One of the questions I wonder about is why was Bethlehem chosen as the birthplace for Jesus? It wasn’t the obvious choice. When the Wise Men arrived, an investigation into sacred writings was necessary. Bits and pieces of the Messiah’s coming puzzle had been given to various prophets over many years, and it was found that a prophet named Micah spoke this:
“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.”
Bethlehem was a small insignificant town when that was first written, and still in that condition when Joseph and Mary traveled to it, along with all the others who returned to the place at Caesar’s decree.
I see some things we could discover about God today by looking at the choice of Bethlehem.
- Bethlehem was a humble place, and God chooses the humble things of this earth. His light and glory forever changed the reputation of Bethlehem. He loves to exalt the lowly.
- Bethlehem means “House of Bread”; one of the names of Jesus is “The Bread of Heaven”. We all need this essential, and God wishes us to know He provides for us.
- This is the place where Ruth returned with Naomi, and met Boaz so that the line of Jesse and then King David came from here. God remembers His promises, and rewards those who love Him. King David is the kind of man who is after God’s own heart. God is love and He is interested in love from us.
We can discover more of God if we are humble, gratefully receive what we need from Him, and seek for Him…. believing He loves us.
[box type=”shadow”]Heavenly Father,
Thank you for loving us, for giving us our daily food today, and for giving us Jesus. We want to know more of you, please reveal yourself during this day and in the coming weeks.
Thank You, Amen.[/box]
Big People Section
[box type=”bio”]It would be fun to make a gingerbread house this week. When out shopping at Trader’s Joes, I bought one of those kits which come with all the fixings (that’s how we roll when it comes to gingerbread houses). That is just an idea for you to celebrate and think about today’s devotional.[/box]
The thoughts that we can meditate on are centered around humility and lowliness. We all appreciate it when someone of prestige and celebrity is humble enough to remember supporters or those less fortunate. We respond to it as a characteristic in the obviously great. Where we have problems is appreciating humble circumstances. We don’t like to be in them, and we look down at those in lowly conditions of life.
That is the tendency in all of us. But if we cultivate humble attitudes, we will see the dignity of people who are in such places, places of insignificance and facing many challenges. That was how Mary and Joseph found themselves on the night of Christ’s birth. And that is how Jesus came into the world. Having nothing of worldly value, insignificant in the eyes of the nation and community, helpless as a baby.
This is the way we come to God, as well.
How humble are you in your thinking? How might you improve, and do you think it could make you a better person?
It would bring you closer to God:
Micah 6:8 – He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?
James 4:10 – Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.
These are some of the lessons that the little town of Bethlehem can give us.