Bethlehem Ephrathah

In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”
When the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying to one another, “Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us.” Luke 2:8-15

But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. Galatians 4:4-5

“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.” Micah 5:2

Ephrathah was the ancient name of Bethlehem Judah during the time of Jacob. Significance of Bethlehem –

  1. Jacob buried his beloved Rachel near the gate at Bethlehem (Gen 48:7) 
  2. It also was the home of Ruth 
  3. The birthplace of King David (1 Sam 16:4-13; ), the shepherd-king of Israel, and of course “David’s greater son” the Lord Jesus Christ. 
  4. Bethlehem means the House of Bread, and the land was inherited by the tribe of Judah, the messianic tribe.

FIFTHLY, 

“The bawling of sheep rang across the fields of Bethlehem. Migdal Eder, the Tower of the Flock, was the place where lambs destined for the Temple were born and raised. Every firstborn male lamb from the area around Bethlehem was considered holy, set aside for sacrifice in Jerusalem. Generations of hereditary shepherds tended the sacred flocks. They were common folk, used to many cold, lonely nights in the fields. As protectors of the sheep, they risked their lives to keep the animals from going astray … and falling into the many ravines of the hill country.  {It is said that that this area has the largest number of shepherd towers in the world, as the shepherds took great care to protect these firstborn lambs from any blemish}

After pouring their lives out into their flocks, the shepherds would separate the lambs, choosing only the perfect firstborn males to drive to Jerusalem. There the lambs would be purchased by those who wished to atone for their sins. On the same mountain where Abraham had offered his son to the Lord, the lambs would shed their blood and lose their lives as that atonement. It was an endless cycle.

Taken From –  CBN “Why Bethlehem

————————

If there was ever an event to underline that God is not surprised by world events and the haphazard political/social environment of mankind – it’s Christmas.

If there was ever an event to underline that God can supernaturally override every human authority – whether scientific or tyrannical or democratic – it’s Christmas.

A Virgin gave Birth. A barren woman gave birth.

The angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God. And behold, even your relative Elizabeth has also conceived a son in her old age; and she who was called barren is now in her sixth month. For nothing will be impossible with God.” Luke 1:35-37

The human census brings Joseph and a heavily pregnant Mary to Bethlehem. 

Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth. This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. And everyone was on his way to register for the census, each to his own city. Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David  Luke 2:1-4

A tyrannical Herod sends Joseph, Mary, and Jesus to Egypt. But every step is a fulfillment of prophecies made centuries ago!!

So Joseph got up and took the Child and His mother while it was still night, and left for Egypt. He remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet: “OUT OF EGYPT I CALLED MY SON.” Matthew 2:14-15

Published by Vin

From Kerala, India.

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