Good day, my friend. I hope you are doing well. Today, we look at the little town of Bethlehem. Each time I hear the word, I can’t help but sing the song I used to sing in church at Christmas time. “Oh, little town of Bethlehem, how still we see thee lie! Above thy deep and dreamless sleep, the silent stars go by.”
Cherished memories of days gone by.
Micah 5:2, “But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, Who are too little to be among the queens of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, who is coming forth is from of old, from ancient days.“
Luke 2:4, 5, 7
“ And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child.”
“ And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger because there was no place for them in the inn.“
From helpless ruler to ideal king, Micah prophesies there will be one born in Bethlehem. He gives us an added clue by including the name, Ephrathah, to distinguish it from the Bethlehem located in Zebulun. While this little town was too insignificant in size to list as one of the more prominent cities, it was not so insignificant for it to be the birthplace of the Messiah.
Commentators say Bethlehem was a good three-day journey from Nazareth. Scripture says while Joeseph and Mary were in Bethlehem, she gave birth to her firstborn. Bethlehem, the town where David was born.
Notice the timing of the census. The purpose of the census was to get an accurate record of the region’s population for tax purposes. It’s important to note that this comes when Mary is engaged to Joseph and with child. So Joseph took her back to his hometown, Bethlehem. Side note: The child is not Joseph’s natural child. This was a virgin birth.
His manner of birth, location, and Mary laying him a manger would all be unexpected. The Messiah coming as a baby? He was laid in a manger? Born of virgin birth? The King prophesied in Micah would enter the world this way?
God would do that, and more This Messiah would surprise them and do the unexpected.
Tomorrow we will look at the time for his birth.
Blessings to all!
The Teaching Lady