O Bethlehem, Lest we forget
(From Genesis to Micah and down to Gospels)
📝 There was nothing great about Bethlehem. It was small among the clans of Judah (Micah 5:2)
📖 Genesis: Jacob buried his wife Rachel in BETHLEHEM who died in childbirth. He set up a pillar over Rachel’s tomb. (35:16-20). A pillar to express his love; a pillar of remembrance and a pillar to tell the next generation about the fact.
📌 Today BETHLEHEM has become a place of importance, and a reason to tell the world about the good news that a SAVIOUR WAS BORN in Bethlehem and is alive, and in Him alone is the SALVATION 🙏🏼
📖 Ruth: We have the account of a family who dwelt in BETHLEHEM, and is introduced with two journey –
1) Going away from Bethlehem (1:1-7)
2) Coming back to Bethlehem (1:8 – 4:22)
In short, this book records ten years of barrenness at the start, and it ends with the ten generations of royal ancestry.
📌 BETHLEHEM means “house of bread”.. and years after the “BREAD OF LIFE” was born there..
📖 Samuel: After Saul was rejected, the Lord send Samuel to BETHLEHEM to anoint one son of Jesse as the new king of Israel. Thus, David was anointed and the Spirit of the Lord was upon him (1Samuel 16:1-13). So BETHLEHEM became the home town of David (1Samuel 17:12; 20:6).
📌 The anointing of David reminds us that The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart (1 Sam 16:7)
📖 Micah: Micah delivered God’s message when Jerusalem was under crisis because of the coming Assyrian attack and siege (5:1). Their king was being insulted with dire consequences (2 Kings 18:17-37; Isaiah 36). He further announced that an unexpected things will happen in the small town of BETHLEHEM, which is outside the Jerusalem city. It was a good news:
🗣️ A ruler is coming (5:2)
🗣️ His origin is from eternity (5:2)
🗣️ He will shepherd God’s people (5:4)
🗣️ He will bring peace (5:4)
🗣️ He will be a deliverer (5:6)
📌 The Messiah will be born in BETHLEHEM in God’s appointed time (Gal 4:4)
THE HISTORIC ANNOUNCEMENT proclaimed by Isaiah and Micah about the birth of Messiah has become a HISTORIC EVENT when Christ was born in BETHLEHEM.
📖 Matthew & Luke:
Matthew and Luke narrates details events of the birth of Jesus Christ. When Herod asked the Chief Priests about the place where the king of Jews would be born.. they replied ” in BETHLEHEM ” by quoting Micah 5:2 and is recorded in Matthew 2:6. Now if we read carefully Micah and Matthew there is slight differences.
✅ O, Bethlehem you are LITTLE among the clans of Judah (Micah)
✅ O, Bethlehem you are not the LEAST among the rulers of Judah (Matthew)
📌 The Bethlehemites were not the least because the promised Messiah was born. The Immanuel, the Prince of Peace and the Great I AM was born in BETHLEHEM.
When God is with us who can be against us. 💪
💕 Beloved Church, let us remind ourselves:
📌 BETHLEHEM becomes the link between heaven and earth. God and man meet there, and look each other. There is joy in heaven, and there is joy on earth (Luke 2:14).
📌 Let us strive ourselves to be the link in order to bring people to the throne of His grace 🙏🏼
📌 The message that comes from BETHLEHEM is love, joy and peace.
📌 The lesson that taught us at BETHLEHEM is the grace of God.
📌 The Bethlehem manger says ” Be clothed with humility as the swaddling clothes wrapped up the child”.
🌈 God did mighty things in the little town of BETHLEHEM on the first Christmas:
📝 The birth of Jesus Christ drew Mary and Joseph from Nazareth to BETHLEHEM
📝 His birth drew the angels from heaven
📝 His birth drew the shepherds from the field.
📝 His birth drew the Wise men from the east.
Glory to God 🙌
✍🏾 Mark Boje
Arunachal Pradesh, India 🇮🇳
Although Israel, at that time, was in a terrible predicament on account of her sins, Micah 5:1, yet God had planned for her future redemption a long time ago! Yes, from Bethlehem Ephrathah, which was seemingly insignificant from among the clans of Judah – a King was to emerge who would rule over Israel, even one whose origins were in the distant past, vs 2.
However, until that time was ripe, God would hand over His people to be disciplined by their enemies, and this happened at the time when Jesus walked the earth in the fullness of time, and is now being repeated once again before His second coming, vs 3.
Then at this future date, He will assume His post and shepherd the people by the Lord’s strength, they will live securely, for at that time He will be honored even in the distant regions of the earth, vs 4. He will give His people peace as well as protect, rescue and give them victory over their enemies, vs 5,6.
Then the remnant of His people will live among the Nations and they will be like the dew that the Lord sends which will not be dependent on any human source, vs 7. They will also be like a lion that rips apart its enemies triumphantly, until they are completely destroyed, vs 8,9! In that day God will destroy all forms of human sources of dependence, be they horses, chariots, cities or fortresses, vs 10,11. He will also remove all those that practice sorcery and omen reading, vs 12.
He remove their idols, sacred pillars and images of Asherah such that they will no longer worship what their hands have made, vs 13,14! And finally, He will angrily seek vengeance on the nations that do not obey Him, vs 15! The second phase of this prophecy is soon to see its fulfillment.
In the meantime, because of this hope that we have, we need to perfect holiness in the fear of the Lord, right in the midst of all the trying situations that are coming our way at present, for only those who endure in love until the coming of the Lord will have the privilege of being part of that remnant company who will be like the dew that brings refreshment, as well as like a lion that destroys all evil that comes across its path, as per the Lord’s direction and in His strength!
The ultimate victory will be given to them by the Lord, Himself who will destroy all forms of idolatory as well as those Nations who still refuse to obey Him! Let us determine to be part of this remnant company by being faithful in the little that God has entrusted to us, both in life and ministry too, such that at His coming, the Lord Himself will entrust us with much. Amen.