O Little Town of Bethlehem
"now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem . . ." Matthew 2:1
Upon first reading of this text you might miss it. Simply because you are so familiar with the town. During Christmas time we sing about this little town, but don't give much thought to the significance of what we are singing "O little town of Bethlehem." We know Jesus was born in Bethlehem. But why does that matter?
Caesar Augustus made a decree that a census be taken throughout the empire, mainly so Caesar could demonstrate his power over the known world. But from God’s standpoint this gentile ruler was playing into God’s plan. No matter how powerful one thinks he may be, Proverbs 21:1 is there as a reminder "In the Lord’s hand, the king’s heart is a stream of water that He channels."
The decree brought Joseph and Mary right to Bethlehem exactly at the right time that the Messiah would be born there to fulfill the prophecy spoken "but you, O Bethlehem, out of you will come for me, one who will rule over Israel, whose origins are from old, from ancient times" Micah 5:2. It was from Bethlehem that Israel expected David's greater son, the Messiah, to come. Bethlehem means “house of bread.” It would be from this little countryside town six miles south of Jerusalem that the Bread of Life would emerge. So Joseph and Mary arrive and the only place to stay is a stable behind an inn.
When circumstances look chaotic and things feel out of control, we become disoriented, unable to figure out what is happening. Rest assured God is managing the circumstances, moving in situations, getting things into place to bring about His Will. The things which look random are actually the work of God. God works in the natural to bring the supernatural into the earth. Joseph and Mary just follow. They have their questions and doubts, but they obey God and go with the flow. Obeying God in the ordinary will place you in the extraordinary will of God.
Sit quietly and commit your way to the Lord.