As we hear this Christmas time, the familiar words from the prophets; let them live in our minds. As they do, we will gain new insights from God’s word. We will find reasons to praise for the promise as we consider the promise foretold, the promise fulfilled, and the promise experienced.
The Promise Foretold
The promises of God foretell the birth of a Saviour beginning in Genesis and continuing throughout the Old Testament. Here are three such passages.
In the first one, Micah tells us “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to Me, the One to be ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.”
Then secondly from Isaiah we read, “Behold, the virgin shall conceive,” “Shall call His name Immanuel,” “For unto us a Child is born,” “His name will be called Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, the everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
And thirdly Zechariah proclaims, “In that day a fountain shall be opened for the House of David and for the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness.”
The Promise Fulfilled
The New Testament shows us the promises fulfilled. Matthew recounts the story of the wise men who came from the east looking for the king whose star they had seen. It was to the words of Micah they turned. His prophecy about Bethlehem guided them to the Christ child. Jesus was born in Bethlehem, as promised.
Matthew also tells the story of the virgin birth. He refers to the words of Isaiah informing the reader “Now all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet.” God does what He says He will do.
Luke writes, “For there is born to you this day in the city of David, a Saviour who is Christ the Lord.” These words of the angel echoed Isaiah’s prophecy of the birth of a child. The apostles learn and speak of the risen Lord. He is Wonderful, a Counsellor, Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.
To sum it up, Peter in his sermon to Cornelius, who was not a Jew, and his household, refers to the prophets and the fountain Zachariah spoke of when he said, “To Him all the prophets witness that, through His name, whoever believes in Him will receive remission of sins.”
These men write to tell us that God fulfilled His promises.
The Promise Experienced
Jesus, the promise of God, is for each individual. As we see the promises fulfilled for us personally, we receive a fresh revelation. God makes promises, and He keeps them. Then, as we read more of His word, we find it overflows with promises. We discover this truth Paul informs us of in 2 Corinthians 1:19,20.
“For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us,- by me, Silvanus and Timothy – was not Yes and No, but in Him was Yes. For all the promises of God in Him are Yes and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.”
Here we have it. We find reasons to praise for the promise as we consider the promise foretold, the promise fulfilled, and the promise experienced.