This Day in History: 0000-12-06
December 6 – Micah 5:2-3
But you, oh Bethlehem Ephrathah, are only a small village among all the people of Judah. Yet a ruler of Israel, whose origins are in the distant past, will come from you on my behalf. The people of Israel will be abandoned to their enemies until a woman in labor gives birth…
I love that the Jewish people knew their Messiah would be born in Bethlehem, and I love the way God orchestrated the fulfillment of this prophesy! When I read the passage in Micah, it isn’t super clear to me that this was a prophesy about Messiah, but using other Scripture we can see that the people of Israel DID know it:
John 7:40-42 – When the crowds heard Him say this, some of them declared, “Surely this man is the Prophet we’ve been expecting. Others said, “He is the Messiah.” Still others said, “But He can’t be! Will the Messiah come from Galilee? For the Scriptures clearly state that the Messiah will be born of the royal line of David, in Bethlehem, the village where King David was born.
Matthew 2:4-6 – He called a meeting of the leading priests and teachers of religious law and asked, “Where is the Messiah to be born?”
“In Bethlehem in Judea,” they said, “for this is what the prophet wrote: ‘And you, oh Bethlehem in the land of Judah, are not least among the ruling cities of Judah, for a ruler will come from you who will be the shepherd for my people Israel.'”
Messiah would be born in Bethlehem, the village where King David was born. His birth would mark the end of God’s time of silence to His people.
Oh, how I love the story of Jesus’s birth! It reveals so much to us about our Lord! In the fulfillment of this prophecy alone, it reveals to us how His sovereign hand is in the most seemingly insignificant details of our lives – working them all together in perfect harmony in order to accomplish His perfect plan!
Luke 2: 3-6 – All returned to their own ancestral towns to register for this census. And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee. He took with Him Mary, to whom he was engaged, who was now expecting a child. And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born.
Do you think anything about this experience was easy for Mary and Joseph? It wasn’t ideal for them to have to travel all the way to Bethlehem from the village of Nazareth when Mary was so close to her delivery date! But then again, it wasn’t ideal for them to be pregnant in the first place – the whole thing was pretty scandalous! Why do we think it would be any different for us? God’s plan for us is rarely easy, yet it brings about miraculous works beyond anything we could foresee or even imagine!
The world knew Messiah was going to be born in Bethlehem. So, whether it was easy for Mary and Joseph or not, Cesar Augustus issued a census and they had to go to Bethlehem just in time for the Savior of the World being born exactly where it was foretold He would be born.
God’s long silence with His people ended as the cries of a new-born baby rang a thrill of hope through the Bethlehem air on that wonderful, holy night!