DAY 2: Bethlehem
Read: Matthew 2 v 3 – 6
Key Verse: Micah 5:2 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 of old, from ancient times. (NIV)
Located just south of the large city of Jerusalem in the fertile countryside, surrounded by vines and fig trees, lies the town of Bethlehem. The author of the well-known Christmas carol wrote the words ‘O little town of Bethlehem’ and how true this is. Compared to its neighbour Jerusalem, Bethlehem is indeed small, insignificant even. In biblical times, as is true today, Jerusalem was an important city. People went there to conduct important business or to bring sacrifices during Jewish religious festivals. The only time a lot of people entered Bethlehem was to walk through it in order to get to Jerusalem. And yet the town of Bethlehem; small, insignificant and overshadowed by Jerusalem was exactly where Almighty God chose as the place where His Son would be born into this world. On that night over 2000 years ago the small town of Bethlehem would take centre stage as the prophecy from Micah was fulfilled. The Jewish people forever waiting on their promised Messiah would have been expecting a royal birth in a palace in a great city; a birth that would herald in a new era for their nation. And yet God used the unexpected. It was a stable in that little town of Bethlehem and not a palace that welcomed the promised Messiah.
God still uses the unexpected today. Maybe you have fallen into the trap of comparing yourself. You see other people’s gifting, wealth and abilities and in comparison you feel small and overshadowed by them. Insignificant even. You feel that if God is going to choose somebody to do something for Him well it will definitely not be you He chooses. Not when He sees what other people have to offer Him. If this is the way you see yourself know for certain that this is not the way Almighty God sees you. Your heavenly Father sees you and loves you. He has a purpose for your life that cannot be filled by anybody else no matter how better qualified you may think they are. He used a little town to birth His great plan of salvation. All He needs is your willing obedient heart and if he has that then there is no limit as to what He can do through you!
By Karen McCracken