Had To Go To Bethlehem
01 January 2011
Today’s Reading: Genesis 3-5; Luke 2
4 And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee. 5 He took with him Mary, his fiancée, who was now obviously pregnant. (Luke 2:4-5 NLT)
Hundreds of years earlier, the prophet Micah had spoken these words; “But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, are only a small village among all the people of Judah. Yet a ruler of Israel will come from you, one whose origins are from the distant past.” (Micah 5:2 NLT). Because those were God’s words, the Roman emperor Augustus decreed that everyone in his vast empire must travel to their city of origin to be counted for tax purposes. Because those were God’s words Joseph had to go to Bethlehem in Judea to register for the census. Because those were God’s words, he had to take Mary there because Mary’s baby was God’s son and God’s son had to be born in Bethlehem.
When God gives his word, he does whatever is required to make it happen. Here’s a promise from God’s word to Jeremiah about that: The Lord said to me, “You have seen correctly, for I am watching to see that my word is fulfilled.” (Jeremiah 1:12 NIV)
When God gives his word to me, he will do whatever is required to bring it about. That may make things uncomfortable for me. The fulfillment of God’s word to me may require me to make a long journey under less than pleasant circumstances. The fulfillment of God’s word may require me to respond in obedient faith in a situation that I simply don’t understand.
Joseph’s part was to saddle up the donkey and to obey the messages God gave him in dreams. God’s part was everything else. My part is to respond in faith to God’s word by doing with the right attitude what is required of me. God’s part is everything else.
Father, Please help me with this. There are things you have spoken to me through the years that haven’t happened yet. Please be patient with me and be clear with me about my part. Give me sensitivity to hear and courage to obey. And give me strong faith that everything else is your part. Amen.