But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting. ~Micah 5:2
I’ve grown up in the city all of my life. I am used to large masses of people, public transportation, traffic on our freeways, multiple shopping centers, restaurants galore, major sports teams, top educational institutions, leading medical centers of excellence, and things happening at all times of the day. When we speak about cities, most of us immediately recognize big-name cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, Mexico City, Beijing, London, Paris, and Seoul. When the name of a small, unknown city comes up in our conversations or readings, we ask, “Where is that?” We wonder what that little place is known for. Bethlehem was among the smallest cities in the land of Judah. It was a place associated with shepherding. It was known as the city of David’s birthplace, but it was not considered a famous place. That is, until Jesus was born there. Who would have known about Bethlehem?
There is the size of Bethlehem.
Bethlehem was a town of between 300 and 1,000 people when Jesus was born. The prophecy in Micah 5:2 says that it was little among the thousands of Judah. It was a small, obscure town. Sometimes, we think that largeness in terms of size, buildings, money, and manpower is the secret to greatness. However, God always uses the small and weak things of the world to confound the wise and mighty. God chose Bethlehem as the place of birth for Jesus. Bethlehem is famous because Jesus was born there. Don’t be swayed into thinking that greatness is found in large sizes. Little is much when God is in it! Bethlehem will forever be recognized as the birthplace of the Lord Jesus!
There is the Sovereign of Bethlehem.
“...Yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.” Bethlehem had been known for its shepherds. It became famous because the King of the Jews was born there. Jesus is a Ruler Who is excellent. Jesus is a Ruler Who is eternal. Unlike His predecessors who were born and then died, Jesus lives! He rules from eternity past through eternity future. David was a great king who was born there. However, the greatest King ever, the Lord Jesus, was born there. It was there where shepherds keeping watch over their flocks by night came to see the Baby Jesus! It was there where wise men from afar traveled a long distance to worship the Lord.
There is the significance of Bethlehem.
Bethlehem figures prominently as the place of Jesus’ birth. It figures prominently because the name means the house of bread. It was in the house of bread that the Bread of Life, the Lord Jesus, came to bring the gift of eternal life for every sinner. Who would have thought that Bethlehem would be the place where the Savior and Sovereign would be born? Who would have thought that out of somewhere so little, Someone so great would come? Who would have thought that the God of Heaven would see insignificant, sinful people like you and me and invite us to be a part of His wonderful family?
Who would have thought that you and I would be messengers of the saving news that Jesus lives and offers the gift of eternal life? Don’t despise the day of small things! Have faith in what God can do with the little things!
Have a faith-enriched God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Hebrews 11-13