Saturday, December 22, 2018

Little Bethlehem

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Micah 4:13-5:15

"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 old
From everlasting." - Micah 5:2

This often-quoted passage from Micah is a prediction of Messiah's birthplace. The students of Scripture in Jesus' day took it as such (Matthew 2:5,6; John 7:41,42) and all Christendom since has considered Jesus' birth in Bethlehem fulfillment of it and part of the proof that He really was/is Messiah.

I wonder, did Joseph ever connect this prophecy with what the angel had told him (Matthew 1:20,21), or Mary with what Gabriel had told her about the baby she would bear ("...and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever..." - Luke 1:32,33)?

I've always imagined that they felt upset and nervous about the need to travel from Galilee to Bethlehem so close to Mary's due date. But maybe their angst was also accompanied by an undercurrent of epiphany and excitement. God had told them His secret in private and now He was engineering events so that the details would fit with prophecy!

Of course they still had to live through those uncomfortable days of travel, that panicky time of finding a place—any place—where Mary could birth her baby. No matter how they put the two together, there was still lots of room for faith to be stretched.

You know, we're in God's story too. Of course, not in the way Joseph and Mary were. But we are part of events that are playing out as Jesus and the prophets foretold. Let's live our roles, no matter how insignificant they seem, with the faith that God has all the details in hand as He did for Joseph and Mary.

PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for these Bible prophets and prophecies that bolster my faith in You and Your plan. Please help me to have implicit faith in You as I play my part. Amen.

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


  1. Violet, I'd never thought to wonder if Mary and Joseph remembered the prophecies on their way to Bethlehem. If they were like me they were too busy stressing, and afterward looking back they slapped their foreheads. But I hope they knew... Have a wonderful Christmas!

  2. Thanks, Janet! I guess the thought hit me after I read Mary's Magnificat and realized that she was more than passingly familiar with Scripture (which would have been the OT, including the prophets?). Of course, the common thought is that they were stressed and harried, which is probably true.

    And you have a wonderful Christmas too!!


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