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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

12/7- Day 11- Light the first two candles.  Born in Bethlehem- Micah 5:2; Matthew 2:1; Luke 2:4-7

 2"But thou, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall come forth unto Me He that is to be ruler in Israel, whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting." (Micah 5:2)

Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the East to Jerusalem, (Matthew 2:1)

4And Joseph also went up from Galilee out of the city of Nazareth into Judea, unto the City of David which is called Bethlehem (because he was of the house and lineage of David) 5to be taxed with Mary, his espoused wife, who was great with child. 6And so it was that while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. 7And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. (Luke 2:4-7)

(Nativity Painting In Bethlehem Church of the Nativity)

Thoughts: Bethlehem is a small town outside large Jerusalem.  It is a little bit like Chapin- about 20 miles away from the big city.  Not much was expected to happen here- but out of this small country town came both David and Jesus.  The ironic thing is that God used a decree issued by the greatest human emperor ever thousands of miles away to accomplish his purpose.  Caesar Augustus said everyone must go to their hometown to be counted in order to be taxed.  This was not an uncommon practice, but that it happened when Mary was about to be delivered- and that she went made the prophecy not only become figuratively true, but literally true.  Micah was a contempoary with Isaiah around 700 B.C. when he prophecied this amazing and specific prophecy.  It was so specific that when the wise men came looking for the Messiah- the Prince to be born the scribes pointed them to Bethlehem (Mt. 2).  God often takes the small and insignificant and lifts it up for His purposes.  David the shepherd killed Goliath.  Jesus the humble conquered the world.
Prayer: O little child of Bethlehem, descend to us we pray.  Cast out our sin and enter in, be born in us today.

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