My family has loved doing advent devotionals for years, so I decided to write my own. I pray it blesses your family as much as it’s blessed mine.
Day 19: Prophecy of Bethlehem
Picture / Ornament: Town of Bethlehem
Scripture: Micah 5:2; Luke 2:1-7; 1 Peter 5:6-7
Micah, too, was a prophet of God. Micah told the people that their eternal king from everlasting to everlasting would be born in a little town called Bethlehem.
Do you remember when we learned about Ruth and Naomi a few days ago? Naomi and her husband were from Bethlehem, but they had gone to Moab to flee the famine. In Moab, Naomi’s husband and sons had died, so Naomi and her daughter-in-law Ruth returned to Bethlehem where Ruth married Boaz and they had baby Obed who fathered baby Jesse who fathered baby David. King David was from Bethlehem, too!
As the king, David had left Bethlehem. Many of his descendants also left Bethlehem. Bethlehem was not a large, powerful city like Jerusalem, but it was the city that God had chosen for their Eternal King to be born in. God wanted the people to recognize their Messiah when He came, so He had told them through Micah that their Eternal King would be born in Bethlehem.
Jesus’s earthly parents (Joseph and Mary) were from the line of David, but they lived in a town called Nazareth in an area of Israel called Galilee. When it came time for Mary to give birth to her baby, he couldn’t be born in Nazareth, right? He had to be born in Bethlehem. God had promised and God always keeps His promises. “Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.” (Proverbs 30:5 ESV) Don’t worry. God has a plan!
Shortly before Jesus was born, the Roman emperor Caesar Augustus ordered everyone to return to their hometown to be counted for a census, so Mary and Joseph returned to their hometown of Bethlehem. This reminds me of Proverbs 21:1, “The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the LORD; He turns it wherever He will.” At just the right time and in just the right place, the humble Savior of the World was born – in a stable in a little town called Bethlehem.
Do you ever feel like the world is out of control? Do you ever think God doesn’t see you … or that He is too busy to answer your prayers … or that He doesn’t really care about you? Imagine how Mary felt when she was going to have a baby soon and she had to travel 90 miles for a census! Imagine how she felt when the baby was about to be born and they couldn’t find a place to stay!
God was at work then and God is at work now! You can trust God. Even when the world around you feels out of control, God is still in control. God sees you, hears you and cares about you. God promises to take care for you. God is working right now, right where you live.
Today is a perfect day to cast your cares on Him, trusting that He cares for you, just like He cared for Mary and Joseph and baby Jesus, the promised Savior who was born in Bethlehem. Remember … Christmas is all about Jesus.