Devotion for Saturday after Advent 1

“But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
Too little to be among the clans of Judah,
From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel.
His goings forth are from long ago,
From the days of eternity.”
Therefore He will give them up until the time
When she who is in labor has borne a child.
Then the remainder of His brethren
Will return to the sons of Israel. ~ Micah 5:2-3

Long, long before it happened, the Lord shared His plan for the redemption of the world through His prophets. Only God could have orchestrated Jesus being born in Bethlehem. Caesar Augustus thought he came up with the idea of the census, requiring everyone to return to the city of his heritage. Yet God had planned thousands of years before to place Mary and Joseph in Bethlehem at exactly the right time. God wanted Jesus to be born in a nondescript place of little importance, though we would expect the King of the Universe to be born in a luxurious palace.

Lord God, I am amazed at Your incredible planning. You can tell Your people through Your prophets of something to happen millennia in the future, then plant an idea in the mind of an earthly ruler and motivate him to issue a decree. All so Jesus could be born precisely where You wanted Him to be born—a tiny place considered of little worth by worldly standards. I stand in awe of You, Lord, and thank You. In the name of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior. Amen.

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