O Little Town of Bethlehem. Micah 5:2 “But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler of Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.”
Luke 2:1-7 “And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caeser Augustus that all the world should be taxed. And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria. And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; because he was of the house and lineage of David: to be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manager; because there was no room for them in the inn.” Can you imagine being Mary? Can’t you just hear her saying, “You want me to go where?” That must have been some journey. Put yourself in Joseph’s shoes for a moment and imagine hurrying from door to door, looking for a place to stay, while your wife’s face grows paler and her pain increase. Finally, they settle in for the evening, nestled near animals that probably got no sleep.
Why go to Bethlehem at that time? Why make that trip? Because Caeser said so? No. Because God did. You see, He had promised He would raise up a ruler, born in Bethlehem, to govern over Israel forever. Caesar’s census was just God’s way of bringing His plans to be.
Why, then, you might wonder, was there no room for Him? If God had planned His appearing, certainly He would have planned a place for Him as well. Oh but He did! You see, though He was a king, He did not come to dwell in palaces. Though He would rule forever, He first came to serve. Because He was sinless, He became a sacrifice. Though a manger may be unfit for a king, it’s perfect for a lamb.
Express to God your wonder at His plan and praise Him for it. Remember that God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow, and He still refuses for force men to make room for Him. He knocks, but we must open the door and open your heart to Him. Let Him come in and dwell in you. Enjoy His presence right now.