Little Is Not Insignificant

gods-promise-to-youPastor Phillips Brooks visited Israel in the mid-1800s. While there he visited a small church just outside of Bethlehem. Listening to the worshipful songs being sung in that quiet countryside, he was inspired to pen the words to O Little Town Of Bethlehem.

Because of that quiet setting, notice how Rev. Brooks notices things we often miss—

  • little town on Bethlehem
  • in thy dark streets
  • while mortals sleep
  • no ear may hear His coming

But little does not mean insignificant. And just because we can’t see or hear something doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist or it isn’t important.

Sometimes we’ve looked and listened and waited and searched for so long that we have given up and we begin to drift off to sleep. We continue to live in our own “little town” surrounded by silence. And we are in danger of missing a miracle right in our midst!

We know today that Jesus was born in Bethlehem. But did you know that this little town was still so obscure in Christ’s day that many people in Israel were unaware of what went on there? (See John 7:41-43). Even after King Herod had gruesomely killed all the baby boys in Bethlehem, scarcely anyone outside of that town knew about it or cared about it.

But God cared. And He knew exactly what He was doing.

But when the proper time had fully come, God sent His Son (Galatians 4:4)—the exact right moment—to be born in Bethlehem—the exact right place (Micah 5:2). Notice even Micah says of Bethlehem though you are small among the clans of Judah, giving birth to the title of Rev. Brooks’ poem.

How small was it? Look at the description of the territory for the tribe of Judah (in Joshua 15), and you can easily glossed over the names of all of the towns. But look more closely and you will see something you didn’t read in that list of towns. Take a close look at all 38 cities: it’s still missing.

There are a couple of very notable figures that dominate the Old and New Testaments, and they have something in common—King David and Jesus both come from the tribe of Judah. And both of them were born in Bethlehem. But in the list of towns in Judah’s territory, there is absolutely no mention of Bethlehem.

This town either didn’t exist, or it was so “insignificant” that Joshua didn’t even think to mention it. It would be almost another 500 years before David would be born in Bethlehem, and then another 900 years after that before Jesus would be born in this little town of Bethlehem.

God had in mind for the greatest earthly king in Israel’s history and the King of all kings to come from such humble origins… from a village that didn’t even make the list. Bethlehem was ready for these kings at just the right moment!

Jesus said heaven and earth will pass away, but His words will never pass away. What promise in His Word do you need to cling to? 

Just as those awaiting the Messiah clung to Micah’s promise until it came to pass, you must find God’s promise for you in His Word, cling to it, and don’t let go until it comes to pass in your little town.

Links & Quotes

link quote

“The reason we know so little about God’s wisdom is that we will only trust Him as far as we can work things out according to our own reasonable common sense.” —Oswald Chambers

“To know God in His glory is to know ultimate reality—defining beauty, goodness, and truth. It is to enter into the heart of reality itself and to glimpse eternity in a most personal, intimate, and loving way. This is what God desires for us, that our hearts might soar within His glory and rejoice in things too wonderful to express.” —T.M. Moore

“My greatest fear in life is standing before the Lord and hearing Him say, ‘I had so much more for you, but you held on too tightly.’” —Larry Burkett

“Give me good proofs of what you have alleged: it is not enough to say—in such a bush there lies a thief—in such a cave a beast; you must show him to me ere I shoot, else I may kill one of my straggling sheep.” —William Shakespeare

“A man must keep his friendship in constant repair.” —Samuel Johnson

Eric Metaxas asks, “Why would a national museum refuse to remove an exhibit honoring one of the leading racists of the 20th century?” Check out his profound answer.

Bear Grylls praying over Barak ObamaThank you, Bear Grylls, for giving us a great example to follow! May we all pray for our President.

Exactly right: Christians cannot stand by and do nothing about these precious people displaced by war.

A very interesting legal look at the Kim Davis situation in Kentucky.

Weekend Quotes

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Some challenging quotes from this weekend:

“A wise man will make haste to forgive, because he knows the true value of time, and will not suffer it to pass away in unnecessary pain.”  —Samuel Johnson

“The noblest revenge is to forgive.” —Thomas Fuller

“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” —Lao-tzu

“Love keeps no records of wrongs. … It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” —Apostle Paul (1 Corinthians 13:6-7)

And for my pastor friends: “There will always be new ways to do good works and speak good words which are not presently in our experience or repertoire. So in all our studies, let us study to acquire new insights and visions of how we can serve others through good works. And in all our teaching and preaching, let us not grow negligent in exhorting the people of God to do likewise.” —T.M. Moore

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