Volume. XXXV, No. 24
Sunday, 13 December 2020

Christmas Prophecies in the Old Testament (Part 2)

Jesus Christ is the only one who has fulfilled all of the Old Testament Messianic Prophecies.  Last week in Christmas Prophecies in the Old Testament Part 1, we covered one of the key passages in Genesis 3:15. The book of Genesis also covers a few other prophecies concerning Jesus’ lineage and birth.


In Genesis 22:18, we have reference to another seed, the “Seed of Abraham”, from whom the Lord will bless the nations. We also find this prophecy mentioned in Genesis 12:3 and 18:17,18. These verses are some of the promises of the Abraham Covenant. God chooses one-person Abraham, who will bring blessings to all nations.  Through the promised seed of Abraham, God will bless His people. Here the focus is not on the Jewish people but a seed of Abraham pointing to Christ. We know this for sure because Paul mentions this prophecy in Galatians 3:16: “Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.” Jesus is the descendant of father Abraham and the fulfilment of all of this promise.


The genealogies in both Matthew 1 and Luke 3 directly trace the roots of Jesus to the patriarch father, Abraham. “The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham …” (Matthew 1:1). Do you know this blessed news that Christ is the Seed of Abraham is a blessing to us? “And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.” (Galatians 3:29). We are also children of God through our faith in Jesus, and this makes us spiritual descendants of Abraham and co-heirs of all the promised blessings. Scripture also prophesies that the Messiah would be born of the descendants of Isaac (Genesis 17:16,19; 22:18). The Jewish people, God's chosen race, are descendants of Isaac, not Ishmael (Gen 17:19).  The ancestry of Jesus in the New Testament is through Isaac, the son of promise. “The book of the generation of Jesus Christ…the son of Abraham. Abraham begat Isaac …” (Matthew 1:1-2).


In Genesis 28:14 and Numbers 24:17-19, we find another exciting prophecy concerning Jesus’ birth.  The family tree, by God's sovereign choice, made Christ a direct descendant of Jacob and not his elder brother Esau. Paul mentions the election of Jacob as significant in Romans 9:13:. “Jacob, have I loved, but Esau have I hated.” Just like what God promised Abraham and Isaac, God tells Jacob at Bethel, “In thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed”" (Genesis 28:14; 35:11).   Luke 3:23-34 confirms that Jacob is Jesus' ancestor, a fulfilment of Genesis 28:14. Such Christmas prophecy fulfilment is also a reminder to undeserving great sinners like us to be ever grateful for God's sovereign mercy and call.


The Old Testament also records in Numbers 24:17-19 an uncommon prophecy linking Jesus to the star that comes from Judah. It is unusual because it is given by an unbelieving pagan named Prophet Balaam. All of Balaam's prophecies show God's blessings on Israel. But amid this one, he introduced “a Star out of Jacob” and “a Sceptre… out of Israel.”.   “I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel . . . . Out of Jacob shall come he that shall have dominion” (Numbers 24:17, 19). Is this talking about the star of Bethlehem that the wise magi came seeking? Many scholars think so. But one thing is sure, a strong deliverer would arise from the line of Jacob. Christ's first coming is part of this fulfilment as mentioned in Luke 1:33: “And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.”


In Genesis 49:8-10, it is also prophesied that Jesus will be born of the tribe of Judah. Jacob has twelve sons out of which we have Israel and 12 tribes. But the future king of Israel will come from only one tribe - the tribe of Judah. One of the reasons why God did not handpick Saul is because he was from the tribe of Benjamin. God's choice was David, who is from the tribe of Judah. The prophecy in Genesis 49 holds out the promise that the divinely intended king will come from Judah and have dominion over the Hebrew people; the right to rule remains in that line until “Shiloh” comes.  Only Jesus Christ can fulfil this. In the New Testament, Jesus is not only the descendant of Judah (Matthew 1:1-3), but in Revelation 5:5, he is called “the Lion of the Tribe of Judah.” “And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.” (Revelation 5:5)


According to the Old Testament prophecy in 2 Samuel 7:12-13,16, out of the Seed of David, a kingdom will rise that will last forever. In this prophecy, the Messiah had to be a direct descendant of King David. But God was blessing David and the Davidic covenant is pointing to the seed of David - Jesus. Christ, the royal heir to the eternal throne of God, the seed of the woman, the seed of Abraham, is also the seed of David. “And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom.  He shall build an house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever….. And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established forever.” (2 Samuel 7:12-13,16)


God promised David a dynasty and his reign is the apex of the kingship rule in Israel. One of the David seed will establish a kingdom forever. In both Matthew 1 and Luke 3, we see genealogies of Jesus tracing His lineage back to David. Jesus is born the descendent of King David (2 Samuel 7:12-13; Isaiah 9:7; Jeremiah 23:5; Luke 1:32; Acts 2:25-30). The angel said Jesus would take this throne forever (Luke 1:31-33), and Peter said it was to be fulfilled in Christ (Acts 2:30).


When we look at the Old Testament, He is the coming Messiah. In the gospels, Christ has come and dwelt among us.  And in the New Testament  'Christ is coming again soon'. There you have the story of the Bible. It's all about our Saviour and Lord Jesus Christ. He is coming. He has come. He is coming again. May the Lord grip our hearts this Christmas with His eternal love and cause us to use this occasion to give thanks, honour and worship to Christ.

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  • In-person worship, including Sunday school will resume from Sunday 20.12.20. Hygiene, physical distancing and capacity rules still apply. Masks are encouraged. Live online worship via Facebook and YouTube will continue for those who prefer.
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  • Deepest condolences to Sis Priscilla Lim (Wellspring Bible Church, Melbourne) on the homegoing of her mother.
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Praise & Thanksgiving

  • God’s daily guidance, protection & providence.
  • Journey mercies: those who have travelled.



  • Comfort in grief – Sis Priscilla Lim (Wellspring Bible Church, Melbourne) on the homegoing of her mother.
  • Healing: Pastor Ki; Rev Mathews Abraham, Rev Pong Sen Yiew (S’pore) & others with health problems.
  • COVID-19 pandemic – God’s continued guidance & protection for South Australia & all who are affected.
  • Missions: Rev & Mrs Johnson George




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