Read Psalm 14
Hundreds of years before Christ was born the psalmist David presented his Christmas wish to God. Of course, he didn’t think of it as a Christmas wish; he just gave God his earnest desire, and we now know that God answered his request in the birth of Christ.
David was living in a time of great trouble, because Israel was turning away from God. The turning was not corporate – a national declaring of unbelief – but it involved individual hearts, which infected and weakened the whole. Corruption reigned. The poor were mistreated. Through their actions, the people declared God irrelevant and impotent. I guess this doesn’t sound much different than America today.
David laid all of this out before God in Psalm 14, which was a song used during gatherings for worship. In fact, he set an example for us in prayer. Prayer is not meant to be trite or a rote exercise; instead it is an outpouring of the soul, a reaching to the heart of God.
Then in verse 7, David utters his request: “Oh that the salvation of Israel were come out of Zion!” David longed for, prayed for, begged for the coming of the Messiah. To paraphrase in today’s vernacular – “Dear God, All I want for Christmas is the Christ!”
When I think of the thousands upon thousands of prayers, from the dawning of creation to the first century, that went up to ask God to send the Savior, I am in awe. The longing and the anticipation in those hearts far exceeded any desire that I have ever had for a gift under the Christmas tree.
God heard each of those prayers. Through the centuries, He prepared the setting for His Gift. He dropped hints along the way; we call them prophecies (Isaiah 7:14, Isaiah 9:6). He shaped events and prepared people. Finally, in Luke 2, His Gift – His perfect Gift – was revealed. “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:11)
That prayer from a shepherd boy turned king was answered in the Gift of Jesus. He was perfectly wrapped in swaddling clothes. He was announced by a star and an angel. He was worshipped by the wondering shepherds, who rushed from their fields to find Him. His birth was noticed by Magi from afar who traveled miles to finally find Him in Bethlehem.
Most of the world did not realize the impact of that Baby’s birth that night. Most continued on their way, fretting over earthly needs. But a few saw the Baby Jesus as Who He was – the perfect Gift of God, the Son of God, Redeemer, Immanuel.
In our eyes, David’s Christmas wish was a long time coming, but God fulfilled it that night in Bethlehem. The salvation of Israel, Messiah, was come!
There was joy in the skies. There was joy in the hearts of the shepherds. And today, no matter the situations surrounding, there is joy in my heart, because He has come.
Come, thou long expected Jesus, born to set thy people free; from our fears and sins release us, let us find our rest in thee. Israel's strength and consolation, hope of all the earth thou art; dear desire of every nation, joy of every longing heart. Born thy people to deliver, born a child and yet a King, born to reign in us forever, now thy gracious kingdom bring. By thine own eternal spirit rule in all our hearts alone; by thine all sufficient merit, raise us to thy glorious throne. --Come Thou Long Expected Jesus by Charles Wesley
Photo – Thanksgiving Cactus, Beth Mims
Modified from an earlier post