“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.”
Micah 5:2 NKJV
One of the incredible things about the birth of Jesus Christ is the way God worked through the lives of so many people.
Ruth 1:1-4,16 KJV —1 Now it came to pass in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehem Judah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons. 2 And the name of the man was Elimelech, and the name of his wife Naomi, and the name of his two sons Mahlon and Chilion, Ephrathites of Bethlehem Judah. And they came into the country of Moab, and continued there. 3 And Elimelech Naomi’s husband died; and she was left, and her two sons. 4 And they took them wives of the women of Moab; the name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the other Ruth: and they dwelled there about ten years….16 And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God:
The Lord used this family from Bethlehem, although they left not only their home, but their country.
When the family returned to Bethlehem, it’s only two women, left with very little expectation for the future.
But God knew exactly how He was going to use this family.
Ruth 4:13, 17 KJV — So Boaz took Ruth, and she was his wife: and when he went in unto her, the LORD gave her conception, and she bare a son….17 And the women her neighbours gave it a name, saying, There is a son born to Naomi; and they called his name Obed: he is the father of Jesse, the father of David.
God used the family of Elimelech to bring Ruth to Bethlehem where she became the great grandmother of David.
1 Samuel 16:11-13 KJV — And Samuel said unto Jesse, Are here all thy children? And he said, There remaineth yet the youngest, and, behold, he keepeth the sheep. And Samuel said unto Jesse, Send and fetch him: for we will not sit down till he come hither. 12 And he sent, and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and withal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to. And the LORD said, Arise, anoint him: for this is he.13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah.
David wasn’t even assembled with his older brothers to this feast with the prophet of the Lord, Samuel, but God had chosen him.
The Lord was with David throughout his life and his legacy was the kingly line which Jesus would be born into.
David was a humble shepherd from Bethlehem.
Hundreds of years later and many generations we come to Joseph.
Joseph was a carpenter who lived in Nazareth.
Luke 2:4-5KJV — And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) 5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
It’s not a coincidence that Joseph is from the lineage of King David, neither was the timing of this census a mer happen stance; it was ordered by God.
Luke 2:1 KJV — And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.
Caesar Augustus is a figure whose life is well documented.
The fact that he was in power to make this decree of a census at this exact point in history requiring Joseph and Mary to return to Bethlehem is another point where we can see how God was working through the lives of so many people to bring about His promise.
For God is faithful to fulfill His Word and there’s no better example of this than the birth and life of Jesus Christ.
For God appointed Him to be born in Bethlehem and He was.
Luke 2:6-7KJV — And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. 7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
May we never forget the faithfulness of God and that His Word is truth.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for the fact that You were born in Bethlehem and how many circumstances and people were a part of that happening. Thank You that we have the ability to look back through thousands of years of history to see how You wove all the pieces together to bring about such an amazing gift: salvation. Lord, thank You for these truths. Thank You that Your Word is life and never stops being relevant to our lives. Lord, thank You for Your life and the incredible things we can learn through Your example. Lord, please help me to be focused upon You this day and not to become distracted nor complacent about the blessings You have bestowed. May my life be a reflection of You, that all might see and give glory to God. Thank You, Jesus. Amen.