Luke 2:1--In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that the whole empire should be registered.
“Please! This is ridiculous! Those confounded Romans have conspired to make our lives miserable. Mary, I don’t know what to say. Why would God send us from Nazareth to Bethlehem when you are almost ready to have a baby?!”
“Joseph, I don’t know why. But we must go. Surely God has His reasons for letting this happen.”
Can you hear their conversation? Joseph and Mary know they are to become the parents of God’s own Son. Near the culmination of what should be a joyous time they are rudely uprooted by a bothersome census. Joseph must somehow transport his expectant wife over 110km (~70 miles) of unpaved road on a trip ending at Bethlehem’s 2460 foot elevation. They had no bus, car, or train to transport them—only their feet and perhaps a donkey—talk about demands!
God providentially sent His servants on a difficult journey. In the military leaders make risk assessments before they conduct missions. Their goal is to maximize safety and minimize risk. No wise commander would send a woman about to conceive on such a treacherous journey. Yet heaven’s Commander worked through Caesar Augustus to fulfill His word. Sometime between 750 and 686 B.C., Micah prophesied that Jesus would be born in Bethlehem. That was where the angels and shepherds would celebrate the arrival of mankind’s Savior.
We sing with raised candles the story of a silent night, and somehow forget about the stormy days . . .
You will face demands upon your life this next year that will not be easy. You will be asked to do what seems ridiculous. The temptation will come to question God doubting His leadership. The urge to complain may bubble up like some acid reflux. When these demands come I hope you will remember the story of Joseph and Mary—it is not just for Christmas. It’s a daily reminder that God works in mysterious ways through multiple means to accomplish His grand will for His own glory. To share in that glory we must believe in His power. That is what faith is all about and that is truly something to think about . . . in reveration.
One of the greatest demands on the human spirit is to believe that God is good when His providence seems to prohibit the fulfillment of what He has promised.—Oswald Chambers in Not Knowing Where
©1997 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)