How God Chose Bethlehem as Part of His Eternal Strategy

by | Dec 13, 2019 | Purpose & Identity

Previously known as the city in which David was born and later crowned king of Israel, Jesus’ birthplace of Bethlehem is only six miles south of Jerusalem, where He would later be crucified. Because of a prophecy foretold by Micah, for some 700 years God’s people looked to this little town of Bethlehem as the birthplace of their long-awaited Messiah (see Mic. 5:2).

One of God’s Great Promises

One of my favorite promises of God is that He orders the steps of His people (Ps. 37:23). How Mary and Joseph found themselves delivering our Messiah in the place that was foretold provides perhaps the perfect example of God’s faithfulness to this promise.

Because Joseph was a descendant of the royal line of King David, the census ordered by the emperor required he make the several-day journey from his current residence in Nazareth to Bethlehem, the home of his lineage. But the story notes that Mary makes the journey, too. (Surely not because such a trip would be enjoyable in the final days of her pregnancy, but likely out of obligation to enroll as the new wife of Joseph.)

Pause to marvel at the precise timing of these events. Much longer in Nazareth, and Jesus would have been born somewhere else. Yet by no planning on Mary’s part nor any intent by the emperor to fulfill prophecy, Mary and Joseph are brought to Bethlehem. And while there, she goes into labor.

How God Often Orders Our Steps

Isn’t this how many of us find God’s plans fulfilled in our lives, too? More often than not it’s the inconvenient events, frustrating circumstances or the people who wander across our paths at the strangest moments that end up working like a divine hand to lead us right where we need to be.

Undoubtedly, Bethlehem was right where Mary and Joseph needed to be, right at the right moment. But it was more than only because Joseph’s lineage happened to originate there.

No, Bethlehem was strategically chosen to be part of the plan from the beginning. As only God could know, events were orchestrated throughout the centuries so that by the time of Jesus’s birth, it was the city where lambs purchased for sacrifice in the temple were born and raised. In fact, every firstborn male lamb in Bethlehem was set aside to later be delivered to Jerusalem. {eoa}

Kyle Winkler (www.kylewinkler.org) is the creator of the popular Shut Up, Devil! mobile app. His latest book is Activating the Power of God’s Word: 16 Strategic Declarations to Transform Your Life. Kyle holds a Master of Divinity in biblical studies from Regent University. Connect with him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

This article was taken from the devotional The Glory Has Come: Encountering the Wonder of Christmas. For more revelations found in the Christmas story, watch the entire video at kylewinkler.org/christmas.)

For more about Christmas, check out the Charisma e-book The First Christmas, available at this link for just $1.99.

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

Kingdom Economics: How Godly Traditions Convey Kingdom Truths

Kingdom Economics: How Godly Traditions Convey Kingdom Truths

Read Time: 3 Minutes 53 Seconds WalletHub estimates 97% of Americans celebrate Thanksgiving and were expected to spend $835 million on Thanksgiving turkeys for last week’s holiday. More than 50 million people were expected to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade on...

The Hidden Antisemitism of Misappropriation of Scripture

The Hidden Antisemitism of Misappropriation of Scripture

Read Time: 4 Minutes 49 Seconds I know that what I am writing in my blog today will cause some people discomfort. Others will become angry and still others will choose to stop reading my blogs and articles. Yet, knowing that there is a danger of the above happening,...

Charisma Highlights: Is Serial Killer Jeffrey Dahmer in Heaven?

Charisma Highlights: Is Serial Killer Jeffrey Dahmer in Heaven?

Following are snippets of the top stories posted on charismamag.com over the past week. We encourage you to visit the links to read the stories in full. Is Serial Killer Jeffrey Dahmer in Heaven? Is it possible that behind the pearly gates of heaven there are...

10 Ways to Practice Gratitude With Your family This Thanksgiving

10 Ways to Practice Gratitude With Your family This Thanksgiving

This month we are entering a season which, in the United States, has been devoted to gratitude and thanksgiving for 400 years! While the Thanksgiving holiday has had a long and varied history within the United States, the practice of devoting sacrificial offerings,...

Don’t Let Ungratefulness Turn You Into a Spoiled American

Don’t Let Ungratefulness Turn You Into a Spoiled American

My frequent trips to developing nations always help me adjust my attitude. Just when I start to feel spoiled and entitled, I meet people from places like Congo, India and Honduras—and I realize just how blessed I am. This happened to me again last week during a trip...

The Power of Being Thankful

The Power of Being Thankful

One of the best ways to show God we love Him is to be thankful. When we express our deep gratitude to Him, it actually invites His presence onto our lives. Being thankful also neutralizes the enemy and brings victory into our situations no matter what the outcome....

Get Off Your Pew!

Get Off Your Pew!

As God’s clock inches closer to the final hour before His return, many people find themselves filled with angst, anxiety and despair. People are not sleeping well, many have fallen into depression and are feeling hopeless. These are the very days that we have been...

RECENT ARTICLES

ORU’s President Dr. Billy Wilson Shares Strategy to Reach 8 Billion for Christ

Read Time: 2 minutes 26 seconds The world population just surpassed 8 billion people and a group of emboldened followers of Jesus have set on a mission to reach the world with the message of...
The Great Commission Can Set Us Free from Responsibility

The Great Commission Can Set Us Free from Responsibility

Read Time: 4 Minutes 28 Seconds While all of the stories we read in the Torah are meaningful, sometimes the events we read about can seem to hold more relevance, especially for those of us who are followers of Yeshua (Jesus) as Messiah. One such event is the calling...

The Church’s Role in Preserving Freedom of Speech in America

The Church’s Role in Preserving Freedom of Speech in America

Read Time: 3 Minutes 17 Seconds The controversy surrounding Kyrie Irving and his post of a tweet that claims the Jews in Israel are not the real Jews—that Black Africans are the real Jews—raises serious questions about free speech in America and has ramifications for...

Count Your Blessings, For God Indeed is Good

Count Your Blessings, For God Indeed is Good

Read Time: 4 Minutes 42 Seconds Thanksgiving Day is just a few days away for U.S. Americans. It is a favorite holiday—perhaps only exceeded by Christmas—to gather with family and friends to watch parades, play (American) “football” and eat delicious food—often from...

Is Serial Killer Jeffrey Dahmer in Heaven?

Is Serial Killer Jeffrey Dahmer in Heaven?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iFbfS03JkKY&t=1s Read Time: 3 Minutes, 10 Seconds Is it possible that behind the pearly gates of heaven there are murderers, pedophiles and cannibals walking along the streets of gold? We are taught in the book of Romans, "That if...

Pin It on Pinterest