Encouragement for your daily walk with God
On one of my trips to Israel, we were in Bethlehem and our guide asked the group, “Why Bethlehem? Why did Jesus come from this place? Why not New York,” he asked jokingly. “Why not Jerusalem? Why not Caesarea, the Roman capital of Judea?” It’s a great question.
A simple answer is, the Messiah would come from the lineage of David, and David was a Bethlehemite. That is true. But I think there is more here than meets the eye. It seems to me that God always chooses something small, quiet, out-of-the-way, insignificant, to let His glory shine. The Apostle Paul said it better: “But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence” [1Corinthians 1.27-29].
God chooses ways and means so that we can’t boast in our merits and achievements, but only in His glorious mercy. That’s why He chose Bethlehem. You would never hear someone say, “Of course He was born in Bethlehem. Look how great she is among the nations!”
God chose a cave so that no innkeeper could boast, “He chose my Five-Star inn.” He chose a manger so that no craftsman could boast, “He chose my adjustable, memory-foam mattress.” And God, freely and unconditionally, chose you and me to stop our mouths from all human boasting. To hear some people talk, you’d think that God was lucky to have them on His team!
The point here is that God does not bestow His blessings on the basis of merit or achievement. He doesn’t choose on the basis of prominence, prestige, or power. When God chooses, He does it to let His glory shine. That’s why the angels sang, “Glory to God in the highest” [Luke 2.14], and we sing, “Joy to the World.” God gets the glory. We get the joy!
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, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times. Micah 5.2