time to read them, my progress is slow! I am amazed at the Bible stories I have read since childhood that have become so much clearer, or even taken on a whole new meaning, with those notes.

Several years ago, Darlene, if you had asked that question, I would have been thinking along the lines of a physical gift. Maybe it's my age, but when I read your question just now, it sparked thoughts of circumstances. From that perspective, I think the best gift I received was last year, Christmas 2011, when my husband was fairly well recovered from the open heart surgery he had undergone the day before Thanksgiving.

Have a Merry Christmas and many, many blessings throughout 2013!

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Dana Wilkerson Spille said...

Love it Darlene !!

Darlene Franklin said...

Patti, I started with the read-through-the-Bible in a year in the fall, so I picked up where they were at (it's on line), with the end of Isaiah and the Thessalonian epistles, I believe. I have received a tremendous blessing from the prophets.

Amen to those spiritual gifts!

Anonymous said...

Darlene
it ate my comments so Im writing it again
I love seeing Gods light shining through you Its neat
I have seen Gods light shining through Dee Henderson writing too
I visited both of your blogs
God bless you
Chris Granville
granville@frontiernet.net