July 16 I Tuesday
“Sovereign LORD, You are God! Your covenant is trustworthy...” —2 Samuel 7:28
We know the Bible is trustworthy when we find that not only does it not contradict itself but that the Old and New Testaments writings support each other. We will find this to be the case when we look at the Gospel of Matthew which points to three prophecies about the birth of Christ that may appear to be contradictory but are actually complementary.
Firstly, Matthew notes that the Messiah will be born “in Bethlehem in Judea” (Matthew 2:5). His mother did not live in Bethlehem but Nazareth. But it just so happened that when she was pregnant, Caesar Augustus in Rome wanted a census of his empire and made everyone return to their hometown. Joseph’s hometown was Bethlehem, and they arrived for the census on the very day she gave birth. Had Jesus been born one day earlier, He would have been born in Samaria. Had He been born a month later, they would have been back in Nazareth. This happened so that it fulfills the prophecy written 700 years before Christ by the prophet Micah: “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for Me one who will be ruler over Israel” (Micah 5:2).
Secondly, shortly after Jesus’s birth, He was persecuted by Herod “...So an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream…‘take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt’” (Matthew 2:13). This fulfilled another
prophecy by the prophet Hosea, which was written 800 years before Christ, that said, “out of Egypt I called My Son” (Hosea 11:1).
After Jesus’s time in Egypt, His family returned and settled in Nazareth, again fulfilling another Old Testament prophecy. “He went and lived in a town called Nazareth. So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets, that He would be called a Nazarene” (Matthew 2:23). We may look in vain in the Old Testament to find, “He’ll be called a Nazarene,” because it is actually a play on a Hebrew word. The prophet Isaiah tells us, “A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit” (Isaiah 11:1). The Hebrew word for “branch” is the word netzer, and Nazareth was named after “branch.” When Jesus and His family settled in Nazareth, it was a town that did not exist in Isaiah’s day.
When we are faced with proof of fulfilled prophecies, we cannot help but believe that the Bible is a trustworthy source. Not only so, but God is trustworthy because He is the author of the Bible. May we place our faith in a God that has proven Himself trustworthy through His Word.
Prayer: Almighty God, You alone are trustworthy. Thank You that You reveal Yourself through the Bible and I can hold onto Your sure promises.