Friday, December 16, 2016

The Little Town of Bethlehem

Encouragement for your daily walk with God 

The Christmas Story centers geographically on a cave/stable in Bethlehem. “Little” Bethlehem was an insignificant town in its day. It was completely overshadowed by Jerusalem, a mere five miles away. And yet God chose it to bring the Messiah into the world. One could argue that it was significant because the Messiah was in the line of David, himself, a Bethlehemite. True. But it seems to me that misses the point of Micah’s prophecy. Bethlehem is little; it is not great just because David was born there. Isn’t that just like our God, though? He chose something little, insignificant, out of the way, and did something so miraculous, it changes history for all eternity!

God has done that throughout history. I think God does it that way so that no one can boast in their own merit or achievements — but only in the marvelous mercy of God. No one can can rightfully say that God favored Bethlehem because of what it had achieved. Since God is not impressed by our bigness, He is free to chose on the basis His mercy. 

Think about it for a moment. Not only did God chose Bethlehem, He also chose a cave. Using the same logic, He did it so that the innkeeper couldn’t advertise, “God chose the comfort of my inn.” So the carpenter couldn’t say, “God chose the craftsmanship of my bed.” No! A hundred times, NO! God chose a cave and Bethlehem so that no one could boast. 

And now, the joy of joys, God chose you! When He did, it wasn’t your prominence, popularity, or prestige. He chose you by His own glorious mercy. Now, we can sing with the angels, “Glory to God in the highest!” Never glory to us. 

We get the joy — God gets the glory!

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 are from of old, from everlasting. Michael 5.2

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