Summary: To glorify The Reason for the season by focusing on a "mystifying", prophetical scripture portion -Micah 5:2

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O little “BIG” Bethlehem…

O little town of Bethlehem

How still we see thee lie…

So goes the famous popular Christmas carol sung in many Churches during the Christmas time heralding the birth of the Savior. For those with a flair for history, this touching hymn was penned by Rector Phillips Brooks (1835-1903) of Philadelphia, in 1868, following a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. He was inspired by the view of Bethlehem from the hills of Palestine especially at night time hence the lyrics of O Little Town of Bethlehem. His church organist Lewis Redner (1831-1908) wrote the melody for the Sunday school children’s choir.

Is there something significantly “BIG” about “little” Bethlehem? VERY MUCH! Consider this verse which affirms this truth…

“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 (NLV)

In order, we take a 360 degree view about little “BIG” Bethlehem, let’s consider the

1. Personality

2. Personal and

3. Prophetical significance

of the afore-referred Scripture portion. Firstly

Personality Significance…

Hey, was not King David-the greatest of all Jewish Kings born in Bethlehem (Ruth 2:1, 4:13-17/I Samuel 16) nearly 300 years BEFORE Micah of Moresheth came-up with this stirring prophecy? Is there any doubting David’s unique place in both the historical as well as the spiritual realm of the Nation of Israel? Was not David a benchmark for other Judean Kings, who followed him (II Chronicles 17:3/28:1/34:2) in the matters of obedience to the Almighty? So how in the name of logic, could Scripture mention Bethlehem as only “a small village” when it actually could “boast” of being a birthplace of such a spiritual and a historical giant like David? It ought to have been at par with Jerusalem (from where the Judean Kings, including David ruled) in terms of both spiritual and historical importance. For an answer welcome to the Spiritual laws of relativity!!!

The greatest King of Israel pales in comparison with the ETERNAL KING OF KINGS, who was going to be born in Bethlehem. Period. This Judean village would be “small” in the Omniscient one’s sight, only till “GREATEST OF EM’ ALL” arrived. It is the Savior’s birth in Bethlehem, which would enhance its stature in the Heavenly sphere.

Now Christian, are you taking pride in only your special, godly heritage? Good as it is to have noble forefathers of evangelical or pastoral calling, be more proud of the fact that Savior was “born” in your heart, the day you accepted Him, as your Savior. Your status in God’s sight is not based on the great “David-like” grandparents of yours who preceded you but whether Christ has come into your life or not!!! For that’s all matters in the eyes of the Almighty, who set the ball of “Redemption plan” rolling on the First Christmas.

Personal significance…

Say Christian, are you an insignificant “little Bethlehem” in your neighborhood? Not many heads turn, when you walk by, right? Take heart, the moment Christ was “born” in your heart, you became a precious jewel in the Creator’s treasure house. Speaking of riches and treasures’ (taken literally also) is not Bethlehem filling the coffers of Israel today, by way of handsome foreign tourism revenue?

Raise your hands, those who have been to a museum…where items of Royal patronage are preserved? What articles’ do you see normally displayed there…permit me to add here…from a distance of about 6 feet (they are invaluable, hence none can come near)? A watch, a pen, a turban? Are they not items of common usage? What then is so special about them that they are priceless? Answer is as simple as it is profound. THEY BELONG TO A KING!!! Ditto with a Christian…(Jeremiah 9:23-24/I Cor 3:16).

Prophetical Significance…

Why did the Messiah make a “touchdown” in Bethlehem in his “Operation salvation”? For those spiritually starving for salvation, where else, could the ‘Bread of life’ (John 6:58) which lives eternal life be born other than the place known as ‘Bread’-Bethlehem in Jewish language means ‘Bread’. Prophecy, as one Bible scholar correctly said “is nothing but History written in advance”.

Why do OT Scriptures abound with Messianic Prophecies? ON HIS ONE SOLITARY LIFE, HINGED THE ENTIRE SALVATION OF MANKIND! Lest the rationalists’ attribute the virgin birth (Isaiah 7:14), place of his birth (Micah 5:2), atoning death on the cross (Psalm 22:16/Isaiah 53), resurrection (Psalm 16:10-11, Acts 2:28) and his victorious ascension (Psalm 68:18/Eph 4:18) to a sheer accident or coincidence, the Heavenly Father in infinite wisdom had everything written down in “black and white”, several centuries before those landmark events even occurred. Let me illustrate…

Last Christmas, the womenfolk of our Church went to a reasonably distant Departmental store to buy gifts for the widows/orphans/Sunday school children of our Church. When, they came back it dawned on one Sister (in faith) that she had forgotten her purse containing many valuables in the parking lot of a huge, busy commercial complex. Praying profusely, the entire “Purchase committee” rushed back to that hustling, bustling area after full one hour (traffic snarls you see) where a unguarded purse has as much chance of remaining unpicked as an ice-cube would have of not melting in a fiery furnace. Hallelujah, they found it safe and secure! Now if I were to share this thrilling account with a rationalist giving all glory to the prayer-answering God, (you guessed it right), he would attribute this “miraculous recovery” to sheer “coincidence or luck”. But ponder for a moment, if this entire account had been foretold and documented in a book, say 20 years ago, would he still attribute this true story to a mere coincidence. He would have no other option but to accept it as an Divine act! Ditto the same, with several of the Messianic prophecies, including the one about the place of his birth. Bravo Bethlehem…

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